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.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Quantitative Real-Time Flow Visualization Technique

There is a need for experimental techniques that have low cost and rapid turnaround. It is also necessary to obtain quantitative information from such a method. Previous methods are either lacking in quantitative information such as dye or smoke injection, or require considerable set-up and...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thin-Film Evaporative Cooling for Side-Pumped Lasers

A highly efficient way to cool solid-state crystal lasers was developed. This thin-film evaporative cooling technique offers higher optical efficiencies and monochromatic quality than traditional conductive cooling techniques. Developed for use in side-pumped 2.0- micron laser systems used in...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
MEMS Micro-Translation Stage with Large Linear Travel Capability

A MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) micro-translation stage (MTS) with large linear travel capability was developed that uses capacitive electrostatic forces created by stators arranged linearly on both sides of a channel, and matching rotors on a moveable shuttle for precise...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Wearable Device Turns Thumbnail into Trackpad

MIT Media Laboratory researchers are developing a wearable device that turns the user’s thumbnail into a miniature wireless track pad.

INSIDER: Software
Engineers Develop 2D Liquid

Soft nanoparticles from a University of Pennsylvania research team stick to the plane where oil and water meet, but do not stick to one another. The interface presents a potentially useful set of properties. The nanoparticles freely move past one another while being confined to the interface, effectively acting as a...

INSIDER: Aerospace
Special Delivery: NASA Marshall Receives 3D-Printed Tools from Space

Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, unboxed some special cargo from the International Space Station on April 6: the first items manufactured in space with a 3D printer.

INSIDER: Test & Measurement

A new method of continuously monitoring the status of machinery is a mobile tablet-based system that supplies information on the operational state of industrial machinery and plant...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
ACS Anchor Guide Stud and Caddy

An alignment guide and a mounting interface for two of the repair tools on orbit during the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4 (see SM4) were developed. This design can be installed in a timely manner, and was specifically developed for a worksite with minimal access and minimal visual line-of-sight to the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Next-Generation, Lightweight Hard Upper Torso/Hatch Assembly

The current MK-III carbon-graphite/epoxy Hard Upper Torso (HUT)/hatch assembly represented an 8.3 psi (≈57 kPa) technology demonstrator model of a zero pre-breathe suit. In this configuration, the MK-III suit weighed about 120 lb (≈54 kg). Since future lunar/planetary suits will...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Elastic Deployable Composite Tubular Roll-Out Boom

The objective of this work was to develop an innovative deployable boom/structure technology that is ultra-lightweight (<30-grams/meter potential), and has extremely compact stowage volume (>100:1 compaction ratio), broad scalability (no size limits envisioned), high deployed frequency,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Reduced-Speed Duplex-Ring Seal

Ring seals are used in rotating union applications where a fluid flow or hydraulic pressure signal is transferred from a static reference frame to a rotating component, such as a shaft, for the purpose of providing lubrication and/or a hydraulic signal to a component(s) in a rotating frame of reference. Ring seals...

Briefs: Aerospace
Performing Launch Depressurization Test on Large Test Articles Using Two Vacuum Chambers in Tandem

Two vacuum chambers were used in tandem to perform a launch depressurization test. The test article was mounted in a 10-ft (≈3 m) Vertical Vacuum Chamber (Chamber 248-10). The 25-ft (≈7.6-m) Space Simulator (Chamber 150-25) was rough-pumped and...

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Pyramid Micro-Electrofluidic-Spray Propulsion Thruster with Integrated Attitude and Thrust Vector Control

A micro-electrofluidic-spray propulsion (MEP) system was built on a micro scale, in which arrays of hundreds of nano-thrusters are etched on silicon wafers like ICs, only a centimeter on a side. Many dozens of these thruster chips can be...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Sample return missions have the ability to vastly increase scientific understanding of the origin, history, current status, and resource potential of solar system objects including...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

POSITAL (Hamilton, NJ) introduced new models of IXARC magnetic encoders that combine incremental and absolute rotation measurement capabilities in a single, compact package. Absolute encoders provide a control system with a...

Products: Motion Control

GAM (Mount Prospect, IL) offers the SPH inline planetary gearbox with helical gears for dynamic and cyclic applications, as well highspeed and continuous duty applications. It is available in six frame sizes with nominal...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC (Wheeling, IL) announced Cam Clutch unidirectional/ mechanical clutches that lock the inner and outer races through the locking action of cams, transmitting torque in one direction of rotation...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

igus (East Providence, RI) offers xiros® ball bearings with ball races made from high-performance polymer iglide® A500. The bearings are maintenance- and lubrication-free, and are designed for temperatures up to 302 °F. They are...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

SMAC (Carlsbad, CA) introduced the CBL50 electric cylinder designed to achieve peak force of 50N at 2 Amp current, and acceleration up to 40G. It features carriage-free design and built-in linear bearings. It is available...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Optimal Engineering Systems (Van Nuys, CA) released low-profile XYθ (theta) stages that move in an XY-plane and rotate around the center of the XY-plane. Available in 12 models in two precision grades, the stages have linear travels...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
MEMS Gyroscope with Dual Interferometric Sense Elements

High-performance inertial sensors, such as ring laser gyroscopes or fiber optic gyroscopes, have sufficient performance to enable “dead reckoning” navigation for adequate periods of time. Smaller microelectromechanical system (MEMS) inertial sensors, such as MEMS gyroscopes and MEMS...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

C-Flex Bearing Co. (Frankfort, NY) offers a Super Plastic torsional damping coupling that stabilizes high-precision systems by dampening transient torque variations. The patented design offers high-torque loads with zero backlash...

Briefs: Energy

Conventional piezoelectric materials, such as PZTs, have reasonably high electromechanical coupling over 70%, and excellent performance at room temperature. However, their coupling factor...

Articles: Transportation

The SAE World Congress, presented by SAE International, assembles the best talent in the automotive industry. Experts, management teams, engineers, and executives gather to collaborate and address current...

Products: Propulsion

Elmo Motion Control (Nashua, NH) offers the NANO Gold Twitter servo drive that delivers up to 4000 Watts of qualitative power, current up to 50A at 100VDC, and up to 15A/200V with advanced servo capabilities and support for...

INSIDER: Materials

People have been making rubber products, from elastic bands to tires, for centuries, but a key step in this process has remained a mystery. Scientists from the Kyoto...

News: Imaging

A sweeping view of the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover has been working for five months, surrounds the rover in Curiosity's latest self-portrait. The selfie is assembled from...

News: Imaging

A new software system developed at the University of Michigan uses video game technology to help solve one of the most daunting hurdles facing self-driving and automated cars: the high...

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