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

Applications include aiding patients with impaired hand muscle strength and in manufacturing for operating tools for extended periods of time.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Kodiak 3D LiDAR
This system provides low-cost, reliable 3D LiDAR images in nearly any lighting condition.
A technique enables manufacturing of minuscule robots by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.
Adding polymers and fireproofing to a battery’s current collectors makes it lighter, safer, and about 20% more efficient.
This technology charges lithium batteries faster and reduces the risk of device explosions.
Battery reuse systems could be profitable for both electric vehicle companies and grid-scale solar operations.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Biocontainment Unit for Virus-Sized Particles
The unit could help healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Liquid Sorbent Carbon Dioxide Removal System
Applications include aerospace, automotive, commercial spaceflight, scuba diving equipment, and for first responders.
This system provides low-cost monitoring for machine health with audio-based artificial intelligence.
The system uses off-the-shelf materials combined with ultraviolet lights to decontaminate N95 masks.
The material, commonly found in house paint, can be used in a device to more efficiently process information.
The battery could be used for drones, cars, or underwater applications at low temperatures.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Human-Like Hands with Flexible, Hybrid Pneumatic Actuators
These hands, with a large grasping force, enable safer human-robot interactions.
Briefs: Motion Control
Compact, Long-Reach Robotic Arm
Applications include retractable covers and awnings, camera booms, and spacecraft and astronaut positioning.
Briefs: Motion Control
16-Atom Molecular Motor
The tiny motor can be powered by both thermal and electrical energy.
This can be used in energy-recovery systems in industrial, space, automotive, and military applications.
Briefs: Motion Control
Multirotor Aircraft Noise Reduction
NASA's phase-locked rotors reduce noise.
The soft, wearable device simulates the sense of touch and has wide potential in medical and industrial applications.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
Nanoscale Thermal Switches
These switches are key to thermal management of nanoscale devices, refrigeration, data storage, thermal computing, and heat management of buildings.

Researchers developed a wearable technology that can hide its wearer from heat-detecting sensors such as night vision goggles, even when the ambient temperature changes. The technology...

Applications include mechanical aerospace manufacturing and thermal structure manufacturing.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Programmable Balloons for Shape-Morphing Devices
Kirigami balloons could be used in shape-changing actuators for soft robots, minimally invasive surgical devices, and macro structures for space exploration.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Miniature Magnetic Pump
The magnetic, multi-material pump was 3D-printed all in one piece.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Efficiency Megawatt Motor
This partially superconducting machine can be used as a motor or generator.
The camera collects the spatial and spectral information required for self-driving cars, machine vision, corrosion detection, and other applications.
This detector could help robots, drones, and self-driving cars avoid collisions.
The system is effective in urban environments where there are tall buildings on all sides.
The sensors can be built into the shells of aircraft, cars, or other machines.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lab-On-Chip Flow and Temperature Sensor
The sensor provides accurate and real-time measurement of flow rates and temperature in next-generation microfluidic instruments.

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