Motion Control

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

Briefs: Materials
The soft robot harvests energy from a laser beam and can crawl on horizontal surfaces and climb vertical walls and an upside-down glass ceiling.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
An alternative, environmentally friendly production method creates permanent magnets.
Briefs: Motion Control
Oscillatory and rotational motions of different parts are combined to pave the way to developing super-miniaturized mechanical devices.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A connection between electricity and mechanical motion in soft, rubber-like materials could improve robot range.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
This artificial muscle technology enables more human-like motion.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
This below-the-hook device enables gentle crane placement to decrease the risk of property damage.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
SMA tube elements drive rotary and ring gear motion in compact, powerful actuators.
Briefs: Aerospace
The lightweight brake rotor design with high heat dissipation uses novel surface cooling technology.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The algorithm speeds up the planning process robots use to adjust their grip on objects for picking and sorting or tool use.
Briefs: Motion Control
Servo motion control delivers powerful, fast, and precise movement onboard robots and for associated equipment.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The open-architecture flight software package provides solutions for onboard orbit determination.
Briefs: Transportation
The system could one day replace LiDAR and cameras in automated manufacturing, biomedical imaging, and autonomous driving.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Biobots based on muscle cells can swim at unprecedented velocities.
Briefs: Imaging
Exoskeleton legs are capable of thinking and making control decisions on their own using artificial intelligence technology.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A catalytic reaction causes a two-dimensional, chemically coated sheet to spontaneously morph into a three-dimensional gear.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The machines fold themselves within 100 milliseconds and can flatten and refold thousands of times.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The walking quadruped is controlled and powered by pressurized air.
Briefs: Motion Control
The design could contribute to various applications in the robotics field such as smart prosthetics and human-robot interaction.
Briefs: Motion Control
New high bus voltage stepper motor systems avoid the complexity and expense of servo motors.
Briefs: Motion Control
This work could lead to much more robust devices that continue to operate in spite of damage.
Briefs: Aerospace

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center developed designs for two micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) motion and position sensors: a single-axis accelerometer and a gyroscope....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Innovators have developed an RFID-based system for sensing the angular position of rotating systems. The RFID-Based Rotary Position Sensor can be used as a position/orientation sensor or implemented in a...

Briefs: Motion Control
The new hinge is the key to get loadbearing, large quadrotors to climb a few dozen feet in seconds.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Potential applications include parachutes, hot air balloons, weather balloons, blimps, sails, and parasails.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Emerging robotics technology may lead to better buildings in less time.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
These robots could perform basic healthcare tasks to support the work of doctors and nurses.
Briefs: Motion Control
A prototype version could be demonstrated on a large cargo lunar lander.
Briefs: Motion Control
Shape and environment can cause materials to move without motors or hands.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
These actuators can compete with electrical and pneumatic systems.

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