Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Access the latest news and technical advancements impacting Mechanical and Fluid systems. Explore articles and technical briefs about fastening, joining, mechanical components, fluid handling, and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMs).

Podcasts: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Here's an Idea: Candy
Motion Design: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: June 2019 Motion Design
Briefs: Motion Control
Snake-Inspired Robot
Get the latest breakthroughs from NASA & other technology sources.

Latest Briefs & News

Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Would You Use a Device That Bonds Metal and Plastic in Seconds?

The connection of plastics and metals poses a challenge due to the different physical properties of the two materials. A joining gun from Fraunhofer Institute bonds metal and plastic in seconds.

Motion Design : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Calculating the Estimated Fatigue Life of a Disc Spring

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...

Articles : Motion Control
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion

Employing fluid power to achieve mechanical motion can be implemented via hydraulics using uncompressible liquids or via pneumatics using compressible gasses; typically, air. The latter provides several...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Low-Power Chips Enhance Performance of Small Robots

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...

Motion Design : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gear Bearings

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...

Application Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Plastic Bearings Redefine the Wheelchair

For wheelchair users, the feeling of uneven ground can seem all too familiar. Determined to make ride discomfort a thing of the past, Israel-based SoftWheel has completely reinvented the wheel for a...

Sensor Technology : Electronics & Computers
Sensors Expo Preview 2019

The 2019 Sensors Expo and Conference will be held at the McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA from June 25 – 27. Both the expo and conference are excellent opportunities to get a good sense of important sensor trends. Among the wide variety of themes at the conference, some strike me as being very significant for...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Smart Agriculture Sensors: Helping Small Farmers and Positively Impacting Global Issues, Too

Smart agriculture, also known as precision agriculture, allows farmers to maximize yields using minimal resources such as water, fertilizer, and...

Sensor Technology : Energy
A Sensor that Fits Like a Glove

We recently had a discussion with Sri Peruvemba, VP of Strategy at BeBop Sensors (Berkeley, CA), about the technology and applications for their two-dimensional fabric sensor material. I started by asking Sri...

Products : Photonics/Optics
New Products: June 2019 Sensor Technology

Extreme Environment Displacement Sensors and Systems

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products, Inc (Colorado Springs, CO) announces the availability of its Extreme Environment...

Sensor Technology : Sensors/Data Acquisition
When You Need a Machine for Breathing, You’d Better Have Accurate Sensors

Medical ventilation technology has come far since the original iron lung was first used more than 90 years ago. Using negative pressure to ventilate, the patient was...

Briefs : FDA/Regulatory
New Electromyography Biofeedback Device

Anew electromyography biofeedback device that is wearable and connects to novel smartphone games may offer people with incomplete paraplegia a more affordable, self-controllable therapy to enhance...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryogenic Cam Butterfly Valve

Typical butterfly valves cannot seal at both ambient and cryogenic temperatures. At cryogenic temperatures, valves grow and shrink, changing critical dimensions such as distance between the disc and seat....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wood-Based Technology Creates Electricity from Heat

Researchers have transformed a piece of wood into a flexible membrane that generates energy from the same type of electric current (ions) on which the human body runs. This energy is generated using charged channel walls and other unique properties of the wood’s natural nanostructures. With...

Products : Software
New on the Market: June 2019

Code Generator

dSPACE, Wixom, MI, offers Version 4.4 of TargetLink code generator software that features controller modeling with MATLAB® code from MathWorks. It describes algorithms and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Generating Electrical Power from Waste Heat

Directly converting electrical power to heat is easy; however, converting heat into electrical power is not as easy. To address this issue, a tiny silicon-based device was developed that can...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Joining Gun Bonds Metal and Plastic in Seconds

The connection of plastics and metals poses a challenge due to the different physical properties of the two materials. All conventional joining options, such as bonds using adhesives or rivets,...

Briefs : Wearables
Smart, Soft, Back Orthosis Uses Real-Time Motion Detection

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 posture. The same applies to those who frequently lift heavy objects.

Briefs : Propulsion
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rotary Electrical Contact

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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of Structures Using Transient and Lock-in Thermography

Researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center improved their Flash Thermography capabilities by incorporating transient and lock-in thermography. By...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Infrared Light-Focusing Platform

Researchers have integrated two technologies widely used in applications such as optical communications, bio-imaging, and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems to create a new infrared light-focusing...

Q&A : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Q&A: 3D-Printed Hydrogel Blocks Can Aid Robotics and Diagnostics

Ian Y. Wong, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Engineering, Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology at Brown University in Providence, RI. He and colleagues have developed a new type of hydrogel blocks that can be assembled like LEGO®s.

Briefs : Energy
Self-Powered, Washable, Wearable Displays

Clothing usually is formed with textiles and has to be both wearable and washable for daily use; however, smart clothing has had a problem with its power sources and moisture permeability, which causes the devices to malfunction. To solve this problem, a textile-based, wearable display module technology...