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.

Folding robots based on origami have emerged as an exciting new frontier of robotic design. However, they generally require onboard batteries or a wired connection to a power source, making them...

Currently available air motors have many advantages over electric motors. They are more compact, lighter-weight, instantly reversible without sparking, create no heat buildup, are undamaged by...

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Origami Techniques Expand Compacted Spacecraft

Origami has once again inspired engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Besides aesthetic beauty, the Japanese tradition of paper-folding addresses a...

MIT researchers have developed a way to print flat electronics that can fold themselves into a desired shape. The researchers say the development could have applications in...

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. With a 21-foot diameter, the telescope’s primary mirror is six times larger than the one...

A new mechanical innovation unfolded this month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a team of engineers built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes...

Currently available air motors have many advantages over electric motors. They are more compact, lighter-weight, instantly reversible without sparking, create no heat buildup, are undamaged...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris

Currently there are about 500,000 pieces of human-made debris in space, orbiting our planet at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. This debris poses a threat to satellites, space vehicles, and...

A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University has...

Traditional robots often feature isolated mechanical joints. These discrete components limit a rover’s ability to traverse sand, stone, and other challenging environments. A team at the University of...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Temperature Actuators Bend as They “Breathe”

Extreme temperatures are hard for mechanical components to endure without degrading. To address the problem, researchers at MIT worked with several other universities to develop a new way...

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a way to use 3D printers to create objects capable of dramatic expansion. The technology could someday be used in...

There may be no stronger ally of electrical power utilities than industrial size air compressors, as they drone on every day, taking atmospheric air and transforming it into useful...

Direct drive servo motor and drive technology has many advantages. It reduces an axis’ parts count, mechanical losses, and often its objectionable noise. What’s more, it also...

Actuators have always been on the frontline of automation, providing the “push and pull” that extends human capabilities to operate everything from delicate pick-and-place...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Flat, Triangular Modules Connect to Form Origami Robot

Origami robots are composed of thin structures that can fold and unfold to change shape. They are compact and lightweight, but have functional restrictions related to size, shape, and...

Products: Motion Control
New Products: August 2017 Motion Design
Brushless AC Servo Motors

Allied Motion Technologies (Amherst, NY) introduced the HeiMotion™ Premium (HMP) brushless AC servo motor family. The motors, which have a 20,000+ hour life span,...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Straws Help Create Simple Robot Joints

Inspired by arthropod insects and spiders, Harvard professor George Whitesides and Alex Nemiroski, a former postdoctoral fellow in Whitesides’ Harvard lab, used ordinary plastic drinking straws to...

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) in frequency converters can be very problematic if not addressed properly in the initial design. EMC ensures the proper operation of devices to avoid negative...

A lightweight module for rapid, accurate, and versatile positioning of semiconductor chips features a novel electromechanical actuator that can move objects both linearly and...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft “Vinebot” Excels at Search and Rescue

Inspired by natural organisms like vines that cover distance by growing, researchers at Stanford University have created a soft, tubular robot that lengthens to explore hard-to-reach...

PC Krause and Associates
West Lafayette, IN
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With support from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business...

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a way to use 3D printers to create objects capable of shape change. The objects use tensegrity, a structural...

A new grasp system with robotic hands works without previously knowing the characteristics of objects. The system, which learns by trial and error, was developed by researchers at...

Using an off-the-shelf camera flash, researchers at Jilin University, China, turned an ordinary sheet of graphene oxide into a material that bends when exposed to moisture. They then used this...

Briefs: Motion Control
Advanced Tool Drive System (ATDS) Camera Positioning Mechanism (CPM)

Robotic servicing of a satellite in low earth orbit (LEO) or geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) requires advanced systems capable of meeting the harsh environments of space. To support this effort, the Goddard Space Flight Center Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO) has...

There are instances when items (e.g., supplies) need to be lowered from an aerial vehicle to the ground. For example, the United States military often lowers supplies from a rotary winged aircraft...

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) were inspired by origami when they developed the Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot (PUFFER). Its lightweight design — which can hitch a ride...

Products: Motion Control
New Products: June 2017 Motion Design
Load Adaptor

Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) introduced the Model 650 Overhung Load Adaptor that's designed to provide more radial and axial load support for hydraulic motors and pumps. The SAE B Model...

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