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.

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Arm Will Head to the Moon
Articles: Electronics & Computers
Automated X-Ray Inspection
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Latest Briefs & News

White Papers: Motion Control
RESOLUTE™ Encoders Make RF Antenna Positioning Accuracy and Resolution 100 Times Better

Pacific Antenna Systems (PAS) designs, fabricates, and manufactures antenna systems that use radio frequency (RF) ranging from 1 to 110 GHz....

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Robotic 'Digger Finger' Senses Buried Items
The technology uses tactile sensing to identify objects underground.
Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Hybrid Concept for Actuating Subsea Valves
A valve actuator has deep-sea applications.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Motion Tracking System for Autonomous Technology
The system could one day replace LiDAR and cameras in automated manufacturing, biomedical imaging, and autonomous driving.
Biobots based on muscle cells can swim at unprecedented velocities.
Exoskeleton legs are capable of thinking and making control decisions on their own using artificial intelligence technology.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: June 2021 Motion Design
Encoders, quick disconnects, automation systems, and more.
A catalytic reaction causes a two-dimensional, chemically coated sheet to spontaneously morph into a three-dimensional gear.
Briefs: Materials
Nanosized Foldable Robots
The machines fold themselves within 100 milliseconds and can flatten and refold thousands of times.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Air-Powered Robot Needs No Electronics
The walking quadruped is controlled and powered by pressurized air.
The design could contribute to various applications in the robotics field such as smart prosthetics and human-robot interaction.
New high bus voltage stepper motor systems avoid the complexity and expense of servo motors.
See how simulation software is being used to is automate the test process for vehicle rotors.
Technology Leaders: Motion Control
Machine Control Power Quality and Surge Protection
You may not be able to see them, but power anomalies that originate within your automated control system are costing you expensive downtime.
This work could lead to much more robust devices that continue to operate in spite of damage.
Products: Test & Measurement
New Products: June 2021 Sensor Technology
High-precision medical sensors, battery-cell mappers, signal conditioners, and more.
The software could help reduce cost and waste for companies using additive manufacturing to mass-produce parts in factories.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
WiFi RSSI Sensor Tracker for the ISS
This software could also be used for indoor navigation assistance for the visually impaired.
The interface enables one person to accomplish tasks that previously required two sets of hands.
A new power supply from Bicker Elektronik has a backup battery that bridges power failures, brownouts, and flicker.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Square Structural Joint with Robotic Assembly Tool
Applications include portable aerospace structures and terrestrial structures such as cleanrooms and field hospitals.
Briefs: Aerospace
LogFire
The software automatically checks mission operations logs.
Application Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Next-Generation MEMS IMUs — High Performance, Scalable
Editor Ed Brown explores what’s ahead for MEMS automobile navigation systems.
White Papers: Imaging
The Right Machine Vision System Software: Buy vs. Build

Hardware is the common first step in developing a vision system. However, without the proper software support, challenges will quickly mount. Any organization with a need for a...

INSIDER: Motion Control
NASA Rover Seeks Moon Resources

As part of the Artemis program, NASA is planning to send its first mobile robot to the Moon in late 2023 in search of ice and other resources on and below the lunar surface. Data from the Volatiles...

White Papers: Motion Control
When Should Designers Use Crossed Roller Bearings?

Crossed roller bearings provide more accuracy, rigidity, and weight-bearing capacity for linear motion than other commonly used friction-reducing devices such as ball bearings. And unlike...

Computer scientists at UC San Diego developed a navigation system that will allow robots to better negotiate busy environments in a hospital
INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars Helicopter Begins New Phase

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has a new mission. Having proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the Red Planet, the Ingenuity experiment will soon embark on a new operations...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Living, Swimming, Self-Training Robots

Using 3D bioprinting, researchers have created biobots at the centimeter size range that can swim and coast like fish with unprecedented velocity. Rather than working with stiff or tethered...

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Briefs: Materials

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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Briefs: Physical Sciences

Single-Photon-Sensitive HgCdTe Avalanche Photodiode Detector

NASA Spinoff: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Blog: Electronics & Computers

'Self-Aware' Sensing Material Powers Itself

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A Robotic 'Digger Finger' Senses Buried Items

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