Exo-Brake Enables Safe Return for Small Spacecraft

The tension-based, flexible braking device resembles a cross parachute.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Product development, Drag, Entry, descent, and landing, Satellites, Spacecraft

Experimental Confirmation of an Aquatic Swimming Motion Theoretically of Very Low Drag and High Efficiency

Researchers used an anguilliform swimming robot to replicate an idealized “wakeless” swimming motion.

It has been established theoretically that self-propulsion of deformable bodies in ideal fluid can occur with a careful specification of the deformation mode shape. With the fluid assumed ideal, vortex shedding, rotational wake, and induced drag would not occur. The implication is that for a real fluid, provided the existence of a thin boundary layer, similarly configured bodies with the same deformation mode shape self-propel without vortex shedding, rotational wake, and induced drag. Only viscous drag effects, due to the existence of the thin boundary layer, are present and unavoidable. The motion mode in question is the little-exploited anguilliform mode exhibited in some aquatic animal swimming. The Anguilla includes the snake, eel, lamprey, and leach, among others.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, TSP, Aerospace, Automation, Water, Biological sciences, Robotics, Drag, Marine vehicles and equipment

Identifying the Flow Physics and Modeling Transient Forces on Two-Dimensional Wings

Using mathematics and modeling to understand the flow physics of aircraft wings undergoing highly unsteady maneuvers.

The main objective of this research was to better understand the flow physics of aircraft wings undergoing highly unsteady maneuvers. Reduced-order models play a central role in this study, both to elucidate the overall dynamical mechanisms behind various flow phenomena (such as dynamic stall and vortex shedding), and ultimately to guide flight control design for vehicles for which these unsteady phenomena are important.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, TSP, Aerospace, Automation, Robotics, Wings, Mathematical models, Aerodynamics

Intelligent Robotics Safeguarding

Traditional robot applications limit operator access to hazards through hard-guarding and protective devices that either detect and stop the hazard, or prevent access into the safeguarding space until the hazard no longer exists. The introduction of power- and force-limited robots used in collaborative applications changes this environment. Reduced or nonexistent hard-guarding, along with continuous motion and interaction between the robot and the operator, makes the environment inherently dynamic and uncertain. Methods to reduce risks to a tolerable level include limiting forces and speed, but these measures can yield unacceptable production rates.

Posted in: Articles, Robotics, Artificial intelligence, Artificial intelligence, Risk management, Robotics

Today’s Advanced Hose And Hydraulic Systems

If you’re under pressure to pick the right components to keep your hydraulic hose assemblies running at peak performance—without incidents or downtime—you’re not alone.

Posted in: White Papers, Motion Control, Automation

Interface Simplifies Remote Robot Operation

The traditional interface for remotely operating robots employs a computer screen and mouse to independently control six degrees of freedom, turning three virtual rings and adjusting arrows to get the robot into position to grab items or perform a specific task. But for someone who isn’t an expert, the ring-and-arrow system is cumbersome and error-prone. It’s not ideal, for example, for older people trying to control assistive robots at home.

Posted in: News, Motion Control, Robotics, Software

Shaping the Future of Service Robotics

Robots emerged in the early 1960s as a way to automate the monotonous and dangerous tasks in factories around the world. As time passed and new technologies emerged, these robots have taken a place outside of the industrial market and alongside humans in manufacturing and non-manufacturing applications alike.

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

How to Select a DC Motor: Coreless and Iron Core Brushed DC Motors

DC motors possess linear relationships that allow for very predictable operation. Motion control manufacturers and designers depend greatly on the premise that these linear relationships will hold true, since the laws of physics do not change. However, despite their simplicity, selecting a DC motor for an application can still be a daunting task. There are many other variables to take into account including dimensions, load, duty cycle, etc. This white paper provides an overview on Coreless / Brushed DC motors, and what to consider before committing.

Posted in: White Papers, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Automation

Mechanical Metamaterials Block Symmetry of Motion

These nonreciprocal metamaterials can benefit applications such as soft robotics, prosthetics, and energy harvesting.

Engineers and scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented mechanical metamaterials that easily transfer motion in one direction while blocking it in the other. The material can be thought of as a mechanical one-way shield that blocks energy from coming in but transmits it going out the other side. The researchers developed the nonreciprocal mechanical materials using metamaterials, which are synthetic materials with properties that cannot be found in nature.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Product development, Fabrication, Materials properties

Portable Superconductivity Systems for Small Motors

Substituting for a conventional permanent magnet, this system can produce a 3-tesla magnetic field.

Superconductivity, where electrical currents travel unhindered through a material, has many practical uses. It is used in applications extending from MRIs in hospitals to the cavities of particle accelerators. However, practical exploitation of superconductivity also presents many challenges.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Downsizing, Off-board vehicle charging systems, Off-board vehicle charging systems, Nuclear energy, Conductivity, Magnetic materials, Electric motors

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