Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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.
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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.
NASA's phase-locked rotors reduce noise.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Glove-Like Device Mimics Sense of Touch
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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.
This partially superconducting machine can be used as a motor or generator.
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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
E-Tongue Nanosensor Array
The technology detects the presence of one or more specific chemical components in a liquid.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Using Silicon for Battery Anodes
A nanostructure design lends extraordinary strength to a promising storage ingredient.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Nanocardboard Aircraft with No Moving Parts
Tiny aircraft that weigh as much as a fruit fly could serve as Martian atmospheric probes.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Bio-Inspired Wing Design for Small Drones
Taking a cue from birds and insects, the wing design helps drones fly more efficiently and makes them more robust to atmospheric turbulence.
Traditional spark plugs are replaced by an optical pumping source.
Empa researchers were able to demonstrate real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams.
One unexpected application for spider silk is its use in the creation of biocompatible lenses.
Briefs: Motion Control
Gripper Handles Freely Moving Cables
The gripper’s soft, sensitive fingers could enable robots to help with tying knots, wire shaping, or surgical suturing.
This technology can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips.
Applications include absorbers, tuned mass dampers, harmonic absorbers, and seismic dampers.

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