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.

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Latest Briefs & News

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Technique Mass-Produces Cell-Sized Robots

Question of the Week: Electronics & Computers
Will 'Biomorphic' Batteries Support a Future of Tiny Robots?

A Tech Briefs TV video highlighted a rechargeable zinc battery from the University of Michigan that integrates into the structure of a robot to provide much more energy. The “biomorphic” battery, according to researchers, could provide 72x more energy for robots.

Like biological fat reserves store energy in animals, a new rechargeable zinc battery integrates into the structure of a robot to provide much more energy, a team led by...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Are You OK With a Robot Taking Your Vitals?

The "Spot" robot, developed by Boston Dynamics, can measure skin temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation in healthy patients, from a distance of 2 meters.

White Papers: Automotive
Achieve Alternative Fuel ROI in Less Than Five Years with ANG

Learn how adsorbed natural gas (ANG) can bring operational benefits for your fleet and pay for itself in less than five years. ANG is specifically suited to light-duty fleets and...

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Breaking the (Injection) Mold

Since its creation in the 1980s, 3D printing has evolved tremendously, with more printing technologies and material types available. Research shows that engineers in North America are optimistic about the future...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Kit Encoders: New Technologies for a Dynamically Changing Market

Closed-loop motion control systems use feedback to ensure the precise positioning of mechanical components. Self-contained position sensors, such as rotary encoders, can do a...

Before delivery drones start carrying packages (and passenger drones start delivering ourselves), engineers will need to keep refining an unmanned aircraft's ability...

The ultra-light robotic insect can be folded or crushed, yet continues to move.
This material could be used for artificial muscles that power bio-inspired robots.
Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range.
Safety-critical MEMS, absolute pressure sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and more.
Features include unusual color changes and high touch sensitivity.
This technology provides rapid results, improving hospital workflow and patient care.
Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Force/Torque Sensor Helps Rover Sample Mars
See how one company reached out to NASA with an offer to develop a custom sensor for the Mars 2020 mission rover.
Tech Briefs posed questions to machine learning/AI industry execs to get their opinions on platform selection, data interpretation, and more.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
USB and GigE Connectivity for Modern Machine Vision
Learn the USB3 and GigE vision standards, how they keep pace with imaging technologies, and how augmenting the cabling is critical for optimal performance.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Engineers 3D-Print Sensors Onto Moving Organs
Designed to assist in robotic surgeries, biomedical devices can be printed in and on the human body.
The “E-dermis” will enable amputees to perceive through prosthetic fingertips.
INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Army Readies Robots for Underground Tunnels

The Army Research Laboratory released a software suite that simulates conditions of an underground tunnel network. Researchers interested in developing robots for subterranean environments can...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Sound Support Valuable Robotics Tasks?

Our lead story today demonstrated how Carnegie Mellon researchers are building a dataset of sounds to help robots detect specific objects.

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Clang! Robots Detect Objects By Sound
Carnegie Mellon researcher Lerrel Pinto wants to prove that sound can be a valuable asset for robots.
White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
RLS Magnetic Encoders Enable Marsi Bionics to Build “Life-Changing” Exoskeletons

Marsi Bionics S.L. is a technology start-up based in Madrid, Spain that designs and builds custom exoskeletons for medical applications with the aim of...

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Comparison of Fittings For Use with Plastic & Rubber Tubing

This report examines types of fittings commonly used with plastic and rubber tubing. Included are barbed designs, push-to-connects, compression types with multiple components, and...

A reader asks: How can self-driving car manufacturers guarantee safety when snow, ice, or mud impair a vision system?
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will SpaceBok Someday Reach the Moon?

Our lead story today highlights the jumping space robot known as SpaceBok.

“We are at the stage where we want to go into more challenging environments: caves, craters, highlands, areas in which we would find water or other volatiles, or information about the geological history of a certain...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
NASA’s Robot Hotel Gets Its Occupants

A protective storage unit for robotic tools called Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) was among the items launched to the International Space Station last December as part of SpaceX’s resupply services...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Bin Picking for Cobots: Is It Finally Here?

Bin picking comes in many shapes and sizes, from high payload automotive and heavy equipment manufacturing applications, to pick and drop e-commerce order fulfillment and part...

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Valve Leakage Detection in Industrial Pumps

As an integral part of onshore and offshore drilling, mud pumps circulate drilling fluids to facilitate drilling oil and natural gas wells. Mud pumps stabilize pressure and support the well during...

This approach could be used to cost-effectively make soft robots and wearable technologies.

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