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Metallic Glass Shatters Gear Limitations

Gears play an essential role in precision robotics, and they can become a limiting factor when the robots must perform in space missions. In particular, the extreme temperatures of deep space pose numerous problems for successful gear operation. At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, technologist Douglas Hofmann and his collaborators aim to bypass the limitations of existing steel gears by creating gears from bulk metallic glass (BMG).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Metals, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission, Robotics, Robotics, Alloys, Glass, Gears, Durability, Spacecraft

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GPGPU for Embedded Systems

High Performance Embedded Computer (HPEC) systems are now leaning toward using the specialized parallel computational speed and performance on General Purpose Graphic Processor Units (GPGPUs). Providing that power and performance in a rugged, extended temperature small form factor (SFF) can be challenging.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Automation, Robotics

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Searching, Exploring and Visualizing Data Using Maple

With the ever-expanding sea of available data and data repositories, navigating the vast quantities of information can be a difficult task. Maple, the advanced computing software from Maplesoft, is a powerful and interactive data visualization tool that can help users understand data characteristics through various techniques for visualization and analysis. Maple makes it easy to search, filter, explore and visualize varying types and quantities of data. This paper presents several examples of how Maple can be used to search and filter large data repositories, explore and visualize the data in innovative ways and use the data to predict future behavior.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics, Electronics & Computers, Software

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Tool Helps Design Soft Robots That Can Bend and Twist

Designing a soft robot to move organically — to bend like a finger or twist like a wrist — has always been a process of trial and error. Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a method to automatically design soft actuators based on the desired movement.

Posted in: News, Implants & Prosthetics, Motion Control, Robotics, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Software

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Mobile Robot Colleagues on Wheels Increase Productivity And Worker Safety at Scott Fetzer Electrical Group

High-mix/low-volume manufacturing offers an automation challenge. But at electronics manufacturer Scott Fetzer Electrical Group (SFEG) in Tennessee, a fleet of Universal Robots on wheels receives daily work orders to solve ever-changing tasks—and has optimized productivity by 20%.These lightweight, collaborative robots (“cobots”) are easy to move, set up, and program for new tasks. And the built-in safety system automatically stops the robot arm’s operation if it encounters objects or people in its route.Download the whitepaper and find out how the Universal Robots handle tasks throughout the sheet metal department, fill epoxy into circuit boards, pick and place on conveyor lines, cut wires and perform life cycle testing:Universal Robots Gives SFEG these Advantages: Increased productivity by 20% Improved manufacturing consistency Increased global competitiveness with faster time to production Fast implementation with user-friendly programming and set-up Improved worker safety - “Let the robot get carpal tunnel” Payback period between 12 and 14 months

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics

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How To Substantially Reduce Encoder Cost While Gaining Functionality With Multi-Turn Rotary Position Sensors

Many applications require rotation counters that can measure angles greater than 360º. However the low-cost 10-turn potentiometers most design engineers are familiar with can’t always meet user requirements for resolution and reliability. As an alternative, optical absolute encoders are too expensive for many applications. These solutions require a continuous power supply or they will lose count when power is restored. Also, geared technology/rotation counters are subject to significant wear.

Posted in: White Papers, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors

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Prototype Capture System Simulates Asteroid Mission

A prototype of the robotic capture module system is tested with a mock asteroid boulder in its clutches at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. A robotic capture module system prototype was built to help NASA engineers understand the operations required to collect a multi-ton boulder from an asteroid’s surface. The hardware includes three space frame legs with foot pads, and two seven-degrees-of-freedom arms with microspine gripper “hands” to grasp onto the boulder.

Posted in: News, Motion Control, Robotics

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