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.

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...

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

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...

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: Motion Control
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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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,...

Briefs: Aerospace
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...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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...

A JHU team has developed a prototype robot that steals some moves from a Central American cockroach species known as blaberus discoidalis.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
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:...

Articles: Motion Control
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...

Application Briefs: Communications
Simplifying Cloud-Based Remote Access and Data Logging

Smart manufacturing capabilities should be built into machines, particularly those with advanced functionality such as motion control. Even if the factory is not currently connected to...

Servo control systems require accurate control of motion parameters such as acceleration, velocity, and position. This requires a controller that can apply current (torque) to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hydraulically Amplified Actuators

Soft robots are made from soft materials that react to applied voltage with a wide range of motions. Such soft robots contain tremendous potential for future applications, as they adapt to dynamic...

Using 3D printers, researchers have created a metamaterial from cubic building blocks that responds to compression forces by a rotation. Usually, this can only be...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: February 2018 Motion Design
Ring Motor

ThinGap (Camarillo, CA) introduced the PM model TGO77 large-bore compact ring motor for precision and highspeed applications. The brushless, frameless motor has an outside...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Software Brings Movement to Linear Actuators

Linear actuator manufacturers have a history of strong mechanical design expertise, which is the core of any linear actuation; however, giving motion to modern powered equipment goes beyond a...

The wide variety of industrial applications each independently calls for a level of robustness from the physical (PHY) layer, all the way up to applications. Time...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: January 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created the first functional robot powered entirely by vacuum. It is made of soft building blocks that move by having air sucked...

Deciding between a gantry and a robot for your application isn’t always as clear-cut as it may seem. To automate a simple, yet time-consuming and potentially dangerous task in...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Trends in Hydraulic Filtration

Proper filtration plays an important role in ensuring that hydraulic systems operate trouble-free. High-performance filters maintain the cleanliness of the hydraulic fluid over its entire service life. In...

The launch, landing, and overall mission of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is arguably one of the most daring — and successful — space exploration endeavors ever...

An engineering team at the University of California San Diego has designed and built a gripper that can pick up and manipulate objects without needing to see them and without being...

Scientists at Disney Research have developed a modular, reconfigurable legged robot named Snapbot that can move forward, interact with its environment, and perform other tasks based on a number of...

Products: Electronics & Computers
New Products: December 2017 Motion Design
Corrosion-Resistant Valve

GF Piping Systems (Irvine, CA) introduced a corrosion-resistant pneumatic diaphragm valve for highly corrosive dosing and open/close applications. The Type 604/605...

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