Motion Control

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on motion control, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

A stretchable system can harvest energy from human breathing and motion.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Miniscule Robots of Metal and Plastic
A technique enables manufacturing of minuscule robots by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Electronic Skin Sensor Decodes Human Motion
This system can track the motion of the entire body with a small sensory network.
Briefs: Motion Control
Locking Side Pull Hoist Ring
The integrated tool eliminates the need for manual operators or additional custom fixtures.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
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.
This detector could help robots, drones, and self-driving cars avoid collisions.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Efficiency Megawatt Motor
This partially superconducting machine can be used as a motor or generator.
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: Robotics, Automation & Control
Compact, Long-Reach Robotic Arm
Applications include retractable covers and awnings, camera booms, and spacecraft and astronaut positioning.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
3D-Printed Miniature Magnetic Pump
The magnetic, multi-material pump was 3D-printed all in one piece.
Briefs: Motion Control
Multirotor Aircraft Noise Reduction
NASA's phase-locked rotors reduce noise.
Briefs: Motion Control
16-Atom Molecular Motor
The tiny motor can be powered by both thermal and electrical energy.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Octopus-Inspired Soft Robotic Arm
The Tentacle Bot can grip, move, and manipulate a wide range of objects.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Testing Swarming Drones
This system has a capacity of more than 1,500 times the volume of a typical testing facility.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft, Self-Actuated Pump for Mechatronic Devices
A soft hydrogel, driven by an oscillatory chemical reaction, produces an autonomous integrated pump for microfluidic applications.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Origami-Inspired Miniature Manipulator
This mini robot improves precision and control of teleoperated surgical procedures.
The ultra-light robotic insect can be folded or crushed, yet continues to move.
This technique can be used by people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Hummingbird Robot Uses AI to Maneuver in Tight Spaces
The robots could fly silently for covert operations and stay steady through turbulence.
This material could be used for artificial muscles that power bio-inspired robots.
Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range.
This approach could be used to cost-effectively make soft robots and wearable technologies.
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.
Briefs: Unmanned Systems
Wireless Aquatic Robot Cleans Water
Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic mini robot moves by magnetism and light.
Complex locomotion techniques enable the rover to climb hills covered with soft granular material.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
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.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
4D Printing of Morphing Structures
A new method manufactures complex shapeshifters for soft robots and biomedical implants.
Briefs: Motion Control
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.

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