Mechanical & Fluid Systems

MEMs

Access the latest news and technical briefs covering micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMs) technologies and applications.

Latest Briefs & News

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Cryogenic Hydraulically Actuated Isolation Valve

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a cryogenic isolation valve that utilizes the upstream line pressure of cryogenic fluids for actuation. Previously, the use of cryogenic fluids for actuation systems had been too difficult to control and resulted in unsafe operating...

Briefs : Aerospace
Nitinol-Actuated, Normally Open Valve Assembly (NOVA)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed the NOVA zero-leak, permanent isolation valve that helps prevent leaks in space propulsion systems with operating pressures less than or equal to 500 psia. The actuator is made from nitinol, a heat-activated, non-explosive, shape memory alloy and...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
The Sensors Behind the GEN II Wearable Device
The Sensors Behind the GEN II Wearable Device

The population is aging and more people need healthcare support, which is having a big impact on the overall cost of medical care. As a result, authorities and health insurance companies are...

The Sensors Behind the GEN II Wearable Device
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Energy-Efficient ‘SlothBot’ Moves Only When It Has To
Energy-Efficient ‘SlothBot’ Moves Only When It Has To

While robots like the WildCat from Boston Dynamics reach speeds of just under 20 miles an hour, engineers from Georgia Tech have gone with a decidedly slower approach.

Energy-Efficient ‘SlothBot’ Moves Only When It Has To
Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: June 2019 Motion Design
New Products: June 2019 Motion Design

Rotary Ball Spline

NB Corporation of America (Hanover Park, IL) released a rotary ball spline that can be used for both rotational and linear motion. Applications include SCARA robots, the...

New Products: June 2019 Motion Design
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Snake-Inspired Robot
Snake-Inspired Robot

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

Snake-Inspired Robot
Articles : Power
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion
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...

Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 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...

Smart Agriculture Sensors: Helping Small Farmers and Positively Impacting Global Issues, Too
Sensor Technology : Nanotechnology
A Sensor that Fits Like a Glove
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...

A Sensor that Fits Like a Glove
Sensor Technology : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: June 2019 Sensor Technology
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...

New Products: June 2019 Sensor Technology
Application Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
When You Need a Machine for Breathing, You’d Better Have Accurate Sensors
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...

When You Need a Machine for Breathing, You’d Better Have Accurate Sensors
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cryogenic Cam Butterfly Valve
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....

Cryogenic Cam Butterfly Valve
Briefs : Energy
Generating Electrical Power from Waste Heat
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...

Generating Electrical Power from Waste Heat
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ingestible, Expanding Pill Monitors the Stomach for Up to a Month
Ingestible, Expanding Pill Monitors the Stomach for Up to a Month

An ingestible pill was developed that, upon reaching the stomach, quickly swells to the size of a soft, squishy ping-pong ball big enough to stay in the stomach for an...

Ingestible, Expanding Pill Monitors the Stomach for Up to a Month
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Infrared Light-Focusing Platform
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...

Infrared Light-Focusing Platform
Articles : Materials
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Founded on July 1, 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is one of NASA’s largest field centers. Marshall engineers designed, built, tested, and helped launch the Saturn V...

Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Transparent, Self-Healing Electronic Skin

Scientists have taken inspiration from underwater invertebrates like jellyfish to create an electronic skin with similar functionality. Like a jellyfish, the electronic skin is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and self-healing in aquatic environments.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes
Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes

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...

Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes
Articles : Motion Control
Selecting Electric Traction Solutions for AGVs and Mobile Robots
Selecting Electric Traction Solutions for AGVs and Mobile Robots

Smarter, better, faster, less expensive — those words are the mantra of today’s global economy. As organizations seek to streamline operations and do more with less, they...

Selecting Electric Traction Solutions for AGVs and Mobile Robots
Briefs : Motion Control
Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator
Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator

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

Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings
Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings

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...

Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
System Enables Direct Data Transmission Between Underwater and Airborne Devices

Today, underwater sensors cannot share data with those on land, as both use different wireless signals that only work in their respective mediums. Radio signals that travel through air die very rapidly in water. Acoustic signals, or sonar, sent by underwater devices...

Briefs : Imaging
Polarization Imaging Sensor for Enhanced Scene Analysis
Polarization Imaging Sensor for Enhanced Scene Analysis

Along with intensity and color, polarization is a property of light that can provide useful information for scene analysis; however, the human eye and most cameras cannot detect...

Polarization Imaging Sensor for Enhanced Scene Analysis
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Laser Ranging Can See 3D Objects Melting in Fires
Laser Ranging Can See 3D Objects Melting in Fires

Optical range measurements, already used in manufacturing and other fields, may help overcome practical challenges posed by structural fires, which are too hot to measure with conventional...

Laser Ranging Can See 3D Objects Melting in Fires