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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
3D Motion Tracking System for Autonomous Technology
The system could one day replace LiDAR and cameras in automated manufacturing, biomedical imaging, and autonomous driving.
Biobots based on muscle cells can swim at unprecedented velocities.
Exoskeleton legs are capable of thinking and making control decisions on their own using artificial intelligence technology.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Chemically Driven Wheels “Morph” Into Gears
A catalytic reaction causes a two-dimensional, chemically coated sheet to spontaneously morph into a three-dimensional gear.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Nanosized Foldable Robots
The machines fold themselves within 100 milliseconds and can flatten and refold thousands of times.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Air-Powered Robot Needs No Electronics
The walking quadruped is controlled and powered by pressurized air.
The design could contribute to various applications in the robotics field such as smart prosthetics and human-robot interaction.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High Bus Voltage Stepper Motor Systems
New high bus voltage stepper motor systems avoid the complexity and expense of servo motors.
This work could lead to much more robust devices that continue to operate in spite of damage.

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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
RFID-Based Rotary Position Sensor

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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hinge Design Helps Quadrotors Climb
The new hinge is the key to get loadbearing, large quadrotors to climb a few dozen feet in seconds.
Potential applications include parachutes, hot air balloons, weather balloons, blimps, sails, and parasails.
Briefs: Motion Control
Robotic Construction System
Emerging robotics technology may lead to better buildings in less time.
These robots could perform basic healthcare tasks to support the work of doctors and nurses.
A prototype version could be demonstrated on a large cargo lunar lander.
Shape and environment can cause materials to move without motors or hands.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Torque Light-Powered Actuator
These actuators can compete with electrical and pneumatic systems.
The tiny device accurately measures acceleration in smaller navigation systems and other devices.
Briefs: Motion Control
Soft Robots Turn Rigid on Demand
A new type of control system may broaden robots’ range of tasks and allow safer interactions with people.
Equipment designers can simplify design efforts and adjust controller platforms as needed when they standardize on electronic input/output products.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Charging Port for Autonomous Drone Swarms
Hundreds of drones can recharge autonomously on unmanned ground vehicles.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Keeping Drones Flying When a Motor Fails
Onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably, even without GPS.
A stretchable system can harvest energy from human breathing and motion.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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.

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