Mechanical/​Mechatronics

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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.

Articles: Automotive

The task of creating a streetlamp optical system has changed over the last 20 years and due to this change, so has optical design software. Let’s compare the task of...

Briefs: Imaging

A driverless car is making its way through a winding neighborhood street, about to make a sharp turn onto a road where a child’s ball has just rolled. Although no person in the car can see that ball, the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

NASA's Glenn Research Center has developed a novel Double-acting Extremely Light Thermo-Acoustic (DELTA) converter that operates at high frequencies (>400 Hz) with greatly...

INSIDER: Transportation
Electric vehicles may one day be able to recharge while driving down the highway, drawing wireless power directly from plates installed in the road.
Blog: Propulsion
Simulation tools offer insight into the physical processes of heavy-duty engines. But what about natural wear and tear?
Blog: Materials
A reader asks: Will it be the OEMs or the Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers who will be purchasing 3D metal printing machines?
Question of the Week: Transportation
Do You Trust Self-Driving Cars on Country Roads?

Most autonomous vehicles have been tested out in city environments, where tech companies like Google can build intricate 3D maps that lay out the exact position of every lane, curb, off-ramp, and street sign.

But what about areas with less definable features, like country roads or a...

Products: Test & Measurement
Miniature IP68 Rated Data Recorder

The new SLICE IP68 data acquisition system from DTS (Seal Beach, CA) is designed to capture physical signals in challenging...

Special Reports: Energy
Vehicle Electrification - June 2018

Demand for electric vehicles is accelerating, with several major automakers announcing that their entire lineups will either be hybrid or all-electric by the 2020's. To help you keep pace with the rapid...

Special Reports: Transportation
Additive Manufacturing - June 2018

AM/3D Printing is fundamentally changing how products are prototyped and produced in aerospace, medical, automotive, and many other fields. To help you keep pace with the latest advances, we present this...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Step motors are widely used in automation due to their high resolution, precision positioning, minimal control electronics, and low cost. As an open loop system, traditional...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An eel-like robot was developed that can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The...

Articles: Transportation

When engineer Mark Doyle started to put together plans for an exoskeleton to support surgeons in 2012, he wanted to develop a lightweight product that they could wear comfortably for...

Articles: Test & Measurement

Some species of sharks must constantly swim to keep water flowing over their gills to stay alive. That same concept also tends to apply to technology — once a technology stops evolving and moving forward,...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Rotary Position Sensors

Novotechnik, U.S. (Southborough, MA) announced industrial and redundant channel industrial versions of the SP 2800 Series rotary position sensors. The industrial version is...

Briefs: Motion Control

The giant rotor blades are one central part of a wind turbine. Researchers developed a rotor blade that makes more efficient use of large fluctuations in wind strength using...

Products: Photonics/Optics
CMOS Linear Image Sensor

The S13774 from Hamamatsu Corporation (Hamamatsu City, Japan; Bridgewater, NJ), is a CMOS linear image sensor developed for industrial cameras that require...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a simple mechanism for the clean cutting of high-strength and high-toughness carbon nanotube/poly-mer fiber composites on demand without high blade wear or...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Laser Sensors

The optoNCDT 1750 laser sensors from Micro-Epsilon, Raleigh, NC, feature measuring ranges of 500 and 750 mm for fast, high-precision measurement tasks that require large measuring ranges. They are...

Briefs: Transportation

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a simple, lightweight, inline, two-speed drive that can be used either as an overall transmission, or as a supplemental add-on input...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Compact Termination for Structural Soft Goods

Space environments are particularly harsh for the high-strength fibers NASA relies on for soft structures. Kevlar, Nomex, Nylon, and other synthetic fibers are broken down by exposure to the combination of vacuum, atomic oxygen, and ultraviolet radiation. Glass fiber offers unique advantages for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has created the Cryo-Fluid Capacitor (CFC) that capitalizes on the energy storage capacity of liquefied gases, and the relative simplicity of high-pressure gas bottles while...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs

Actuators are used in a wide variety of electromechanical systems and in robotics, in applications such as steerable catheters, aircraft wings that adapt to changing conditions, and wind...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

NASA Ames Research Center has developed a novel, low-cost, self-contained guidance system for small payload operators. Small satellites are becoming ever more capable of performing valuable missions for both...

Briefs: Power
Magnetic Induction Heating of Space Foods During Dispensing Under Weightless Conditions

Hot foods are psychologically pleasing. Food heating systems are currently part of the astronaut feeding program. An electrical method of heating foods during dispensing in space uses magnetic induction heating. The process is up to 95% efficient in...

Briefs: Propulsion
Method for Establishing Cool Flames and Flameless Fuel Oxidation with Zero Emissions Using Non-Equilibrium Plasma Activation

Current engines and combustors run at high temperature, which leads to problems of engine knocking, soot and NOx emissions, and difficulty in combustion control. On the other hand, low-temperature combustion and fuel...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA Kennedy Space Center seeks partners interested in the commercial application of the Quick Disconnect for High Pressure Mate/De-Mate. Designed at KSC, this technology is intended for use in...

Briefs: Medical

Researchers have developed an innovative design for a wheelchair that can more easily navigate on soft and uneven outdoor terrain such as grass and gravel. The chair uses three wheels — two wheels in the front...

Briefs: Aerospace
Auto-Zero Differential Amplifier

Engineers in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Instrument Electronics Development Branch have developed a chopper-stabilized auto-zero amplifier capable of amplifying signals with extremely small amplitude originating from a thermopile-based infrared (IR) sensor. The instrument is self-adjusting in that it...

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