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.

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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...

Briefs: Medical

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: Software

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...

Articles: Motion Control

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

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...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

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

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
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...

NASA Spinoff: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Initially designed for use on the Moon, the Electro-Hydraulic Fracturing system — developed at Auburn University with NASA funding — relies upon short, high-pulse power created by...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
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...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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

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

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

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...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

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

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...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Microphones, from those in smartphones to hearing aids, are built specifically to hear the human voice — humans can’t hear at levels higher than 20 kHz, and microphones max out at...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A new way to treat wood makes it 12 times stronger than natural wood and ten times tougher. The wood substance could be comparable to steel or titanium alloys; it is also comparable to...

Articles: Electronics & Computers

The market for higher-voltage automotive systems is expanding. The number of electric vehicles that use battery-powered drive systems having voltage equal to or higher than 48V is...

Q&A: Transportation

Researchers at Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the University of New Mexico have created a catalyst capable of reducing...

Briefs: Energy

Batteries and combustion engines each have distinctive benefits and limitations. Batteries have simple construction and operate silently; however, their energy density (i.e., the energy per unit volume) is poor, and...

Briefs: Propulsion
Thruster-Based Attitude and Translation Control with Minimum Pulse-Count Disturbance Rejection

Thruster-based control typically requires a substantial engineering effort in order to mitigate an important issue: the control system tends to use many thruster pulses to accomplish what a single thruster pulse could do instead. This fundamental...

Briefs: Energy

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a variable-frequency, alternating current (AC) power system to enable turbo-electric and hybrid electric...

Briefs: Aerospace
Non-Catalytic Ignition System for High-Performance Advanced Monopropellant Thrusters

Anon-catalytic pyrotechnic ignition system was developed for advanced green monopropellant systems operating with hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN)-based monopropellant AF-M315E. This technology will provide increased performance and new operating regimes for...

Products: Test & Measurement
Product of the Month

Opto 22, Temecula, CA, introduced the groov EPIC® system that incorporates into one unit everything needed to connect and control field and operational devices and...

Blog: Transportation
A reader asks our expert: "How do road conditions impact vehicle-to-vehicle responses?"
INSIDER: Energy
By replacing the cam, a new valve technology may lead to more affordable — and more environmentally friendly — engines.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Scientists have an idea to deflect Earth-bound asteroids: a 9-meter-tall, 8.8-ton spacecraft dubbed the HAMMER.

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