Friday, February 17, 2012

Bose Engineer's a Smoother, More Stable Ride

Bose is best known for their high quality audio products, but lately they have been researching other things. Along with a long list of other projects, controlling fuel rods in nuclear reactors, and testing medical devices have stricken Bose's interest, and their latest project is an electro-magnetic suspension system. Their goals were to increase the comfort of the cars ride, as well as improve control and handling. Bose has achieved this by combining specialized hardware and software to optimize the physical feel of the car, and through rigorous testing Bose has uncovered what they think is the key to comfort.

The system is modular, and is made of highly engineered components. The first part is the Linear electromagnetic motors that replace the spring/shock in conventional suspension systems. The main factor in why Bose decided to go with magnets is speed. Only their linear motors had the speed to respond quickly enough for high speed runs on bumpy roads, where a spring and shock would not be able to expand and retract fast enough to provide a smooth ride.

The next part is Bose's Power Amplifier that delivers electrical power and signals the the linear motors from the control algorithms. It is very efficient as it allows power to be returned to it and reused the next time a bump is encountered. A great example of this would be if the car went over a pothole, the linear motors would extend, using power, and then retract, charging up the amplifier.

Last, the control algorithms. Bose developed mathematical algorithms over decades of research that will process input of road conditions taken from around the car, and will adjust the wheels accordingly.

This is a great example of the innovation that the Engineers at Bose are capable of.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard good things about their sound systems. Although there used to be an ongoing argument between my collegues at my old job about how exactly you should pronounce Bose...