Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Stay updated on advancements in mechanical components and mechatronics systems. New technologies in MEMs, fluid systems, and propulsion are driving breakthroughs in transportation, electrification, autonomous driving, and manufacturing.

Latest Briefs & News

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Will We Develop Trust in Autonomous Drones and Vehicles?

For developers of A.I.-guided drones and autonomous technologies, failure is not an option.

Blog : Materials
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
A team in Germany has a quicker, cleaner approach to welding metal to plastic: The HPCI® Joining Gun.
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
Briefs : Data Acquisition
Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It
Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It

For decades, robots in controlled environments like assembly lines have been able to pick up the same object over and over again. More recently, breakthroughs in computer vision have enabled...

Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Flying Robot Mimics Rapid Insect Flight
Flying Robot Mimics Rapid Insect Flight

Flying animals both power and control flight by flapping their wings. This enables small natural flyers such as insects to hover close to a flower but also to rapidly escape danger. Animal flight has...

Flying Robot Mimics Rapid Insect Flight
Q&A : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Q&A: Innovative Linear Electrostatic MEMS Actuator
Q&A: Innovative Linear Electrostatic MEMS Actuator
Sherry Towfighian and her team made a big improvement on how microphones are manufactured.
Q&A: Innovative Linear Electrostatic MEMS Actuator
Articles : Energy
2019 'Create the Future' Sustainable Technologies Category Winner: Wave-Powered Water Desalination
2019 'Create the Future' Sustainable Technologies Category Winner: Wave-Powered Water Desalination
Learn about the world's first wave-driven desalination system.
2019 'Create the Future' Sustainable Technologies Category Winner: Wave-Powered Water Desalination
Articles : Transportation
2019 'Create the Future' Automotive/Transportation Category Winner: A Standalone AC Battery
2019 'Create the Future' Automotive/Transportation Category Winner: A Standalone AC Battery
A prototype of the AC 'Biode' battery has been developed at 20W.
2019 'Create the Future' Automotive/Transportation Category Winner: A Standalone AC Battery
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive Smart Container
Passive Smart Container

Although Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being used widely for pallet and box-level tracking in the commercial sector, significant technology gaps remain for tracking dense quantities at the item...

Passive Smart Container
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Tiny Lensless Endoscope Captures 3D Images of Objects Smaller Than a Cell
Tiny Lensless Endoscope Captures 3D Images of Objects Smaller Than a Cell

Researchers have developed a new self-calibrating endoscope that produces 3D images of objects smaller than a single cell without a lens or any optical, electrical, or...

Tiny Lensless Endoscope Captures 3D Images of Objects Smaller Than a Cell
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use
Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use

To investigate oceans, researchers aim to build a submerged network of interconnected sensors that sends data to the surface. Supplying constant power to scores of sensors designed to stay for long...

Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
A team of inventors found a fast way to join plastic to metal.
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Expanding Traditional Machine Vision With High-Speed Digital Imaging
Expanding Traditional Machine Vision With High-Speed Digital Imaging
Machine vision systems shed light on processes too small or too fast to see with the human eye.
Expanding Traditional Machine Vision With High-Speed Digital Imaging
Facility Focus : Information Technology
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
In recent decades, NSF-funded researchers have discovered quite a bit, including many of the fundamental particles of matter.
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
Articles : Transportation
2019 Create the Future Design Contest Special Awards Section
See the eight winners of the 2019 "Create the Future" Design Contest
Articles : Test & Measurement
Bringing Precision Anamorphic Micro-Optics to Consumer-Level Laser Applications
Bringing Precision Anamorphic Micro-Optics to Consumer-Level Laser Applications
Laser illumination is scaling in a new direction.
Bringing Precision Anamorphic Micro-Optics to Consumer-Level Laser Applications
Briefs : Automotive
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras

UCLA engineers have made major improvements on their design of an optical neural network — a device inspired by how the human brain works — that can identify objects or process...

Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
Briefs : AR/AI
Mathematical Technique Quickly Tunes Next-Generation Lenses
Mathematical Technique Quickly Tunes Next-Generation Lenses

Most of us know optical lenses as curved, transparent pieces of plastic or glass, designed to focus light for microscopes, spectacles, cameras, and more. For the most part, a...

Mathematical Technique Quickly Tunes Next-Generation Lenses
Products : Transportation
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
OnLogic has introduced the Karbon 700 high-performance rugged computer.
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
NASA Spinoff : Test & Measurement
Phase-Change Coating Absorbs Heat from Rockets, Pipes, and Beer
Phase-Change Coating Absorbs Heat from Rockets, Pipes, and Beer
The material used on a shuttle's rocket boosters has several terrestrial applications.
Phase-Change Coating Absorbs Heat from Rockets, Pipes, and Beer
On-Demand Webinars : Propulsion
The Future of Commercial Vehicle Propulsion: Diesel vs. Electrification

Diesel engine makers and suppliers are ramping up their electrification efforts aimed at on-highway commercial vehicles and off-highway equipment. However, they have no plans to abandon the tried-and-true internal-combustion engine any time soon. Industry experts expect...

Blog : Transportation
A Standalone AC Battery Begins with a Cathode, an Anode, and a 'Biode'
A Standalone AC Battery Begins with a Cathode, an Anode, and a 'Biode'
The 'Biode' saves power by eliminating the need for AC/DC conversion.
A Standalone AC Battery Begins with a Cathode, an Anode, and a 'Biode'
Blog : Aerospace
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
Editor Bruce A. Bennett offers a look at the Association of the United States Army's 2019 Annual Meeting.
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor