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
Variable-Camber Compliant Wing
Variable-Camber Compliant Wing

In the early years of manned flight, wing warping was used for lateral control of an aircraft. This technique consisted of a system of pulleys and cables used to twist the trailing edges of the wings in...

Variable-Camber Compliant Wing
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding
Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding

Resistance welding with direct current (DC) using inverter technology reduces costs by improving quality, reducing maintenance, and increasing productivity. Switching from...

Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding
Briefs : Motion Control
Autonomous Crop-Counting Robot
Autonomous Crop-Counting Robot

Today's crop breeders are trying to boost yields while preparing plants to withstand severe weather and changing climates. To succeed, they must locate the genes for high-yielding, hardy traits in crop...

Autonomous Crop-Counting Robot
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Hydraulic-Based Spherical Robot

Current spherical robots rely upon rotating mechanical weights inside the sphere to change the center of gravity of the sphere, causing the robot to roll. The use of rotating mechanical weights is not optimal due to the reliance upon moving parts, which can present burdensome maintenance issues. It would be...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Products: August 2018 Motion Design
New Products: August 2018 Motion Design

Servo Controller IC

TRINAMIC Motion Control (Hamburg, Germany) announced the TMC-4671 fully integrated servo controller IC that provides field-oriented control for BLDC/PMSM and 2-phase...

New Products: August 2018 Motion Design
Podcasts : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Here's an Idea: Engineering Real-Life 'Superpowers'
Here's an Idea: Engineering Real-Life 'Superpowers'

Engineers today are using their creativity to build a variety of superhero-like technologies that enhance our human capabilities, including exosuits, invisibility cloaks, and wall-scaling...

Here's an Idea: Engineering Real-Life 'Superpowers'
Articles : Electronics & Computers
Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data
Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data

Computers and software play a major role in force measurement and quality control. Whether in the engineering lab, quality control inspection area,...

Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Application Note: Extreme Customization, Well-maintained Tooling, and Accuracy

Take a look behind the scenes at how Nippon Pulse America Inc. re-designed one of its standard linear stepper motors to replace a competitor motor that was no longer meeting customer resolution or accuracy requirements. This application note showcases major...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance
Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance

Step motors are widely used in automation due to their high resolution, precision positioning, minimal control electronics, and low cost. As an open loop system, traditional...

Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
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 : Data Acquisition
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 : Automotive
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 : Materials
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Motion Control
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 : Motion Control
“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 : Propulsion
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Medical
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 : Software
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 : Photonics/Optics
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Robotics, Automation & 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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Robotics, Automation & Control
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 : Aerospace
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