Motion Control

Motion Control

Browse innovative developments in motion control technologies. Find essential news, technical briefs, and applications used in PID controllers, servo motors, direct drive solutions, autonomous positioning, and motion-related components.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Transparent Eel-Like Soft Robot Swims Silently Underwater
Transparent Eel-Like Soft Robot Swims Silently Underwater

An eel-like robot was developed that can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The...

Transparent Eel-Like Soft Robot Swims Silently Underwater
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Sensor-Free Smart Wheel
Sensor-Free Smart Wheel

Technology was developed that not only allows wheels to “know” when and how to rotate, but also enables them to work together in interactive teams. The new technology can be used wherever there is a need for...

Sensor-Free Smart Wheel
Application Briefs : Lighting
Guiding the Way in Automotive Plants
Guiding the Way in Automotive Plants

Vision-guided robotics commonly used in today's automotive plants enables robots to “see” the object they are working on so they can perform the required activity accurately on/to an object that is...

Guiding the Way in Automotive Plants
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability
Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability

When engineer Mark Doyle started to put together plans for an exoskeleton to support surgeons in 2012, he wanted to develop a lightweight product that they could wear comfortably for...

Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability
Articles : Test & Measurement
Sensing the Future of Pneumatics
Sensing the Future of Pneumatics

Some species of sharks must constantly swim to keep water flowing over their gills to stay alive. That same concept also tends to apply to technology — once a technology stops evolving and moving forward,...

Sensing the Future of Pneumatics
Products : Test & Measurement
New Products: June 2018 Motion Design
New Products: June 2018 Motion Design

Rotary Position Sensors

Novotechnik, U.S. (Southborough, MA) announced industrial and redundant channel industrial versions of the SP 2800 Series rotary position sensors. The industrial version...

New Products: June 2018 Motion Design
Briefs : Test & Measurement
“Intelligent” Rotor Blades React Quickly to Changing Conditions
“Intelligent” Rotor Blades React Quickly to Changing Conditions

The giant rotor blades are one central part of a wind turbine. Researchers developed a rotor blade that makes more efficient use of large fluctuations in wind strength using...

“Intelligent” Rotor Blades React Quickly to Changing Conditions
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
VTOL UAV with the Cruise Efficiency of a Conventional Fixed-Wing UAV
VTOL UAV with the Cruise Efficiency of a Conventional Fixed-Wing UAV

NASA Langley Research Center has developed Greased Lightning, the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that combines vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability with...

VTOL UAV with the Cruise Efficiency of a Conventional Fixed-Wing UAV
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Piezomagnetic Material Changes Magnetic Properties When Stretched
Piezomagnetic Material Changes Magnetic Properties When Stretched

Piezoelectric materials, which generate an electric current when compressed or stretched, are familiar and widely used; for example, lighters that spark when a switch is...

Piezomagnetic Material Changes Magnetic Properties When Stretched
Products : Motion Control
New Products: April 2018 Motion Design
New Products: April 2018 Motion Design

Mounted Ball Bearings

SKF (Lansdale, PA) launched mounted ball bearing units with industry-standard inch series cast iron housings in several designs, inch or metric insert bearings, and...

New Products: April 2018 Motion Design
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Control for Molecular Machines
Control for Molecular Machines

Scientists around the world are working on new technologies for the nanofactories of the future, which one day could be used to analyze biochemical samples or produce active medical agents. The required...

Control for Molecular Machines
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Miniature “Pop-Up” Robot Combines Micrometer Precision and High Speed
Miniature “Pop-Up” Robot Combines Micrometer Precision and High Speed

Because of their high precision and speed, Delta robots are deployed in many industrial processes, including pick-and-place assemblies, machining, and welding. Delta...

Miniature “Pop-Up” Robot Combines Micrometer Precision and High Speed
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Load/Position Control of Rigidly Coupled Electromechanical Actuators
Load/Position Control of Rigidly Coupled Electromechanical Actuators

A technique was developed to prevent cross-coupling in systems where two or more linear electromechanical actuators (EMAs) are rigidly connected, and are in danger of...

Load/Position Control of Rigidly Coupled Electromechanical Actuators
Application Briefs : Motion Control
NASA's Autonomous Robot Keeps Manufacturing Floors Safe
NASA's Autonomous Robot Keeps Manufacturing Floors Safe

A600-pound spider-like robot, called Spidernaut, was part of a prototype robot team built in 2005 to assemble a solar array on the Moon. The goal was not only to have robots do the...

NASA's Autonomous Robot Keeps Manufacturing Floors Safe
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Protecting Sensitive Instruments with Piezo-Driven Active Vibration Isolation Platforms
Protecting Sensitive Instruments with Piezo-Driven Active Vibration Isolation Platforms

As the need for nano precision has become increasingly important in many fields of research and manufacturing — such as microelectronics fabrication,...

