Mechanical/Mechatronics

Briefs : Materials
Fast, Low-Voltage Actuator for Soft and Wearable Robotics

The unique capabilities of soft robots are to bend, deform, stretch, twist, or squeeze in all the ways that conventional rigid robots cannot. Today, it is easy to envision a world in...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultra-Thin Capacitive Sensor Has the Least Possible Resistance to Motion

A thin and flexible sensor was developed for sensing sounds, since it can move with the airflow made by even the softest noises. With the least possible resistance to motion, the sensor addresses issues with accelerometers, microphones, and many other similar sensors. The...

Briefs : Materials
Variable-Camber Compliant Wing

In the early years of manned flight, wing warping was used for lateral control of an aircraft. This technique consisted of a system of pulleys and cables used to twist the trailing edges of the wings in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding

Resistance welding with direct current (DC) using inverter technology reduces costs by improving quality, reducing maintenance, and increasing productivity. Switching from...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Hydraulic-Based Spherical Robot

Current spherical robots rely upon rotating mechanical weights inside the sphere to change the center of gravity of the sphere, causing the robot to roll. The use of rotating mechanical weights is not optimal due to the reliance upon moving parts, which can present burdensome maintenance issues. It would be...

Briefs : Medical
Crystal-Free Formation of Non-Oxide Optical Fiber

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have devised a method for the creation of crystal-free non-oxide optical fiber preforms. Non-oxide fiber optics are extensively used in...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microcontroller Altimeter (uCA)

Traditional altitude switch designs for harsh environments are mechanical in nature and operate by means of an inflatable bladder or bellows that mechanically depresses a pushbutton switch. The altitude trip point is set by mechanically adjusting the distance of the switch to the bellows. The mechanical action of...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Electrode Design Boosts Supercapacitor Performance

Supercapacitors are rechargeable energy storage devices that deliver more power for their size than similar-sized batteries. They also recharge quickly, and they last for hundreds to thousands of recharging cycles. Today, they are used in hybrid cars’ regenerative braking systems and for other...

Briefs : Energy
Polymer Membrane Separators for Next-Generation Energy-Water Systems

Polymer membrane separators play a crucial function in many energy and water technologies including energy storage, hydrogen generation through water electrolysis, and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flexible Ultrasound Patch for Inspecting Damage in Odd-Shaped Structures

A limitation of today's ultrasound devices is that they are difficult to use on objects that don't have perfectly flat surfaces. Conventional ultrasound probes have...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Blocking/Deblocking Resin Systems

Similar to resin systems currently used in composites for aerospace structural applications such as toughened epoxies, this innovation is a modification to traditional resin chemistry to prevent polymerization and crosslinking of the resin when heated and pressed in an autoclave or other common resin curing...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Simple, Accurate Method for Contact Angle Measurement

The wetting behavior of a liquid on a solid surface is a phenomenon of significant practical importance. The angle of liquid-to-solid contact is important in areas such as adhesion,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Active Response Gravity Offload System

NASA has used two systems to train astronauts for weightlessness. The first is the Reduced Gravity Simulator that suspended the astronaut at an angle of 80.5 so that only 1/6th of his or her weight was supported by the ground, while the rest was supported by a pulley system. The other system, designed...

Briefs : Defense
3D-Printed Device Produces Nanofiber Meshes

Nanofibers are useful for any application that benefits from a high ratio of surface area to volume, such as solar cells that maximize exposure to sunlight, or fuel cell electrodes that catalyze...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Multi-Layer Wireless Sensor Construct for Use at Electrically Conductive Material Surfaces

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a SansEC Sensor technology for use with aerospace fuel delivery systems. The SansEC technology is a...

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