Tech Briefs

Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Access our comprehensive library of mechanical and mechatronics technical briefs, from engineering experts at NASA and government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Latest Tech Briefs

The paper-like material could be useful in soft robots, sensors, artificial muscles, and electric generators.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hinge Design Helps Quadrotors Climb
The new hinge is the key to get loadbearing, large quadrotors to climb a few dozen feet in seconds.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Ultra-Sensitive Flow Microsensors
The sensors could be used in medical applications such as neuroscience and metabolism processes.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Cord Tension Measurement Device
Potential applications include parachutes, hot air balloons, weather balloons, blimps, sails, and parasails.
The structures’ small size and porosity make them well-suited for building components such as replacement joints.
A flexible, free-standing THz sensor array images blind ends of irregularly shaped objects.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cobalt-Free Cathodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries
The cathodes could enhance energy density of next-generation Li-ion batteries.
This additively manufactured alloy is tailored for high-temperature applications.
Using microwaves reduces the cost of launching rockets.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Nanosatellite Thruster Emits Pure Ions
The thruster provides a low-cost, extremely efficient propulsion source for miniature satellites.
These engines will allow upper stage rockets for space missions to become lighter, travel farther, and burn more cleanly.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Hybrid Propellant Formulation Uses Graphene Foams
This method increases burn rate of solid propellants.
The proposed design could reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 95 percent.
Thrusters based on magnetic reconnection could complete long-distance missions in a shorter period of time.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight Crane Technology for the Moon
A prototype version could be demonstrated on a large cargo lunar lander.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Materials Capable of Self-Propulsion
Shape and environment can cause materials to move without motors or hands.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Torque Light-Powered Actuator
These actuators can compete with electrical and pneumatic systems.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Laser-Light-Based Accelerometer
The tiny device accurately measures acceleration in smaller navigation systems and other devices.
Briefs: Communications
Building Big Data from Little Data
Edge computing, focused applications, and open connectivity let designers start with little data on their digital transformation journey.
The sensor monitors the oil circulation ratio in real time for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems.
Sensors need to be flexible, stretchable, biodegradable, safe, and stable for use in the body.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Prototype Fuel Gauge for Orbit
The technology could continuously monitor fluid flow in pipes on the International Space Station and prevent satellites from colliding.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Advanced Supercritical Water Oxidation Reactor
This technology has potential across many industries including water reclamation and treatment, and waste destruction in liquid waste streams.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Copolymer Removes Toxins from Water

Researchers have demonstrated that they can attract, capture, and destroy perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of federally regulated substances nicknamed “the forever...

The material is designed for high-temperature applications in aircraft, building insulation, personal protective clothing, industrial, and automotive.
A stretchable system can harvest energy from human breathing and motion.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Composites for High-Temperature Uses
The polyimide composites have uses in aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, mechanical systems, and industrial machinery.
Briefs: Motion Control
Locking Side Pull Hoist Ring
The integrated tool eliminates the need for manual operators or additional custom fixtures.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Capabilities for Grasp-Assisting Gloves
Applications include aiding patients with impaired hand muscle strength and in manufacturing for operating tools for extended periods of time.

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