Protecting Sensitive Instruments with Piezo-Driven Active Vibration Isolation Platforms
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications
Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications

Industrial robots play an essential role in manufacturing, from assembly, to pick-and-place, to packaging. One of the major risks of robotics — and what OEMs seek to mitigate — is...

Choosing the Right Brake for Robotic Applications
Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Industrial Rotary Encoders: Selecting the Right Device for Your Application
Industrial Rotary Encoders: Selecting the Right Device for Your Application

Rotary encoders play important roles in motion control and industrial automation systems, providing control systems with information about the motion of motor...

Industrial Rotary Encoders: Selecting the Right Device for Your Application
Articles : Motion Control
Cobots and Industrial Robots: Choose the Right Robot for the Job
Cobots and Industrial Robots: Choose the Right Robot for the Job

Automating manufacturing processes is a complex issue, with no one-size-fits-all solution. Robots range from insect-like microrobots to industrial robots powerful enough to...

Cobots and Industrial Robots: Choose the Right Robot for the Job
Briefs : Motion Control
Autonomous Robotic Self-Righting

Robots are increasingly being used for various applications including search and rescue operations and combat situations. Unfortunately, during the performance of maneuvers, a robot may fall or tip over, preventing it from moving normally. Controlling the robot to successfully right itself can be a difficult and...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Orangutank Robotic Pipe Traveler
Orangutank Robotic Pipe Traveler

The Orangutank™ is a remote-controlled, tethered robotic platform for traveling from one pipe to another using a network of vertical pipes for support. It combines specialized robotic grippers to provide...

Orangutank Robotic Pipe Traveler
Briefs : Motion Control
Robotic Gripper for Satellite Capture and Servicing
Robotic Gripper for Satellite Capture and Servicing

The robotic gripper was developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as part of a robotic satellite servicing mission. The gripping device can be used to autonomously or remotely grasp and...

Robotic Gripper for Satellite Capture and Servicing
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot
Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot

A small robot with the ability to hoist large loads could have countless applications, not only as a small, inexpensive, disposable, mobile sensor in the realms of search and rescue,...

Controllable Dry Adhesive for Efficient Climbing Robot
Briefs : Propulsion
Thruster-Based Attitude and Translation Control with Minimum Pulse-Count Disturbance Rejection

Thruster-based control typically requires a substantial engineering effort in order to mitigate an important issue: the control system tends to use many thruster pulses to accomplish what a single thruster pulse could do instead. This fundamental...

Tech Talks : Motion Control
Roller Guide Evolution: How Needle Rollers Are Improving Linear Bearing Performance

The demand for higher performing roller guides is increasing. This 20-minute Tech Talk discusses the evolution of roller guides and then examines how needle rollers and the latest innovative technology are incorporated into a new-generation design that integrates...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: March 2018 Sensor Technology
New Products: March 2018 Sensor Technology

Digital Temperature Sensors

The ProSense® ETS series digital temperature sensors from Automation Direct (Cumming, GA) now include a precision RTD sensing element, measuring...

New Products: March 2018 Sensor Technology
Briefs : Imaging
Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats
Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats

NASA is preparing for the next generation of CubeSats that are propelled and will make directional maneuvers. The new gimbal mount provides a seat for the motor, and controls the position of the...

Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats
News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Agile New Robot Takes ‘Roach’ Approach
Agile New Robot Takes ‘Roach’ Approach
A JHU team has developed a prototype robot that steals some moves from a Central American cockroach species known as blaberus discoidalis.
Agile New Robot Takes ‘Roach’ Approach
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Comparison Between Wave Soldering and Reflow Soldering
Comparison Between Wave Soldering and Reflow Soldering

As contemporary electronics embrace light weight, increasing efficiency, and high speed, each link of the manufacturing process also conforms to this philosophy, including printed...

Comparison Between Wave Soldering and Reflow Soldering
Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Optical Bonding of Automotive Smart Surfaces
Optical Bonding of Automotive Smart Surfaces

Behr Hella Thermo Control (BHTC) of Lippstadt, Germany, manufactures automotive interior components. As the demand for smarter cars increases, BHTC encountered a new automotive interior challenge:...

Optical Bonding of Automotive Smart Surfaces
Articles : Motion Control
Driver Design in Piezoelectric Motors
Driver Design in Piezoelectric Motors

For most electrical engineers, the simple term “motor” means one thing: an electromagnetic rotary-motion unit. Engineers who need linear rather than rotary motion consider adding a mechanical linkage...

Driver Design in Piezoelectric Motors