Keyword: Automation

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Update on System for Robot-Assisted Microsurgery

Two reports present updated information on a robotic system that extends the dexterity of a microsurgeon. The system was described in two articles in NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 21, No. 10 (October 1997); namely, "Telerobot Control for Microsurgery" (NPO-19823), on page 46 and "Force-Feedback Device...

Briefs: Information Technology

A procedure for determining the location of an instrumentation platform on natural terrain is based on a concept of maximum-likelihood matching of two range maps: (1) a local range...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Multifinger electroactive-polymer grippers (MEPGs) are simple, compact, lightweight robotic end effectors with fingers that bend and function similarly to human fingers. The fingers are made...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A walking robot connected to external instrumentation via a tether has been proposed to enable visual inspections, retrieval of loose objects, and some repairs inside thin-wall round...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Credit-card-sized electronic transponders have been proposed for use in tracking cargo anywhere on Earth. A transponder would be carried on a cargo container, where it would act as a "smart tag." The...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

"Biomorphic explorers" are a class of proposed small robots that would be equipped with microsensors and would feature animallike adaptability and mobility. These robots would capture key features, a specific design or...

Briefs: Motion Control

Two types of gear drives have been devised to improve the performances of robotic mechanisms. One type features a dual-input/single-output differential-drive configuration intended to...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The Viewing Imager/Gimballed Instrumentation Laboratory and Analog Neural Three-Dimensional Processing Experiment (VIGILANTE) is a "smart" optoelectronic sensor system that...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Robots with multiple-link arms that could reach through narrow openings into hidden cavities are undergoing development. Called "multifunction dexterous boro-robots" (MDBRs), these robots...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Automatic valves have been proposed for shutting off flows of liquids when abnormally large accelerations occur. These valves could be used, for example, to prevent outflows of...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Lightweight, inflatable robotic vehicles (rovers) that superficially resemble beach balls and that could be driven by wind and/or electric power are undergoing development. These rovers were...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A methodology for designing robots provides for satisfying both safety and performance requirements. Heretofore, most robot-design efforts have been focussed on maximizing performance, with only...

Briefs: Motion Control

Mobile robots that would resemble earthworms have been proposed for use in exploring remote, hostile, or inaccessible terrain surface and subsurface environments. This class of robots would be a special case...

Briefs: Information Technology

The Automated Nonconformance System, based at Stennis Space Center, is a computer network dedicated to administration of inspections and repairs of rocket engines. This automated...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Solar/Infrared Aerobots for Exploring Several Planets

A report discusses a class of balloon-borne robotic instrumentation systems that have been proposed for use in exploring Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The balloons would be of the Montgolfier type; that is, buoyancy would be achieved through heating of atmospheric gases...

Briefs: Motion Control

A robust, optimal, adaptive technique for compensating rate and position limits in the joints of a six-degree-of-freedom manipulator has been developed. In this new algorithm,...

Briefs: Materials
Muscle Wires for Planetary-Exploration Robots

A report proposes the use of muscle wires as mechanical actuators for planetary-exploration robots. Muscle wires are commercially available in kit form in the hobby market, and have been described (though not explicitly called "muscle wires") in previous articles in NASA Tech Briefs. A muscle wire...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The figure schematically illustrates an automated electronic vision system that operates in conjunction with a scanning robot to inspect a large surface for damage. In the original...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

In-situ resource utilization (ISRU) equipment would be incorporated into remotely controlled exploratory robots, according to a proposal, to generate fuels and oxidizers to extend...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The LaserStrobe Optical Probe is an advanced laser-augmented video-imaging system that observes and measures particle behavior in the harsh environment of a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Development of Small, Mobile, Special-Purpose Robots

A report presents a scenario for the proposed development of insectlike robots that would be equipped with microsensors and/or micromanipulators, and would be designed, variously, to crawl, burrow, swim, fly, or hop, to perform specific tasks in fields as diverse as exploration,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flexible Actuators for Small, Mobile, Special-Purpose Robots

A report discusses flexible microactuators for a proposed generation of small, mobile, special-purpose robots. Aspects of this topic were discussed in two previous articles in NASA Tech Briefs: "Thin-Film, Light-Energized Bimorph Micromechanical Actuators" (NPO-19607), Vol. 20, No. 8...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wheel Drive of Mars Rover

A brief report summarizes the design of the lightweight, high-torque wheel drive of a small robotic vehicle used to explore the surface of Mars. Planetary gearing was selected for compactness and high torque capability. The input stages were fitted with ball bearings to survive the cold (down to -100 °C) Martian...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A prototype manipulator system that includes two different arms has been tentatively selected for use on a semiautonomous robotic vehicle called Rocky 7 (see figure). [A previous version of this...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

An operator interface is undergoing development along with other subsystems of a robot that would assist in caring for elderly and disabled patients. This development has been initiated...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A friction stir weld (FSW) system for welding and weld repair can be used on the manufacturing floor, as well as in the laboratory environment. This FSW system can be used in a wide...