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.

Products : Motion Control
Part Gripper

The EGP from SCHUNK (Morrisville, NC) is an electric small part gripper that weighs 110 g, and has a stroke of 3 mm per finger. The gripping force can be adjusted on two stages, and its maximum gripping force amounts to 40 N. The gripper can handle workpieces of up to 200 g. Its closing time amounts to 0.09 s. The maintenance-free...

Products : Motion Control
Optical Encoders

POSITAL-FRABA America (Hamilton, NJ) has introduced optical encoders with EtherCAT that provide high-speed data for positioning and speed control with cycle times of up to 62 μs. Using a distributed clock function, they allow users to synchronize axes with a deviation of <1 μs. The EtherCAT encoders support cable...

Motion Control and Automation Technology : Motion Control
Encoder System

The ATOM™ non-contact optical linear and rotary incremental encoder system from Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) combines miniaturization with dirt immunity and signal stability. It features a readhead as small as 6.7 x 12.7 x 20.5 mm, and uses filtering optics with Auto Gain Control (AGC) and Auto Offset Control (AOC). The system...

Motion Control and Automation Technology : Motion Control
Machine Automation Controller

Omron Automation and Safety (Schaumburg, IL) offers the Sysmac NJ machine automation controller that provides direct connectivity to SQL databases, including Microsoft SQL, Oracle, IBM DB2, MySQL, and Firebird. It combines logic, motion, vision, and database connectivity into a single platform. It helps users...

Articles : Motion Control
The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers
The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers

Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers are used in most automatic process control applications in industry today to regulate flow, temperature, pressure, level, and many other...

The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers
News : Test & Measurement
NASA Decelerators Slow Payloads Traveling at Supersonic Speed

What will it take to land heavier spacecraft on Mars? How will engineers slow large payloads traveling at supersonic speeds in a thin Martian atmosphere? The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) mission will seek to answer these questions.

News : Motion Control
New Strain Gauge Enables 'Soft Machines'

Purdue University researchers have developed a technique to embed a liquid-alloy pattern inside a rubber-like polymer to form a network of sensors. The approach may be used to produce "soft machines" made of elastic materials and liquid metals.

Such an elastic technology could be used to create robots...

Articles : Motion Control
High-Temperature Actuators for Aircraft Propulsion Systems

Future “more electric aircraft” (MEA) will require electric actuation systems for control surfaces and engine controls. Electric motors, drive electronics, and mechanisms are essential elements of aircraft actuation in MEAs that incorporate Electro-Magnetic Actuators (EMAs)....

Motion Control Technology : Motion Control
Probe Positioning System for Antenna Range

In situ measurements of antenna patterns on rovers in a simulated terrain are difficult to make with conventional antenna range techniques. The desired pattern data covers a hemisphere above the antenna of interest, which is close to the ground. This is incompatible with traditional measurements that...

Briefs : Motion Control
Fluidic Actuators with No Moving Parts

Two new fluidic actuator designs were developed to control fluid flow in ways that will ultimately result in improved system performance and fuel efficiency in to improve the aerodynamic performance of a variety of vehicles. These flow control actuators, often referred to as fluidic oscillators or sweeping...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Submersible Pressure Transducer for Tank Fluid Level Monitoring

Monitoring the level of liquid can be accomplished through the use of a pressure transducer. The density of the liquid and its height create pressure on the diaphragm of the pressure transducer to generate an accurate and cost-effective level measurement. Generally, pressure...

News : Propulsion
New Algorithms Enable Self-Assembling, Printable Robots

In two new papers, MIT researchers demonstrate the promise of printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations.

One paper describes a system that takes a digital specification of a 3-D shape — such as a computer-aided...

News : Defense
Wind Tunnel Tests Support Improved Design of B61-12 Bomb

Sandia National Laboratories has finished testing a full-scale mock unit representing the aerodynamic characteristics of the B61-12 gravity bomb in a wind tunnel. The tests on the mock-up were done to establish the configuration that will deliver the necessary spin motion of the bomb...

News : Propulsion
Aircraft Engine Coating Could Triple Service Life and Save Fuel

Researchers at University West in Sweden are using nanoparticles in the heat-insulating surface layer that protects aircraft engines from heat. In tests, this increased the service life of the coating by 300%. The hope is that motors with the new layers will be in production within...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Engineers Develop 'Simple' Robotic Swarms

University of Sheffield engineers have developed a way of making hundreds — or even thousands — of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks. The robots do not require memory or processing power.

Each robot uses just one sensor that indicates the presence of another nearby robot. Based on the...

