Motion Control/​Automation

Explore the latest developments in motion control and automation. Discover innovative advances from NASA and major research labs in robotics, autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, PID controller applications, motor drives and power transmissions.

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Get a Handle on Grippers

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Precision Position Feedback for Smart Manufacturing
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Robot Walks — No Electronics Needed
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Underwater Navigation System Powered by Sound
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Latest Briefs & News

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Robotic Construction System

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Creating Custom Multi-Axis Sensors for Robotics

Robotic and actuator applications most often require sensors that measure force, load, pressure, or torque. However, in many cases catalog products or off-the-shelf type sensors are not a suitable option due to space considerations or costly modifications needed to be made to the existing...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Underwater Exploration Go Battery-Free?

A Tech Brief featured in our April issue highlighted a battery-free pinpointing system from MIT called Underwater Backscatter Localization. Rather than emitting its own acoustic signals, the “UBL” reflects modulated signals from its environment. The reflections provide researchers with positioning...

The more complex the vehicle, the greater the need for comprehensive design solutions.
5 Ws: Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of the Internal Injury-Sealing Patch
A medical patch can be folded around minimally invasive surgical tools and delivered through airways, intestines, and other narrow spaces.
White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Using Virtual Commissioning for a New, Competitive Injection Molding Machine

The injection molding industry is a diverse, competitive market where innovative products must meet demanding requirements. For many companies, these requirements...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
E-Book - Virtual Commissioning: Why New Designs Fail

Today's production systems require extensive development and validation to meet the needs of the highly competitive manufacturing industry. This is a high-risk activity and manufacturers...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Nanosized Foldable Robots

Army-funded researchers created nanosized robots that could enable locomotion, novel metamaterial design, and high-fidelity sensors. Cornell University researchers created micron-sized shape memory actuators...

There are some tasks that traditional rigid robots aren’t cut out for. Soft-bodied robots, on the other hand, may be able to interact with people more safely or slip into tight spaces with ease. But...

White Papers: Imaging
Industrial Camera Interface Guide

With all the various camera interfaces available in today’s industrial camera market, it can be challenging to decide just which one best suits a particular imaging application. By understanding the...

Robotics researchers are developing exoskeleton legs capable of thinking and making control decisions on their own using sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Robot ‘Hears,’ Using Ear from a Locust

A robot being developed at Tel Aviv University "hears" electrical signals, thanks to a natural sensor: the ear of a dead locust.

White Papers: Packaging & Sterilization
Replacing Hydraulic Lifting Systems with Electro-Mechanical Screw Jacks

There is a widespread push to replace hydraulic systems with electo-mechanical screw jack systems and for a number of good reasons. The trend has already been under way...

Question of the Week: Electronics & Computers
Do You See Applications for Electronics-Free Robots?

In our lead INSIDER story today, UCSD researcher Dylan Drotman talked to Tech Briefs about his team’s air-powered robot.

Equipment designers can simplify design efforts and adjust controller platforms as needed when they standardize on electronic input/output products.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Charging Port for Autonomous Drone Swarms
Hundreds of drones can recharge autonomously on unmanned ground vehicles.
With new vehicles, automotive manufacturers will need to closely monitor the current flowing to the motor.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Keeping Drones Flying When a Motor Fails
Onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably, even without GPS.
Products: Test & Measurement
New Products: March 2021 Sensor Technology
Rain detectors, beacons, flow meters, and more.
Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The Sensing Systems That Make ADAS Work
See what kinds of sensors are supporting self-driving vehicles.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Products of Tomorrow: March 2021
In-air UAV docking, digital communication via touch, and a computer-vision monitor for diabetes.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Obstacle-Avoiding Drone Uses Live Moth Antenna
“Smellicopter” uses a live moth antenna to avoid obstacles and seek out smells.
Live discussions will explore electric vehicles, propulsion, advanced electronics, and more.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Perseverance on Mars: The Journey Begins
Perseverance is the first leg of a round trip to Mars.
Facility Focus: Robotics, Automation & Control
Facility Focus: NASA Langley Research Center
See how NASA Langley tests a variety of advanced aircraft concepts. including ways to make flying both cleaner and quieter.
The algorithms enable drones to quickly switch between hover and forward flight.
The importance of a proactive and systematic method for collecting machine and process data within a smart manufacturing environment cannot be overstated.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Flexible and Highly Reliable Sensor
Real-time health monitoring and sensing abilities of robots require soft electronics, but a challenge of using such materials lies in their reliability.
Special Reports: Aerospace
Rugged Computing - March 2021

From the battlefield to the oceans to the extremes of space, electronics and computing advances enable missions in the harshest conditions. To help you keep pace with the latest developments, we present this...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Perseverance Rover Safely Lands on Mars

Perseverance – the largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world – touched down on Mars last week after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles. About the size of a car,...

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