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.

Articles : Energy
Protecting Sensitive Instruments with Piezo-Driven Active Vibration Isolation Platforms
Protecting Sensitive Instruments with Piezo-Driven Active Vibration Isolation Platforms

As the need for nano precision has become increasingly important in many fields of research and manufacturing — such as microelectronics fabrication,...

Protecting Sensitive Instruments with Piezo-Driven Active Vibration Isolation Platforms
Articles : Motion Control
Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications
Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications

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...

Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications
Articles : Motion Control
Industrial Rotary Encoders: Selecting the Right Device for Your Application
Industrial Rotary Encoders: Selecting the Right Device for Your Application

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

Industrial Rotary Encoders: Selecting the Right Device for Your Application
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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...

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 : Materials
Solar-Powered Device Generates Electricity Through Ion Transport
Solar-Powered Device Generates Electricity Through Ion Transport

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...

Solar-Powered Device Generates Electricity Through Ion Transport
Briefs : Motion Control
Orangutank Robotic Pipe Traveler
Orangutank Robotic Pipe Traveler

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...

Orangutank Robotic Pipe Traveler
Briefs : Software
Self-Learning Robot Hands Adapt to Grasp Objects
Self-Learning Robot Hands Adapt to Grasp Objects

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...

Self-Learning Robot Hands Adapt to Grasp Objects
Briefs : Materials
Technique for Chemically Combining Soft Materials
Technique for Chemically Combining Soft Materials

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...

Technique for Chemically Combining Soft Materials
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Gripper for Satellite Capture and Servicing
Robotic Gripper for Satellite Capture and Servicing

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...

Robotic Gripper for Satellite Capture and Servicing
Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot
Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot

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,...

Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot
Briefs : Test & Measurement
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
Sound Inaudible to Humans Can Be Recorded by Microphones
Sound Inaudible to Humans Can Be Recorded by Microphones

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...

Sound Inaudible to Humans Can Be Recorded by Microphones
Briefs : Materials
Method Creates Wood Substance Stronger Than Titanium

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 carbon fiber, but much less expensive.

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Circuit Protection Challenges for Battery Management Systems
Circuit Protection Challenges for Battery Management Systems

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...

Circuit Protection Challenges for Battery Management Systems
Q&A : Transportation
Q&A: Dr. Abhaya Datye Creates a More Powerful Emission-Control Catalyst

Researchers at Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the University of New Mexico have created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at the lower temperatures expected in advanced engines. Their work presents a new way to create a more...

Briefs : Materials
Aluminum as a Fuel
Aluminum as a Fuel

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...

Aluminum as a Fuel
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 : Aerospace
High-Voltage Power System for Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion
High-Voltage Power System for Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion

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

High-Voltage Power System for Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion
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: April 2018
Product of the Month: April 2018

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...

Product of the Month: April 2018
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
A reader asks our expert: "How do road conditions impact vehicle-to-vehicle responses?"
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
HAMMER Time: A New Spacecraft Idea Aims to Ram an Asteroid Off-Course
HAMMER Time: A New Spacecraft Idea Aims to Ram an Asteroid Off-Course
Scientists have an idea to deflect Earth-bound asteroids: a 9-meter-tall, 8.8-ton spacecraft dubbed the HAMMER.
HAMMER Time: A New Spacecraft Idea Aims to Ram an Asteroid Off-Course
White Papers : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Save with Heli-Coil PRIMER FREE Inserts

Heli-Coil PRIMER FREE solution eliminates the need for costly primers and epoxies. It also increases installation productivity by doubling installation rates and increasing tool life. It’s ideal for aluminum and magnesium applications, RoHS compliant and approved by many aerospace OEMs. Call 248-224-8349...

News : Transportation
Replacing Camshafts with Valves Paves Way for Cheaper, Greener Engines
Replacing Camshafts with Valves Paves Way for Cheaper, Greener Engines
By replacing the cam, a new valve technology may lead to more affordable — and more environmentally friendly — engines.
Replacing Camshafts with Valves Paves Way for Cheaper, Greener Engines
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
Today's humanoid robots are being asked to have more brains than brawn.
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
Question of the Week : Transportation
Will laser-based imaging help self-driving cars someday see around corners?

An autonomous-driving technology from Stanford University gives vehicles the capability to "peek" around corners. Tech Briefs spoke with the creators of the laser-based system. To make the technology road-ready, the team still needs to speed-up the data-acquisition...

Blog : Transportation
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
A Tech Briefs reader asked our expert: What is the best data-processing architecture for truly autonomous, 'Level-5' vehicles?
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
News : Automotive
With Laser-Based Imaging, Self-Driving Cars See Around Corners
With Laser-Based Imaging, Self-Driving Cars See Around Corners
Stanford University is developing a laser-based imaging technology that allows cars to peek around corners.
With Laser-Based Imaging, Self-Driving Cars See Around Corners