Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Topics:

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.

News: Imaging

Two new systems for driverless cars can identify a user’s location and orientation in places where GPS does not function, and identify the various components of a road...

INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

The James Webb Space Telescope team is installing telescope mirror segments using a high-precision robotic arm. To precisely install the segments, the robotic arm can move in six...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

A new soft robotic gripper made out of rubber and stretchable electrodes can bend and pick up delicate objects like eggs and paper. It uses electroadhesion – flexible electrode flaps that...

INSIDER: Test & Measurement

An artificial intelligence algorithm was developed that greatly increases accuracy in diagnosing the health of complex mechanical systems. Typical vibration analysis searches for...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping

UC Berkeley biologists have found robotic inspiration in the creepy ability of cockroaches to squeeze through even the tiniest crack.

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Slated for launch in 2018, NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will carry a 3D-printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), a material that has never been...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NEO Hunter Seeker Micro-Spacecraft and Mission Concept

The area of research known as “Planetary Defense” is largely concerned with identifying and tracking asteroids that could impact Earth. The vast majority of asteroids that pose such a risk are known as “Near Earth Asteroids/Objects” or NEAs and NEOs. Some of them are unknown,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Multipath, multistage, erosion-resistant flow control valves have been developed that can sustain the extremely high pressure of deep oil wells. Fitting in the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The current coring bit and percussive drilling style works very well for strong rocks; however, when coring into weak, crumbling rock, the core tends to break apart and simply...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric-Actuated Cryogenic Thermodynamic Vent Valve

Cryogenic fluid control valves require actuation that controls the geometric position of the orifice in a thermally stable manner. Traditional actuator devices may have various materials used in their construction that have varying CTEs (coefficients of thermal expansion) and therefore...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The amine swingbed was in development for incorporation into Orion’s environmental control and life support system to remove metabolic carbon dioxide and humidity from the crew atmosphere. The compact, low-power...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Decelerator System Simulation (DSS)

The Crew Exploration Vehicle Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) project conducts computer simulations to verify that requirements on flight performance, parachute loads, and terminal rate of descent are met. The objective of this work was to obtain a high-fidelity simulation of Orion crew capsule flight test...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

Biological systems are known to convert energy generated from the evaporation of water confined within nanoscale compartments into muscle-like mechanical work in response to changes in...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

For the past year, NASA’s Ames Research Center and Nissan have been collaborating on the development of autonomous driving technologies that could one day be used in future consumer vehicles,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The probe and its mounting fixture are critical parts of the health monitoring of steam pipes. A high-temperature, piezoelectric transducer generates and receives ultrasonic...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

During any winding or unwinding action, a tether may experience unexpected changes in tension. For example, the load being wound could become stuck and stop...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A novel, miniature, low-mass vehicle has been created that is driven by piezoelectric stacks and a resonance structure. Preliminary tests on similar mechanisms that are used to transmit...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Inspection of the International Space Station and other manmade objects in space is difficult because of the microgravity environment. Robots are a promising...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aluminum Gas Tungsten Arc Orbital Tube Welding

JPL has been hand-welding aluminum tubing for decades in support of flight programs and ground support equipment, including thermal plates and shrouds. This hand-welding process is time-consuming, cumbersome, difficult, and unreliable in terms of repeatability and success, which leads to leaks,...

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

The Unplugged Powered Suit (UPS), a new model of pneumatic muscle and an active type of assistive equipment incorporating the muscle, is wearable equipment that supports human movement without...

INSIDER: Materials

Engineers at The Ohio State University have developed a new welding technique that consumes 80 percent less energy than a common welding technique, yet creates bonds that are 50 percent...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Precise Direct Control of Pressure or Vacuum Using a Digitally Controlled Actuator

A closed/semi-open pressure or vacuum system uses an electric screw mechanical actuator that can be digitally controlled and monitored, and which receives feedback directly from an external or internal source. This innovation can adjust for media temperature...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Use of Eccentric Bushings to Precision-Locate Multiple Parts on a Large Mating Structure

Cups/cones are being used to provide a shear load transfer capability on a large separation interface that uses multiple discreet retention and release (R&R) devices (such as frangible nuts, separation nuts, separation bolts, etc.). To both provide good...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

There is a need for large mirrors that can be launched to various bodies in the solar system in a packed form and unfolded to provide the required dimensions. The solution...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Six-Degree-of-Freedom Control With Only Eight Thrusters

Typical spacecraft thruster configurations are often unable to provide full six-degree-of-freedom control and may have unwanted interaction between their attitude control and trajectory control functions, have undesirably high instantaneous electrical power demands, and use more thrusters...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Irreversible Entropy Production Rate in High-Pressure Turbulent Reactive Flows

To model high-pressure reactive flows, the most promising methodology is large eddy simulation (LES) in which one solves the large scales of the problem and models the small scales. There is currently no guidance as to the relative importance of small scales...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric Actuator for a 2-inch Isolation Cryogenic Valve

This project is focused on the development of a high-force, high-speed piezoelectric actuator for control of a 2-inch (≈5-cm) isolation valve application in a cryogenic vacuum environment. The piezo motor actuators on the two cryogenic isolation valves were successfully tested at...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Torque Plug Actuator Design for Sample Return Sample Tubes

During the transportation of any sample material, it is important to ensure that no damage or contamination of the sample occurs while in transit. This concept is extremely important within the sample caching rover sample return architecture. Adequately sealing the sample tubes is...

News: Automotive

Stanford engineers built an autonomous DeLorean capable of stable, precise drifting at large angles in order to study how cars perform in extreme situations, which could...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

The Art of EV Propulsion System Design

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Solutions for Automotive Interior Colors

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Latest Enhancements for ADAS Sensor Testing and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Adhesives and the Future of Battery Designs

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Using High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography to Inspect...

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Digital Solutions to Design Vehicles for Noise and Vibration

Videos