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Lunar Regolith Simulant Sample Collection Mechanism for Remote Operation in a Thermal Vacuum Chamber

The Sample Capture Mechanism (SCM) is a remotely actuated, spring-driven mechanism designed to remotely capture and seal a 15-mL sample in less than 1 second. It was used to capture a 10-g sample of simulated regolith dispensed from a drill in a thermal vacuum chamber with a minimum temperature of –100 ºC. The sample crucible temperature is controllable from ambient temperature to 70 ºC.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation

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Sonar Inspection Robot System

The system surveys interior volume, interrogates structure integrity, and displays real-time video and sonar.NASA’s Johnson Space Center innovators have designed a Robotic Inspection System that is capable of surveying deep sea structures such as oil platform storage cells/tanks and pipelines in order to determine the volume of material remaining inside, interrogate structure integrity, and display real-time video and sonar. This inspection device and method could significantly reduce the cost of inspecting, and in the future, provide sampling of the structure contents. The technology is an all-in-one inspection device that includes cameras, sonar, and motion-sensing instruments with hardware and software components. This NASA-developed technology is available for licensing.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation

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Robonaut 2: Industrial Opportunities

The robot handles factory tasks that are ergonomically difficult, fatiguing, or unsafe for humans. Robonaut 2 lifts a 20-lb. weight with one hand, demonstrating the robot’s strength and endurance. Researchers at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors (GM) and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2). R2’s nearly 50 patented and patent-pending technologies have the potential to be game-changers in many applications, such as industrial environments. For example, in a traditional robotic assembly line, there are multiple specialized robots that are tooled for a small set of unique tasks. R2 provides an alternative way to implement automated assembly using extraordinary task flexibility, dexterity, and rapid interchangeability with human processes and tools. This can lower automation infrastructure costs and increase manufacturing flexibility. R2 can serve as an assistant or work independently. R2’s dexterity is a key feature in industrial environments, as the robot can handle factory work that is ergonomically difficult, fatiguing, or even unsafe.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation

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Vessel Sealing Device for Robotic Devices

Invasive surgical procedures are essential for addressing various medical conditions. When possible, minimally invasive procedures are preferred, but these technologies are often limited in scope and complexity. These limitations are due in part to mobility restrictions from the use of rigid tools in small openings, and limited visual feedback. The currently available robotic systems are restricted by the use of access ports, and have limited sensory and mobility capabilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation

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Optimize Production for Agile Manufacturing

This e-book will show how 3D printing can make dramatic improvements in both time and cost efficiency when compared with traditional production methods associated with these applications. Real world examples are also provided to show that these aren’t just hypothetical scenarios. The companies highlighted in this e-book found a way to transform traditional manufacturing applications using FDM technology and bring their operation to a new level.

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

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Will artificial intelligence do more good than bad for humanity?

This week's Question: World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking recently warned that the creation of powerful artificial intelligence will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.” Hawking noted the risks of creating superintelligence with a will of its own, while also mentioning AI's ability to "undo some of the damage done to the natural world" and eradicate disease and poverty. What do you think? Will artificial intelligence do more good than bad for humanity?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Machinery & Automation, Software

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3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures Save Time and Reduce Cost

There is an often-overlooked additive manufacturing (AM) application with potentially huge financial returns: jig and fixture making. Replacing conventionally manufactured jigs and fixtures with additively manufactured ones will reduce the fabrication expense, while reducing labor and speeding delivery. But that financial advantage is tiny when compared to the profit gains that result from production-floor reductions in labor and time to market. Learn how four owners of Stratasys Fortus 3D printers justified new AM systems based solely on jigs and fixtures.

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

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