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: Test & Measurement
Acoustic Monitoring of Laser Welds
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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gripper Handles Freely Moving Cables
The gripper’s soft, sensitive fingers could enable robots to help with tying knots, wire shaping, or surgical suturing.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Flexible Feet Help Robots Walk Faster
This technology can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fluid-Filled Frequency-Tunable Mass Damper
Applications include absorbers, tuned mass dampers, harmonic absorbers, and seismic dampers.
The battery design increases the number of possible cycles from tens to more than 100 with little degradation.
Using ceramic material and graphene, the toughness of solid-state lithium-ion batteries can be doubled.
New safety relay modules follow updated standards to give designers more options for a tailored electrical safety implementation.
This approach allows scientists to study the communication within plants, providing valuable insights to improve crop yields.
Briefs: Materials
Magnetic Force Manages Pain
This gel-like material leads a path toward “mechanoceuticals.”
Briefs: Materials
Wraparound Sensors
These sensors monitor electrical loads from household appliances to support grid operations.
This approach could be used to cost-effectively make soft robots and wearable technologies.
These are important traits in electronics and electrical systems including electric cars, industrial drills, and electric grids.
The new technology demonstrates a 20 percent savings in fuel in typical passenger car low-load operating conditions.
Sensors in the hand can actually detect forces being transmitted through the thickness of the robot.
The new filament allows low-cost printers to produce parts with mechanical properties competitive with injection molded plastics.
Briefs: Aerospace
SMART Solar Sail
The miniaturized, autonomous, reconfigurable solar sail is capable of very fine maneuvering by small surface deformation.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Biohybrid Can Turn Carbon Dioxide into New Products
Applications exist both on Mars and on Earth.
Briefs: Motion Control
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cut-to-Length Electrical Cable Cuts Costs
Electrical cables are used in services such as power delivery, automation signaling, and communications.
This system can amplify a faint signal from a neighboring system even when that signal’s amplitude is as small as ten trillionths of a meter.
An inexpensive gyroscope could help drones and autonomous cars stay on track without a GPS signal.
The rainproof, stainproof technology turns clothing into self-powered remotes while turning away bacteria.
Briefs: Propulsion
Supersonic Spike Diffuser
This diffuser provides double the pumping efficiency in one-quarter the space.
This passive device relies on a layer of material that blocks incoming sunlight but lets heat radiate away.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Microfluidics Device Detects Cancer Cells in Blood
This device could enable rapid, inexpensive liquid biopsies to help detect cancer and develop targeted treatment plans.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Autonomic and Apoptotic Highly Distributed System
Applications include distributed computer systems, computer security, and commercial satellite systems.
The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
This diagnostic device allows doctors to detect cancer quickly from a droplet of blood or plasma.

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