Robotics, Automation & Control

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

The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
This technology could help control driverless cars and automated warehouses.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Square Structural Joint with Robotic Assembly Tool
Square trusses replace round for enhanced strength and robotics compatibility.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
PLCs Directly Access Internet Information
The newest PLCs can directly access Internet resources, much like a mobile device, to obtain information for improving operations.
Applications include homeland security, vehicle anti-collision systems, telecommunications systems, and industrial instrumentation.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mechanical Controller for Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery has advanced dramatically over the past decade in almost every surgical sub-specialty. Robot-assisted surgery is usually performed using surgical robot systems that...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Soft, Flexible Materials with Enhanced Properties
These materials can be used in soft robotics, self-healing electronics, and medical devices.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Insect-Inspired Arms Improve Drones
The new arm design enables unmanned aerial vehicles to fly in windy conditions.
The device retrains patients with spinal cord injury to sit more stably and gain an expanded active sitting workspace.
This technology could impact new directions in robotics design.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Multimaterial Fiber “Ink” for 3D-Printed Devices
Filaments with embedded circuitry can be used to print complex shapes for biomedical and robotic devices.
Such grippers would be suited for human-robot partnership in assembly lines in the automotive, electronic packaging, and other industries.
This robot “blood” stores energy, transmits force, operates appendages, and provides structure, all in an integrated design.
The flat structure morphs into another shape when temperature changes, enabling self-deploying tents or adaptive robotic fins.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Shape-Shifting Robot Uses New Locomotion Strategy
The robot is built entirely from smaller robots and can form a robophysical system that can move by itself.
These soft robots can be rolled up and carried in a pocket.
Systems of tiny robots could build high-performance structures, from airplanes to space settlements.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Intelligent Microrobots
Such machines, only a few tens of micrometers across, could be used in the human body to perform small operations.
A system senses tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if there’s a moving object coming around the corner.
This microbot can walk on land, swim, and walk underwater.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Modular Toolbox Builds Safe Robots
Various components are used to assemble robots that are more aware of their surroundings.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Particle Robot Works as a Cluster of Simple Units
Loosely connected disc-shaped “particles” can push and pull one another, moving together to transport objects.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Microrobot Powered by Soft Muscles
This microrobot with soft actuators can crash, fall, and collide without being damaged.
An upgraded mini robot can leap over obstacles with ease.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller
The technology can be used in commercial motors, robotic systems, and hybrid and electric vehicles.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Algorithm Gives Robots a Faster Grasp
The algorithm speeds up the planning process that robots use to adjust their grip on objects.
A technology uses a combination of WiFi signals and accelerometer technology to track devices in near-real-time.
A synthetic skin enables robots to sense their own bodies and surroundings

Videos