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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Innovation on a Larger Scale: Robotic Fiber Placement and 3D Printing
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Get the latest breakthroughs from NASA & other technology sources.

Latest Briefs & News

Watch as the Perseverance rover lands on Mars.
White Papers: Defense
The Growing Importance of Electronics to Control and Convert Power

The modern world relies on electric power in countless ways. It is almost impossible to imagine life without electricity and the many applications it enables. This reliance...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Do You Like the Idea of Robots in the Hospital?

Our brand-new episode of Here’s an Idea highlighted a growing use of robots and robotic arms in the hospital. While technologies like “Tommy” and “Tiago” are helpful in completing tedious, repetitive tasks, the robots do lack a certain human touch, says our editor Sherrie Trigg.

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
New Ways To Increase Productivity With ‘Smart’ Systems

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) like the Festo Motion Terminal promise to increase production, simplify value chain processes and future-proof plants. In a new white paper, we explore...

Podcasts: Robotics, Automation & Control
Here's an Idea: Hospital Robots
In this episode of Here's an Idea, we look at a set of robots already helping out hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘Bubble Robots’ Catch On?

A group of researchers are using a surprising ingredient in their robot design: Bubbles. (Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.)

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Ultra-Thin and Highly Sensitive Strain Sensors

A research team from National University of Singapore (NUS) has taken a first step towards improving the safety and precision of industrial robotic arms by developing a new range of...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Can 'Bluebots' Preserve Coral Reefs?

A team of Harvard researchers have developed fish-inspired robots that can synchronize their movements like a real school of fish, without any external control. (Watch the robots in action on Tech Briefs TV.)

White Papers: Motion Control
NBK's Anti-Vibration Couplings Help Bring Out Your Servo Systems Performance

How can replacing your current shaft couplings to improve your industrial productivity?

A stretchable system can harvest energy from human breathing and motion.
Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Products: February 2021 Motion Design
Industrial robots, motor disconnect switches, position sensors, and more.
A technique enables manufacturing of minuscule robots by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.
New online tools — coupled with online libraries of pre-selected and tested component specifications — simplify machine design.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Electronic Skin Sensor Decodes Human Motion
This system can track the motion of the entire body with a small sensory network.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Locking Side Pull Hoist Ring
The integrated tool eliminates the need for manual operators or additional custom fixtures.
As 5G arrives, devices will need to expand I/O counts at the controller, as well as overall networking capabilities.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Capabilities for Grasp-Assisting Gloves
Applications include aiding patients with impaired hand muscle strength and in manufacturing for operating tools for extended periods of time.
Tech Briefs asks industry experts about cybersecurity, the cloud, wireless devices, and securing a remote workforce.
These nanomaterial strain sensors are ten times more sensitive when measuring minute movements compared to existing technology.
NASA Spinoff: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA Brain-Training Technology Makes Smart Glasses
With a technique first used at NASA, researchers are making glasses that can improve your concentration.
NASA-funded research by Clemson University scientists could lead to the creation of lighter, faster-charging batteries suitable for powering a spacesuit or even a Mars rover.
Some of the technologies coming from the UT labs include COVID antibody tests, self-watering soil, and the "DRACO" robot.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
4D Printing of Morphing Structures
A new method manufactures complex shapeshifters for soft robots and biomedical implants.
5 Ws: Manufacturing & Prototyping
5 Ws of the Screen-Printed Battery
The battery can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.
A new method of linking materials with unique mechanical properties could enable robots made of robots.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Split-Ring Torque Sensor
This optical-based device measures position, velocity, and torque.
INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Chemically Driven Wheels “Morph” Into Gears

University of Pittsburgh researchers have utilized a catalytic reaction that causes a two-dimensional, chemically coated sheet to spontaneously “morph” into a three-dimensional...

INSIDER: Motion Control
T-REX Rover Looks to the Dark Side

The Tethered permanently shadowed Region EXplorer (T-REX) rover, designed and built by a team of Michigan Technological University students – is designed to provide reliable power and data to other...

White Papers: Motion Control
Choosing the Best Type of Encoder For Your Application

This white paper describes the advantages and disadvantages of different types and configurations of encoders with a focus on devices using an Ethernet/IP interface.

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