Mechanical/​Mechatronics

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
Miniature Stretchable Pump
Miniature Stretchable Pump

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over rigid robots: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects, and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber, or other stretchable polymers,...

Miniature Stretchable Pump
Briefs : Motion Control
Automated System Generates Robotic Parts
Automated System Generates Robotic Parts

An automated system designs and 3D-prints complex robotic parts that are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. The system fabricates actuators — devices that mechanically...

Automated System Generates Robotic Parts
Q&A : Data Acquisition
Q&A: Wearable Motion Sensors Could Save Unborn Babies
Professor Negar Tavassolian is using vibration sensors to monitor heartbeats.
Articles : Motion Control
Smart, Hybrid Actuators Combine Nanometer Precision, Large Forces, and Long Travel Ranges with High Dynamics
Smart, Hybrid Actuators Combine Nanometer Precision, Large Forces, and Long Travel Ranges with High Dynamics
The characteristics of hybrid drives present a practical solution when a position needs to be detected with high precision
Smart, Hybrid Actuators Combine Nanometer Precision, Large Forces, and Long Travel Ranges with High Dynamics
Briefs : Imaging
Schlieren System Captures Brilliant Shockwave Images
Schlieren System Captures Brilliant Shockwave Images

Supersonic flight over land is generally prohibited because sonic booms created by shockwaves disturb people on the ground and can damage property. Armstrong innovators are working to...

Schlieren System Captures Brilliant Shockwave Images
Briefs : Motion Control
High-Speed 3D Printer for High-Performance Plastics
High-Speed 3D Printer for High-Performance Plastics

3D printers that build small parts layer by layer from melted plastic can take up to an hour to produce a pocket-sized piece. This process is far too slow for the mass-production of...

High-Speed 3D Printer for High-Performance Plastics
5 Ws : Photonics/Optics
5 Ws of Paper Unprinting
5 Ws of Paper Unprinting

Who

Anyone using standard, coated paper in conventional printers.

5 Ws of Paper Unprinting
NASA Spinoff : Aerospace
Deep-Space Food Science Research Improves 3D Printing
Deep-Space Food Science Research Improves 3D Printing
Developing meals for long-duration missions is leading to personalized 3D-printed food.
Deep-Space Food Science Research Improves 3D Printing
Briefs : Motion Control
Smartphone App Programs Robots
Smartphone App Programs Robots

A smartphone app was developed that allows a user to easily program any robot to perform a mundane activity such as picking up parts from one area and delivering them to another. The app, called VRa, uses...

Smartphone App Programs Robots
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Software Applications for the Control and Management of the Amine Swingbed Experiment

The Swingbed software applications provide for the control, command, fault detection, fault recovery, and telemetry monitoring aspects of the Amine Swingbed experiment. These software components are the Swingbed Loader Computer Software Configuration Item...

Technology Leaders : Transportation
Maintaining Data Protection and Security for the Connected Car
Maintaining Data Protection and Security for the Connected Car
How can the automotive industry protect itself and its customers against digital attacks?
Maintaining Data Protection and Security for the Connected Car
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Manufacturing Process for Aluminum Alloys
Manufacturing Process for Aluminum Alloys

An advanced manufacturing process was developed to produce nano-structured rods and tubes directly from high-performance aluminum alloy powder in a single step. Using a Solid Phase Processing...

Manufacturing Process for Aluminum Alloys
Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs

Toposens, Sunnyvale, CA, released the TS3, a 3D ultrasonic sensor suitable for autonomous systems including robotics, autonomous vehicles, and other positioning applications that require...

Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs
Facility Focus : Propulsion
Facility Focus: NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center
Facility Focus: NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center
NASA Armstrong flight-tests some of the nation’s most unique aircraft and aeronautical systems.
Facility Focus: NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center
Briefs : Aerospace
Software Accelerates Engine Development for Hypersonic Flight
Software Accelerates Engine Development for Hypersonic Flight

A numerical modeling tool allows for a better understanding of rotating detonation engines (RDEs).

Software Accelerates Engine Development for Hypersonic Flight
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Are You Encouraged by the Increasingly Sophisticated Capabilities of Today’s Robots?

Researchers from Boston Dynamics have stuck the landing and created a robot that can perform a full gymnastics routine. Watch the performance on Tech Briefs TV.

White Papers : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Impact on Fuel Savings from Diesel Engine Cylinder Deactivation maintaining Aftertreatment Temps

Eaton’s Vehicle Group was part of a team that authored “Impact of Cylinder Deactivation and Cylinder Cutout via Flexible Valve Actuation on Fuel Efficient Aftertreatment Thermal Management at Curb Idle.” This study compares...

Blog : Transportation
Answering Your Questions: Which Vehicle Applications Will Require High-Speed Data Rates (of 20 Gigabits per Second?)
Answering Your Questions: Which Vehicle Applications Will Require High-Speed Data Rates (of 20 Gigabits per Second?)
See what a vehicle can do as its data communication rates get faster and faster.
Answering Your Questions: Which Vehicle Applications Will Require High-Speed Data Rates (of 20 Gigabits per Second?)
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off
By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off

A lake is usually a picture of serenity, perhaps the last place you’d expect to find a flying-fish robot launching itself 85 feet in the air.

By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off
INSIDER : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
In the Driver’s Seat of Artemis I
In the Driver’s Seat of Artemis I

NASA’s crawler-transporter 2 will carry the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B for the launch of Artemis 1. One of the few women to ever...

In the Driver’s Seat of Artemis I
INSIDER : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch

A synthetic optical lace developed by a Cornell Ph.D. student creates a linked sensory network similar to a biological nervous system. The flexible, porous lattice structure is manufactured from...

Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Answering Your Questions: Why Land on the South Pole of the Moon?
Answering Your Questions: Why Land on the South Pole of the Moon?
NASA is set to return to the Moon in 2024. But why the lunar south pole?
Answering Your Questions: Why Land on the South Pole of the Moon?
White Papers : Connectivity
TE Connectivity: Engineering Next-Generation Mobility

Powertrain electrification and automation will pave the way for a new generation of all-electric, fully autonomous vehicles. At the same time, cloud, big data, and analytics technologies will enable innovative mobility as a service (MaaS) business models. MaaS will create personal and...

INSIDER : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have devised a new process for using nano-particles to build powerful lasers that are more efficient and safer for...

Nano-Particles Used to Increase Power, Improve Eye Safety of Fiber Lasers
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Blog : Materials
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Question of the Week : Transportation
Have You Considered Using Collaborative Robots?

Collaborative robots are part of Ford Motor Company’s assembly line. One cobot performs the greasing of the camshaft followers, another fills the engine oil, and a third uses a camera and UV light to check for leaks.

Articles : Electronics & Computers
10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures
10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures

Your new industrial electronic product has been designed and the board components specified. It has been prototyped, either on a development board to check...

10 Things to Consider When Specifying Small Metal and Plastic Enclosures
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Measuring Stickiness of Microscale Surfaces
Measuring Stickiness of Microscale Surfaces

At the scale of bridges or buildings, the most important force that engineered structures need to deal with is gravity. But at the scale of microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) — devices like...

Measuring Stickiness of Microscale Surfaces
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Low-Cost, Human-Friendly Robot Designed with Artificial Intelligence
Low-Cost, Human-Friendly Robot Designed with Artificial Intelligence

Robotics has traditionally focused on industrial applications in which robots require strength and precision to carry out repetitive tasks. These robots flourish in highly...

Low-Cost, Human-Friendly Robot Designed with Artificial Intelligence