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: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A smartphone app was developed that allows a user to easily program any robot to perform a mundane activity such as picking up parts from one area and delivering them to another. The app, called VRa, uses...

Briefs: Motion Control

A high-sensitivity and low-noise MEMS accelerometer was developed using multi-layer metal structures composed of multiple metal layers. The accelerometer achieves 1 μG level resolution that has...

Briefs: Motion Control

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over rigid robots: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects, and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber, or other stretchable polymers,...

Briefs: Software

An automated system designs and 3D-prints complex robotic parts that are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. The system fabricates actuators — devices that mechanically...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Antenna Near-Field Probe Station Scanner

Antenna characterization techniques are often expensive and time-consuming. NASA’s Glenn Research Center developed a highly versatile and automated system to perform characterization of single or multiple small circuit antennas, printed on-wafer or on other substrates, by measuring the antenna’s...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) features a modular open systems architecture that enables the robot to be self-righting after a fall. The self-righting...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Berkeley Lab technology could reduce time needed to declare buildings affected by earthquakes safe and sound.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Conventional pistons are made of a rigid chamber and a piston inside that can slide along the chamber’s inner wall while at the same time maintaining a tight seal. As a result, the piston...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Wearing a sensor-packed glove while handling a variety of objects, researchers compiled a dataset that enables an AI system to recognize objects through touch alone. The information...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

There is great potential in using both drones and ground-based robots for situations like disaster response, but generally these platforms either fly or creep along the ground. The flying...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

NASA's Langley Research Center offers a novel lifting and precision positioning device with hybrid functional characteristics of both crane-type lifting devices and robotic manipulators. The design of the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers have developed a new and improved snake-inspired soft robot that is faster and more precise than its predecessor.

Briefs: Test & Measurement

In discussing fatigue life, it is important to distinguish between disc springs and conical spring washers, as they differ by design and intended usage. Conical spring washers are...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

An ultra-low-power hybrid chip inspired by the brain could help give palm-sized robots the ability to collaborate and learn from their experiences. Combined with new generations of...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A new learning system improves a robot’s ability to mold materials into target shapes and make predictions about interacting with solid objects and liquids. The system, known as a...

Briefs: Motion Control

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center developed gear bearing technology that combines gear and bearing functions into a single unit that significantly improves gear drives for electrical, internal combustion, and turbine motors. The...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Back pain is inevitable with constrained posture over a number of hours. Permanent damage such as premature spine wear is not uncommon in people who do not adopt proper ergonomic...

Briefs: Power
Improved Directed Flux Motor

Electromagnetic motors typically convert electrical energy into rotational mechanical energy and are employed across a wide array of applications. While motors represent relatively mature technology, practitioners continue to seek ways to enhance motor operation including a decrease in cost, drop in size/weight,...

Briefs: Power
Double-Fed Induction Linear Alternator

This technology was developed to address the limitations of traditional, single-fed linear alternators that require permanent magnets, adhesive bonding organics, and heavy iron laminations for flux control. They experience eddy-current losses and require electromagnetic interference protection. Furthermore,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers have developed a fundamentally new type of rotary electrical contact that addresses the two limitations of conventional brush/slip ring technology: 1) short operating lifetime due to sliding-contact...

Briefs: Power

Mechanical systems such as engines and motors rely on two principal types of motions of stiff components: linear motion, which involves an object moving from one point to another in a straight...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Fast-response, stiffness-tunable (FRST) soft actuators — or movable machine elements — were developed that could be used in soft robots.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers, drawing inspiration from bacteria, have designed smart, bio-compatible microrobots that are highly flexible. Because these devices are able to swim through fluids and modify their shape...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

By mixing carbon fibers into polymer-based brakes, researchers designed brakes that are self-lubricating. These new and improved brakes can prevent wear-and-tear and have better frictional...

Briefs: Materials

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. A new cooling concept...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Recent technical advances have enabled flywheel energy storage systems (FESS) to become more compact and able to support higher-power applications. Due to their proven...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller

Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a method for controlling precise motion of a brushless DC (BLDC) motor using relatively inexpensive components. Precision motors are usually quite expensive and inefficient when operating at slow speeds. Current motors are only capable of operating at...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computer-Controlled Exercise Equipment

While a wide variety of computer-controlled exercise machines for training and rehabilitation exist — some of which can be automatically adjusted to vary resistance or incline — such systems provide for preprogrammed changes in load or resistance. What is needed is a system that overcomes the...

Briefs: Motion Control

Researchers have created a two-dimensional, shape-changing sheet that moves autonomously in a reactant-filled fluid. The integrated system utilizes a chemical reaction to activate the fluid...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

The Art of EV Propulsion System Design

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Solutions for Automotive Interior Colors

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Latest Enhancements for ADAS Sensor Testing and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Adhesives and the Future of Battery Designs

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Using High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography to Inspect...

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Digital Solutions to Design Vehicles for Noise and Vibration

Videos