Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

Parameterized Linear Longitudinal Airship Model

A parameterized linear mathematical model of the longitudinal dynamics of an airship is undergoing development. This model is intended to be used in designing control systems for future airships that would operate in the atmospheres of Earth and remote planets.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Sciences, Trajectory control, Mathematical models, Spacecraft guidance, Spacecraft guidance, Aerodynamics
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Teleoperation of Unmanned Vehicles Using Immersive Telepresence

In order to extend the usefulness of small, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to a wider range of missions, techniques are being developed to enable high-speed teleoperated control. Our goal is to quadruple the speed of teleoperated UGVs compared to currently deployed models. The key limitation is not mechanical, but in the capability of the operator to maintain situational awareness and control at higher speeds. To address these issues, we are developing technologies for immersive teleoperation and driver-assist behaviors.

Posted in: Articles, Automation, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles
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Camera/Robot System Increases Quality and Reduces Costs for Vehicle Component Supplier

The Piston Group (Redford, MI and Liberty, MO) builds cooling modules for seven different vehicles. These cooling modules are built on five different assembly lines, with each line building more than 50 different variants in sequence to the customer’s demand. Many different inspections need to be performed on each module, including verifying the build variation, checking electrical connections, and all dimensional requirements.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Cameras, Robotics, Assembling, Quality control, Quality control, Inspections
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Dr. Adrian Ponce, Deputy Manager, Planetary Science Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Adrian Ponce joined JPL/NASA as a postdoctoral scholar in 2000 after receiving a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech. In 2002 he invented the Anthrax Smoke Detector, a device capable of detecting the presence of anthrax in less than fifteen minutes. He recently developed a new technology called Germinable Endospore Biodosimetry, which not only rapidly detects the presence of bacterial spores on spacecraft but also determines whether they are alive or dead. Dr. Ponce currently serves as Deputy Manager of NASA JPL’s Planetary Science Section, and heads up the Ponce Research Group, an interdisciplinary team made up of researchers from JPL and California Institute of Technology.

Posted in: Who's Who
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Dr. Adrian Ponce, Deputy Manager, Planetary Science Section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Adrian Ponce joined JPL/NASA as a postdoctoral scholar in 2000 after receiving a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech. In 2002 he invented the Anthrax Smoke Detector, a device capable of detecting the presence of anthrax in less than fifteen minutes. He recently developed a new technology called Germinable Endospore Biodosimetry, which not only rapidly detects the presence of bacterial spores on spacecraft but also determines whether they are alive or dead. Dr. Ponce currently serves as Deputy Manager of NASA JPL’s Planetary Science Section, and heads up the Ponce Research Group, an interdisciplinary team made up of researchers from JPL and California Institute of Technology.

Posted in: Podcasts
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Advances in Magnetic Bearings

In this age of environmental consciousness, OEMs around the world are competing to build better, safer, and greener machines. In striving toward such lofty goals, many industries are rediscovering a fundamental principle — magnetics. Magnetic bearings improve reliability, reduce friction, minimize vibration, and offer advanced health monitoring and diagnostics — all without the disadvantages of lubricants.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Sustainable development, Magnetic materials, Materials properties, Bearings
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Data Management Speeds Up Simulation of Crash Test Dummy Models

The idea for the automotive crash test dummy first came to life in the 1950s when U.S. Air Force flight surgeon Col. John Stapp realized that more of his fighter pilots were dying in car crashes than from accidents in their hi-tech jet aircraft. The Stapp Car Crash Conferences started that decade and continue today as a venue to share information on the latest research and advancements for improving vehicle crashworthiness and occupant safety.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Simulation Software, Simulation and modeling, Data management, Anthropometric test devices
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Motor Design Software

Cobham Technical Services

(Aurora, IL) has introduced the 3D Advanced Machines Environment that combines finite-element analysis simulation with a design entry system to create 3D models of electric motors or generators. The electromagnetic design tool for rotating electrical machines is an application-specific toolbox of the Opera electromagnetic simulator. The software provides a front end to the electromagnetic simulator that uses “fill in the blanks” dialog boxes. Users select the form of motor they want to design from a list of common types. By entering a list of parameters to define mechanical geometry, material properties, and electrical data, the 3D models are automatically created.

Posted in: Products
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Compressor

The 2450 Series WOB-L® compressor from Thomas Division, a Gardner Denver Co. (Sheboygan, WI) features a footprint of 8.3 × 4 × 6.4" and sound levels of 50 dBA @ 20 PSIG. The compressor features a monolithic head that reduces leak paths, optional intake locations on the side and bottom, boltless construction to reduce vibration and noise, and center line-of-gravity mounting options. Maximum flow for the 115V/60 Hz compressor is 3.0 CFM, and maximum pressure is 30 PSIG.

Posted in: Products
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Speed Regulator

The Super-K Model Kinecheck speed regulator from Deschner Corp. (Santa Ana, CA) provides a 4" or 6" stroke unit in a short overall length. The leakproof models can handle loads of up to 1,200 pounds. The unit features a hardened tool steel highpressure cylinder with an adjustable flow control passage. The mirror-finished cylinder is mated to an all-metal piston with no sliding seals, which makes the plunger rod move smoothly at a constant rate through the entire stroke.

Posted in: Products
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