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.

INSIDER: Communications
WiFi Measures Indoor Movement

Researchers from North Carolina State University developed a way to measure speed and distance in indoor environments. WiFi-assisted Inertial Odometry (WIO) uses WiFi as a velocity sensor to accurately track...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Shape-Shifting Robots Built from “Smarticles”

Researchers built robots entirely from smaller robots known as smarticles, unlocking the principles of a potentially new locomotion technique. The smarticles (smart active particles) can...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Antenna Near-Field Probe Station Scanner

Antenna characterization techniques are often expensive and time-consuming. NASA’s Glenn Research Center developed a highly versatile and automated system to perform characterization of single or multiple small circuit antennas, printed on-wafer or on other substrates, by measuring the antenna’s...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Software Enables Robots to Self-Right After Overturning

The Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) features a modular open systems architecture that enables the robot to be self-righting after a fall. The self-righting...

There is increasing demand in many high-end commercial and industrial markets for precision motion sensing for a diversity of applications.
INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wearable Motion Sensors Could Save Unborn Babies

A technique was developed that could allow expectant parents to hear their baby’s heartbeat continuously at home with a non-invasive and safe device that is potentially more accurate...

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mini Stretchable Pump for Soft Robots

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines’ moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes, these robots have limited autonomy...

White Papers: Motion Control
Technology and Benefits of Linear Position Sensors with Advanced Inductive Technology

This white paper describes new and improved technology that offers engineers specific advantages in speed, accuracy and reliability over previous linear...

Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shutoff Device Controls and Meters Flows in Harsh Environments

Millions of gallons of crude oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico during the seabed oil drilling catastrophe of 2010. Numerous strategies to stop or stem the oil flow...

Programmable automation controllers (PACs) play the primary role in IIoT systems. Also referred to as machine controllers, PACs provide a centralized architecture; they act as the...

Conventional pistons are made of a rigid chamber and a piston inside that can slide along the chamber’s inner wall while at the same time maintaining a tight seal. As a result, the piston...

Wearing a sensor-packed glove while handling a variety of objects, researchers compiled a dataset that enables an AI system to recognize objects through touch alone. The information...

Along with the onslaught of Internet of Things (IoT) and wirelessly enabled devices, cloud connectivity has become a major benefit for a range of applications from commercial to military. As...

There is great potential in using both drones and ground-based robots for situations like disaster response, but generally these platforms either fly or creep along the ground. The flying...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Products: August 2019 Motion Design
Miniature Linear Translation Stages

PI, L.P. (Auburn, MA) offers the L-505 miniature linear translation stages for precision motion, alignment, and positioning applications where space is...

Stepper motors and stepper-based linear actuators are often selected for open-loop motion control devices and equipment. These can be found in a wide range of products and...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Lunar Surface Manipulation System

NASA's Langley Research Center offers a novel lifting and precision positioning device with hybrid functional characteristics of both crane-type lifting devices and robotic manipulators. The design of the...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Simulation of Autonomous Vehicles

The emergence of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Automated Driving (AD) systems is gradually preparing consumers for a time where they relinquish control of their vehicles. A heated source of...

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory — with sites in Anchorage, AK; Albany, OR; Morgantown, WV; and Pittsburgh, PA...

A new approach developed at MIT to building robots is based on a set of five millimeter-scale components, all of which can be attached to each other by a standard connector. Using this simple...

A high-sensitivity and low-noise MEMS accelerometer was developed using multi-layer metal structures composed of multiple metal layers. The accelerometer achieves 1 µG level...

Articles: Electronics & Computers
The Sensors Behind the GEN II Wearable Device

The population is aging and more people need healthcare support, which is having a big impact on the overall cost of medical care. As a result, authorities and health insurance companies are...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: July 2019
Sensor Controller

The induSENSOR MSC7401 sensor controller from Micro-Epsilon, Ortenburg, Germany, is used for displacement and distance measurements and is operated with LVDT and LDR measuring gauges...

On a factory floor, robots are programmed to stop momentarily if a person passes by. The robot often freezes in place long before a person crosses its path. While robots can predict where...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: June 2019 Motion Design
Rotary Ball Spline

NB Corporation of America (Hanover Park, IL) released a rotary ball spline that can be used for both rotational and linear motion. Applications include SCARA robots, the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Snake-Inspired Robot

Researchers have developed a new and improved snake-inspired soft robot that is faster and more precise than its predecessor.

In discussing fatigue life, it is important to distinguish between disc springs and conical spring washers, as they differ by design and intended usage. Conical spring washers are...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion

Employing fluid power to achieve mechanical motion can be implemented via hydraulics using uncompressible liquids or via pneumatics using compressible gasses; typically, air. The latter provides several...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Ultra-Low-Power Chips Enhance Performance of Small Robots

An ultra-low-power hybrid chip inspired by the brain could help give palm-sized robots the ability to collaborate and learn from their experiences. Combined with new generations of...

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