News : Medical
Mini Science Lab Detects Multiple Bio Agents

It can cost hundreds of dollars and days to scan biological materials for important biomarkers that signal diseases such as diabetes or cancer using industry standard equipment. Researchers face enormous time constraints and financial hurdles from having to run these analyses on a regular basis. A...

Articles : Motion Control
Designing a Multi-Segmented Robot for Hull Climbing

The Multi-segmented Magnetic Ro bot (MSMR) project addresses a capability gap in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance needs of the U.S. Navy visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS); Navy SEALs; and Marine Force Reconnaissance teams. A segmented robotic platform with magnetic...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Embedded Servo Drive Boosts Speed of Packaging Lines

Pfankuch Machinery, based in Ahrensburg, Germany, is a leading manufacturer of friction feeder systems for inserting leaflets and products into sales packaging. An embedded smart servo drive from Metronix (part of the Apex Tool Group in Sparks, MD) has allowed Pfankuch to increase the speed of...

News : Transportation
Driving Simulator Helps Engineers Calculate Human Factor

Simulations are an important development tool in the automobile and utility vehicle. The properties of vehicle components, such as how they respond in an accident, their reliability, or their energy efficiency can be investigated using simulations before the first component is...

News : Motion Control
Harnessing Everyday Motion to Power Mobile Devices

Imagine powering your cell phone by simply walking around your office or rubbing it with the palm of your hand. Rather than plugging it into the wall, you become the power source. Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed the first triboelectric nanogenerator, or "TENG." The team paired two...

Articles : Motion Control
Moving Magnet Voice Coil Actuators Offer Controllable Movement for High-Duty-Cycle Applications

There are two types of voice coil actuators: moving coil and moving magnet. The materials of construction are similar, since they both use rare earth magnets, steel, copper wire, and basic insulation materials. There is a tendency to want to say one...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Integrated Motion Solution Keeps Laser Marking Machine Costs Down

As the demands of traceability and compliance are put on manufacturers, using a laser provides permanent marking of a variety of information, including 2D bar codes, serial numbers, company information, and logos.

Briefs : Motion Control
Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM)

Autonomous robotic manipulators have the potential to increase manufacturing efficiency, provide in-home care, and reduce the risk to humans in hazardous situations. The current challenge in autonomous robotic manipulation is to approach the capabilities of dedicated, one-off manipulators in known...

Briefs : Motion Control
Sliding Gait for ATHLETE Mobility

ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer) is a multipurpose mobility platform for planetary surfaces. It is a cross between a wheeled rover and a walking robot, and travels using powered wheels mounted on the end of each of six robotic limbs. Each limb is a fully articulated robotic manipulator...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless Motor

Johnson Electric (Hong Kong) has announced the Compact ECTM E8 brushless technology motor for handheld powered tools. The motor is a design platform that provides high power for battery operated power tools. The motor, based on Compact EC technology, is suitable for grinders, paint sprayers, hammer drills, and power...

Articles : Motion Control
Optimizing Closed-Loop Control in Hydraulic Motion

Performing closed-loop control of hydraulic servo systems is often more challenging than controlling servomotor systems. The main reason is that hydraulic systems use compressible oil to move the actuator. Because of this, a hydraulic system can be modeled as a mass between two springs, where...

Articles : Medical
Robotic Exoskeleton Vastly Improves Quality of Life
Robotic Exoskeleton Vastly Improves Quality of Life

Worldwide an estimated 185 million people use a wheelchair daily. A company based in Auckland, New Zealand, has developed an innovative robotic technology that helps people with mobility...

Robotic Exoskeleton Vastly Improves Quality of Life
Articles : Motion Control
Feedback Sensors Keep Servomotors on Target

Fundamentally, a servo system can perform no more accurately than the accuracy of the feedback device controlling it. In addition, errors in speed or position can be introduced into the system by the less-than-perfect mechanisms that transfer the motor power to the load. Environmental factors like...

Articles : Motion Control
Handling Delicate Materials

Special care needs to be taken when handling delicate materials used in medical applications. Small diameters provide increased flexibility needed for long-flex-life applications such as cardiac catheter wires. Many other applications also use these fine materials as winding and braiding materials, including the...

Products : Motion Control
Gearboxes

The i-series planetary gearboxes from Groschopp (Sioux Center, IA) are available with AC, PMDC, and brushless motors, and are made of cast aluminum. They are offered with up to three stages of steel cut or optional plastic gears, suitable for both leftand right-hand rotation running, in continuous and intermittent duty operation. The...