Piezoelectric-Actuated Rotary Ultrasonic Motor

This motor can be used where rotary actuation is required, particularly in cryogenic and high-temperature applications. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California This actuator was developed out of a need for a cryogenic actuator that can operate effectively in spite of the thermal mismatch involved with construction materials that have different expansion coefficients. Also, there is a need for a cryogenic motor that can drive infrared systems and produce minimal thermal energy that can interfere with their operation.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Machinery & Automation


Model-Driven Innovation in Machine Design

This whitepaper discusses a Model-Driven Innovation process, an approach that makes a multidomain, system-level model the core of design activities, allowing engineers to see how individual subsystems work together. With this approach, problems can be fixed early without project delays, and designs can be validated with access to the underlying mathematics, allowing organizations seeking to mitigate system complexities to improve their ability to control costs, produce high-quality designs and move products to market more quickly. Using tools like MapleSim, the multidomain system modeling tool from Maplesoft, enables engineers to develop and test high-fidelity virtual prototypes of their complex dynamic systems.

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


Limboid Reconfigurable Robots for In-Space Assembly

A Limboid workforce with access to a tool crib could staff robotic space factories. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Figure 1. A laboratory prototype of a Limbi robot autonomously builds a modular structure. This process could repeat to build a large truss or spacecraft. As shown here, the modules are small, but a similar approach would work for large modules. Many future space vehicles, planetary bases, and mining operations will be too large and heavy to launch on a single rocket. Instead, component parts would need to be launched on multiple rockets and assembled in space. To enable versatile in-space assembly, a novel class of reconfigurable robots called Limboids has been conceptualized. Limboids are robotic limbs that attach and detach from each other to form a variety of useful configurations. These configurations might be as small as a single limb, which is best for dexterous manipulation of small parts, or as large as necessary for gross manipulation. As a modular system, Limboids could be supplemented with additional tools and limbs.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Cam Hand

This robust gripper design has applicability to both robots and as a prosthetic for the physically challenged. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California A durable gripper tool was designed for use by RoboSimian robots intended for use in disaster scenarios that demand high-force, robust manipulation. The resulting Cam Hand fills a previously unaddressed niche that emphasizes grip strength and robustness over dexterity. The design uses a number of unique features to ensure high operational flexibility. While this gripper was created for use on a robot, its basic design could be refined for other applications; in particular, as a new class of prosthetic that would exist between the traditional hook and pinch models and the dexterous models currently under development.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Save Your Assembly Space and Weight with Smalley Wave Springs

Smalley Wave Springs offer the unique advantage of space savings when used to replace coil springs. By reducing spring operating height, wave springs also produce a decrease in the spring cavity and assembly size.

Posted in: White Papers, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Light-Up Skin Stretches Robotic Boundaries

Cornell University researchers have developed an electroluminescent skin capable of stretching to nearly six times its original size while still emitting light.

Posted in: News, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Executive Perspectives: Robotics

CHETAN KAPOOR Senior Director of Technology Innovation Yaskawa America, Motoman Robotics Division Miamisburg, OH www.motoman.comProgrammable machines are increasingly joining the ranks of the workforce. Ironically, these machines have been around for 40 years. I call them Generation Bot. Since the 1970s, industry and consumers have seen robots successfully perform highly repetitive tasks where the value proposition was improving the rate of production, controlling or reducing labor costs, ensuring quality, and addressing ergonomic concerns.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Robotics


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