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: Motion Control
Spin Bearings

Spin bearings have been invented as alternatives to such conventional rolling-element bearings as ball, spherical, needle, and roller bearings. Like a conventional bearing assembly, a spin-bearing assembly includes opposing...

Briefs: Motion Control
Advanced, Lightweight, Low-Power-Consumption Actuator Brake

An advanced, lightweight, low-power consumption brake has been developed to satisfy NASA's special requirements for use on actuators during spaceflight. This brake can increase the stopping, holding, and parking ability of a spacecraft while reducing its electrical power consumption....

A method of computing the speed at which to command an autonomous robotic vehicle to travel over rough terrain has been devised. The method amounts to a robotic implementation of the...

A method of estimating the state of contact between (1) the wheels of a robotic vehicle equipped with a rocker-bogey suspension and (2) the ground has been devised. The contact-state...

A first-order mathematical model has been developed in a theoretical study of the dynamics of a load suspended by a cable from a crane that moves along a straight track. The model...

In a proposed technique for fabrication of microelectromechanical devices, thin films of fullerenes would be used as temporary packaging to protect and position delicate...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Inertial/GPS Pointing and Positioning System

A data system generates information on the position and orientation of a pointing instrument (e.g., a telescope or a laser) that could be mounted on a moving platform (e.g., an aircraft) and...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Conformably Stowable Canard

An improved secondary wing system of the canard type has been invented to improve performance and increase efficiency of airplanes capable of flight at supersonic and high subsonic speeds. Canards, including...

Briefs: Motion Control
Manually Operated Weld-Filler-Wire Feeder

A simple, manually operated mechanical device will ensure a smooth and predictable motion when feeding filler wire into a molten weld pool in gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). This device simplifies and/or reduces the requirements for a dexterous hand to hold and manipulate filler wire. This device will...

The ability to position an object at various locations corresponding to a portion of a spherical surface has long been accomplished using nested goniometers, in which, as observed...

Surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) piezoelectric motors capable of operating in multiple degrees of freedom (DOFs) simultaneously have been proposed. A particularly useful motor of this type...

Experiments have shown that electrohydrodynamic pumping can be utilized to increase the heat-transport capacity of a heat pipe. More specifically, electrohydrodynamic pumping can...

The figure presents a simplified and partly schematic view of a two-stage rolling-piston compressor that is undergoing development for use as the prime mover in a vapor-compression...

A proposed solenoid-actuated valve would open for a short time to pass a very small quantity of fluid. The valve could be used to meter a specified total quantity of the fluid through repeated...

Briefs: Motion Control
Formulation and Algorithm for Multi-Flexible-Body Dynamics

An improved formulation of the dynamics of multiple flexible bodies coupled via joints, and an algorithm that implements the formulation, have been developed at Johnson Space Center (JSC). A robot arm with multiple, somewhat flexible links is a prime example of a dynamic system to which...

Briefs: Motion Control
Myoelectric Teleoperation for Robotics and Prosthetics

Johnson Space Center is sponsoring continuing research on the use of myoelectric signals to control dexterous robotic and prosthetic hands. This research is expected to advance the state of the art beyond that of today's most common, commercially available, myoelectrically controlled...

Modified Hartley oscillator circuits are being developed for use in driving large piezoelectric benders in periodic motion, as in some piezoelectrically driven pumps. These circuits...

A proposed method of calibration of micromachined vibratory gyroscopes would make it unnecessary to test the gyroscopes at known rates of rotation. At present, calibration entails inertial...

A personal-computer-based system has been developed as a prototype of electronic signal-processing and computing systems for diagnosis of turbines, motors, and other rotary...

The figure illustrates an improved electronic circuit that generates a signal proportional to either the instantaneous vibrational velocity or the instantaneous position...

Briefs: Motion Control
Pulse-Mode Reaction Control System Thruster

A spacecraft reaction-control-system (RCS) thruster now undergoing development generates a thrust of 870 lbf (3,870 N) by burning ethanol and liquid oxygen (LOX), which are nontoxic. The performance of the thruster has been tested in operation in multiple pulse modes with pulses as short as 160 ms;...

The figure illustrates an improved electronic circuit that excites constant-magnitude vibrations in an electrostatically actuated, capacitively sensed mechanical resonator. The circuit...

Single crystals of Tb-Dy alloys exhibit magnetostrictive strains approaching 1 percent and can generate forces sufficiently large to make them useful as actuators in cryogenic...

This is the first of four articles that address various issues concerning the generation and utilization of electronic signals in the operation of micromachined planar vibratory...

Electronic circuitry has been devised to compensate for variations in the resonance quality factor (Q) of a planar vibratory microgyroscope like that described in the first of the...

Briefs: Motion Control
Controller for Bistable Brakes

The circuit shown in the figure is a controller for bistable brakes. The use of bistable brakes reduces energy consumption and spurious heating, as explained below.

A bistable brake is one that can stay...

The gaseous hydrogen flow control vale (GH2FCV; see Figure 1) is a critical space shuttle component that controls the pressure of the hydrogen external tank during launch and ascent...

Technological advances have driven the evolution of aircraft flight-control systems. In the dawn of 20th-century aviation, the Wright Brothers used cables and warping of wing surfaces to change...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Adaptive Variable Bias Control for Magnetic Bearings

Adaptive variable bias control (AVBC) is an improved technique for controlling the currents supplied to the electromagnets in magnetic bearings. In AVBC, the bias currents are varied in...

Trending Stories

Briefs: Materials

Low-Alloy, High-Impact-Toughness Steel

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Janus Particles Improve Paints and Coatings

Briefs: Physical Sciences

Single-Photon-Sensitive HgCdTe Avalanche Photodiode Detector

NASA Spinoff: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Blog: Electronics & Computers

'Self-Aware' Sensing Material Powers Itself

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A Robotic 'Digger Finger' Senses Buried Items

Videos