Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Mechanical Components

Find multimedia resources and technical briefs covering complex mechanical components and technologies. Find the latest applications that design engineers are using to meet their design challenges.

Digital microscopes are being automated and computerized to make them easier to use, display more data with more detail and precision, and expand their areas of application. With traditional...

Question of the Week: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Can a Harpoon Help with Space Clean-Up?

Once released from the International Space Station, the "RemoveDEBRIS" spacecraft will facilitate four demonstrations. One of the ideas: A harpoon. During the scheduled RemoveDEBRIS demo, the spear will be aimed at a target plate made of representative satellite materials.

A “RemoveDEBRIS” satellite set to launch today will demonstrate new ideas for clearing out space junk near the International Space Station.
Products: Motion Control
New Products: April 2018 Motion Design
Mounted Ball Bearings

SKF (Lansdale, PA) launched mounted ball bearing units with industry-standard inch series cast iron housings in several designs, inch or metric insert bearings, and...

Because of their high precision and speed, Delta robots are deployed in many industrial processes, including pick-and-place assemblies, machining, and welding. Delta...

Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NASA's Autonomous Robot Keeps Manufacturing Floors Safe

A600-pound spider-like robot, called Spidernaut, was part of a prototype robot team built in 2005 to assemble a solar array on the Moon. The goal was not only to have robots do the...

As the need for nano precision has become increasingly important in many fields of research and manufacturing — such as microelectronics fabrication,...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications

Industrial robots play an essential role in manufacturing, from assembly, to pick-and-place, to packaging. One of the major risks of robotics — and what OEMs seek to mitigate — is...

Rotary encoders play important roles in motion control and industrial automation systems, providing control systems with information about the motion of motor...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Autonomous Robotic Self-Righting

Robots are increasingly being used for various applications including search and rescue operations and combat situations. Unfortunately, during the performance of maneuvers, a robot may fall or tip over, preventing it from moving normally. Controlling the robot to successfully right itself can be a difficult and...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
System and Method for Managing Autonomous Entities Through Apoptosis

This NASA innovation is a biologically inspired system management method designed to make sensor webs as well as other autonomous and autonomic systems more self-directing and self-managing. Based on the mechanisms of cell apoptosis, this method ensures safe and correct...

Briefs: Aerospace
Axial Magnetic Flux Airflow Integrated Compressor-Generator-Motor Turbojet Design

Innovators at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center have developed a compressor-generator-motor turbojet design concept that integrates the generator with the aerodynamic blade structures of the compression section of turbomachinery. This reduces weight and...

By binding photosensitive dyes to common plastic membranes and adding water, chemists have made a new type of solar power generator. The device is similar to familiar silicon...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Orangutank Robotic Pipe Traveler

The Orangutank™ is a remote-controlled, tethered robotic platform for traveling from one pipe to another using a network of vertical pipes for support. It combines specialized robotic grippers to provide...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Self-Learning Robot Hands Adapt to Grasp Objects

Anew grasp system with robotic hands works without previously knowing the characteristics of objects, learning by trial and error. The robot features two hands based on human hands in terms of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Technique for Chemically Combining Soft Materials

Every complex human tool has contained multiple materials wedged, tied, screwed, glued, or soldered together. But the next generation of tools, from autonomous squishy robots to flexible...

The robotic gripper was developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as part of a robotic satellite servicing mission. The gripping device can be used to autonomously or remotely grasp and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot

A small robot with the ability to hoist large loads could have countless applications, not only as a small, inexpensive, disposable, mobile sensor in the realms of search and rescue,...

Briefs: Communications
Pressure Sensor Mechanism

The Pressure Sensor Mechanism is designed to measure or monitor tactile pressure. It is based on passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensor tags and is applicable to a variety of systems. As RFID sensors transmit information wirelessly, they eliminate many challenges associated with traditional wired systems...

Scientists have an idea to deflect Earth-bound asteroids: a 9-meter-tall, 8.8-ton spacecraft dubbed the HAMMER.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
Today's humanoid robots are being asked to have more brains than brawn.
NASA robotics engineers react to Boston Dynamics' back-flipping robots.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
ADAS Design – Specialized Chipsets Do the Job

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are improving driver and pedestrian safety, providing vehicle capabilities such as pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, collision avoidance,...

Articles: Aerospace
Space Imaging

The term Space Imaging covers a wide variety of mission types and technologies.

Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hyperspectral Imaging – Teaching Robots to See

Hyperspectral imaging is an exciting and promising new technology. When combined with modern machine learning software and actuators such as robots, air-jets, or flippers, hyperspectral...

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is building a small CubeSat that uses an 85-m2 solar sail deployed from a central location to capture the push of photons...

In designing a hand-actuated microspine gripper, a ratcheting locking mechanism was required that had discrete points of locking engagement. The mechanism had to actuate...

The advent of cryocooler technology ushers in an era where a cryogenic environment is created and maintained locally. It is no longer necessary to transport cryogen from a factory where it is produced to the...

A new type of mechanical instrument was developed to perform complex, minimally invasive procedures, also known as laparoscopic surgery. The technology could lead to less trauma for...

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