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.

Integrating lead screws with stepper motors is a simple and cost-effective method for getting precise linear motion. But achieving that precision requires...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes

Hundreds of small robots can work in a team to create biology-inspired shapes without an underlying master plan, purely based on local communication and movement. To achieve this, the biological...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements

For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one's wrist (pronate and supinate). These are essential movements...

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultraviolet Light Controls Fluid Flow

A simple, inexpensive method uses ultraviolet light to control particle motion and assembly within liquids. The method encourages particles to gather and organize at a specific location within a...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Soft Mesh Robots Move on Water

North Carolina State created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ricocheting Radio Waves Monitor the Tiniest Movements

Infrared motion detectors can cover only a limited amount of space, a person has to be within the detector's line of sight to be detected, and lights can go off when a person remains...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetic, 3D-Printed, Moving Structures

Soft, 3D-printed structures have been created whose movements can be controlled with a wave of a magnet, much like marionettes without the strings. The structures that can be magnetically manipulated...

INSIDER: Motion Control
InSight Measures Motion on Mars
NASA’s InSight lander has provided the first ever "sounds" of Martian winds on the Red Planet. Sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between...

A new artificial joint restores important wrist-like movements to forearm amputees. In the new joint, an implant is placed into each of the two bones of the forearm and a wrist-like...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
Multi-Axis Motion Controller Accelerates Gear Testing

Materials testing and characterization is often a lengthy process. It can take more than a year and billions of testing cycles for a manufacturer to characterize the properties of a new...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Gyroscope-on-a-Chip

Gyroscopes are devices that help vehicles, drones, and wearable and handheld electronic devices know their orientation in three-dimensional space. Originally, gyroscopes were sets of nested wheels, each spinning...

There are few industries where the demands for material testing and quality assurance are more challenging than in the aerospace industry. Ensuring the safety of all...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: December 2018, Motion Design
Motor/Drive/Controller

Advanced Micro Controls (Terryville, CT) offers a size 17 PLC-based SMD Series integrated stepper motor/drive/controller system. The integrated solutions are suited...

The global bearings market is expected to grow significantly due to increasing commercial and industrial machinery and manufacturing activity. Bearings are used in virtually...

As Industry 4.0 initiatives bring more and more industrial axes of motion into the realm of automation, the need for cost-effective control across them grows as well. Advances in...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Device Detects Subatomic-Scale Motion

It is relatively easy to measure small movements of large objects, but is much more difficult when the moving parts are on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter. The ability to accurately...

The Inductive Non-Contact Position Sensor is a highly accurate sensor for motion control applications. The sensor was designed to monitor the precise movements of an optical inspection system that...

Since the first airplane took flight, virtually every aircraft has flown with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, or fans that produce a persistent, whining buzz. MIT has built...

Application Briefs: Medical
Imaging Innovation for Spinal Care

Motion capture (Mocap) is a technique used in the film industry to digitally track a human actor's movements and precisely transfer those motions to an animated figure. But it has other applications as...

Reliability and longevity directly impact the cost of using Q-switched, diode pumped, solid state, ultraviolet lasers in industrial applications. Damage to the intracavity harmonic crystal is...

An unexpected source recently identified a global Martian dust storm. The source was an actuator, or motor, that powers a lid to a funnel that takes in samples of powdered...

The need for Ethernet-based communication within the factory has grown over the past 10 years. Detailed information about the tasks and performance of machines at every stage is...

A technique was developed to quickly teach robots novel traversal behaviors with minimal human oversight. The technique allows mobile robot platforms to navigate autonomously in...

In today’s fast-paced industrial settings, speed and efficiency are key. Reducing time spent on sourcing, installing, and testing motion control systems can play a big...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Popcorn-Driven Robotic Actuators

When heated, popcorn can expand more than 10 times in size, change its viscosity by a factor of 10, and transition from regular to highly irregular granules with surprising force. These unique qualities can...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Modules Modify Their Environment for Specific Tasks

Given the exact parameters of the task at hand, a robot can assemble a car door or pack a box faster and more efficiently than a human, but such purpose-built machines are not...

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), under construction atop 8,737-foot El Peñón peak in northern Chile, is a partnership project of the National...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: October 2018 Motion Design
Multi-Voltage Motors

Simotics SD Pro low-voltage motors from Siemens (Munich, Germany) are suited for mains-fed operation or with a converter for voltages up to 690 volts. There is generally...

Traditional videos and photos for studying motion are two-dimensional, and don’t show the underlying 3D structure of the person or subject of interest. So, researchers are using an...

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