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: Motion Control
Precision Position Feedback for Smart Manufacturing
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Underwater Navigation System Powered by Sound
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Latest Briefs & News

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Smarter Pneumatic Valves Enhance Automation Systems

Briefs: Motion Control

Robotic Construction System

This technology provides drones sufficient time and distance to react, avoid wires, and navigate follow-on maneuvers.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
'Magic' Software Makes Complex DNA Robots, Faster
New software being developed at Ohio State University will allow creation of more complex DNA robots, at much faster speeds.

Northern Arizona University researchers developed high-performance artificial muscle technology based on linear actuators. Because of their helical structure, the actuators generate more power,...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
How High-efficiency Climate Control Solutions Save Energy and Cost

High temperatures in industrial settings are a leading cause of downtime. Controlling units and microprocessors age quickly under heat pressure, so generated heat...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
How Critical Are Localization and Perception Technologies for Enhanced Autonomous Driving?

Today autonomous driving solutions leverage diverse sensors, along with high-definition maps, to plan and maneuver their path. In an extremely competitive market, automakers are racing to deliver the next levels of autonomy driven by a mixed set of...

The technology demonstration is a first step in showing that humans could someday live (and breathe) on Mars.
White Papers: Electronics & Computers
An "Under the Hood" Look at Technology Supporting the World's Fastest EV Dragster

As more EV engineers adopt a non-Hall-effect approach to measuring current in their li-ion battery management systems (BMS), some components from...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
V2X, DSRC, and 5G: What You Need to Know About Vehicle Communications in 2021

Vehicle manufacturers are starting to build cars and trucks with new technology that allows the vehicles to share data, such as location and speed, directly with...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Robotic Exoskeletons Help the Elderly?

A team from the University of Waterloo is creating robotic exoskeleton legs that use A.I. to make their own steps and control decisions. "Learning" from a collection of sample-strolls around an environment, the system adjusts its movements based on the surroundings it senses.

Taking inspiration from the insect, Tufts researchers created light-activated composite devices that execute precise, visible movements and form complex three-dimensional shapes, like a "photonic sunflower. "
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...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
3D Structural-Sensing Robots
These robots could perform basic healthcare tasks to support the work of doctors and nurses.
A prototype version could be demonstrated on a large cargo lunar lander.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: April 2021 Motion Design
Servo drives, magnetic angle sensors, draw wires, and more.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Materials Capable of Self-Propulsion
Shape and environment can cause materials to move without motors or hands.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Torque Light-Powered Actuator
These actuators can compete with electrical and pneumatic systems.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Laser-Light-Based Accelerometer
The tiny device accurately measures acceleration in smaller navigation systems and other devices.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft Robots Turn Rigid on Demand
A new type of control system may broaden robots’ range of tasks and allow safer interactions with people.
Specially designed brake controls are a critical factor of brake performance in any application.
This compact beam steering technology has applications in autonomous navigation, AR, and neuroscience.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Disrupting the Automobile Design Process
The more complex the vehicle, the greater the need for comprehensive design solutions.
A medical patch can be folded around minimally invasive surgical tools and delivered through airways, intestines, and other narrow spaces.
White Papers: Motion Control
Selecting a Pneumatic Linear Slide

Given the variety and versatility of pneumatic linear slides, it's often difficult to pick the best one for the job. So how do you decide which model to best use for your application? In this paper, you...

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: Motion 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...

INSIDER: Motion Control
Automating the Design of Soft Robots

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...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Demystifying the 2:1 Ratio and the Stick-Slip Phenomenon

One of the most frequently misunderstood principles regarding the use of plain bearings is the 2:1 Ratio. Most engineers are taught this principle which states there is an allowable...

Trending Stories

Application Briefs: Test & Measurement

Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance

NASA Spinoff: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Blog: Materials

What Role Will Plastics Play in Battery Electric Vehicles?

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