Motion Control/​Automation

Motion Control

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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

A commercial version of the NASA plasma-contactor hollow-cathode assembly (PC HCA) has been developed. The NASA PC HCA is a highly reliable hollow discharge cathode that is the most thoroughly...

Briefs: Motion Control

A developmental technique for automated alignment of threaded fasteners involves the use of the axial force between the fasteners as an indication of alignment. The technique was...

Briefs: Motion Control
Small-Stroke, High-Frequency Reciprocating Pump

A proposed reciprocating pump would operate at a small stroke and would contain no sliding parts. The oscillatory motion of a piston in the pump could be provided by a magnetostrictive actuator, for example.

Briefs: Motion Control

The heat-driven pulse pump has been invented in an effort to satisfy a need for pumps that can circulate heat-transfer fluids at low flow rates with high reliability over long operational lifetimes. The heat-driven...

Briefs: Motion Control

An improved magnetostrictively actuated pump has been developed to satisfy a need for a small, low-pressure, high-flow-rate fluid pump that contains few moving parts and can run reliably for long periods...

Briefs: Motion Control

The figure depicts a proposed miniature, electrically actuated, one-time-opening isolation valve that would be made mostly of silicon, by use of micromachining techniques. Isolation...

Briefs: Motion Control

A device that measures both translational acceleration and rotation exploits the dynamics of a vibratory structure that resembles a clover leaf. This device is related to other vibratory accelerometers...

Briefs: Motion Control

A methodology proposed for actively controlling flows involves the use of proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) to derive computational models of reduced order. The methodology...

Briefs: Motion Control

Spectrol has produced an innovative design for a three-terminal voltage output device that integrates a Hall-effect sensor and a patented magnetic circuit to convert radial...

Briefs: Motion Control
Biomorphic Robot With Distributed Power

The biomorphic robot with distributed power (BIROD) is a prototype of a class of robots that will contain simple, reliable distributed actuators that will consume power from local sources - a design concept inspired in part by biological actuators like muscles in limbs. The BIROD concept stands in...

Briefs: Motion Control

A fault-tolerant feedback (FTF) system has been integrated into a robot control system to prevent robot-arm runaways that could be caused by failure of one or more transducers such as...

Briefs: Motion Control

An apparatus called a "pneumatic stinger" has been developed to enable a first spacecraft, operating under remote control, to grasp a second spacecraft that is in orbit or other...

Briefs: Motion Control

Servomotor drive manufacturers agree that the performance of today's digital drive is largely determined by the performance of its feedback device. Clearly, previous feedback solutions, such as...

Briefs: Motion Control
Finding a Solution for Bellows Coupling Failure

When a problem such as breaking bellows couplings threatens to halt a machinery production line, it is necessary to look beyond the obvious. In an application in which the coupling works on a Heidenhain encoder for an X-Y table that positions circuit boards, representatives of the user company and...

Briefs: Motion Control

Energy efficiency is a continuing focus of the power electronics industry. Motors consume the most electricity in commercial and industrial applications (followed at a distant second by...

Briefs: Motion Control

The linear motor was invented in the mid-nineteenth century, at much the same time as its brother, the rotating electric motor. Because the linear motor always has to effect a reversing movement -...

Briefs: Motion Control

PC-based control has become one of the fastest-growing automation solutions for the factory floor. Control engineers are quickly dropping their proprietary PLC boxes and replacing them with PC-based control...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

The figure shows a robot arm that is essentially a miniature crane actuated by electroactive polymers. This mechanism has been constructed as part of a continuing effort to develop lightweight,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Mobile System for Control of a Remote Rocket-Launching Range

The Wallops Flight Facility of the Goddard Space Flight Center has designed and built in-house a Mobile Range Control System (MRCS), which is a self-contained system to be deployed in support of rocket launches at remote ranges in cases in which termination of flight may be required...

Briefs: Motion Control

Wiping devices that exploit fingerlike bending motions produced by electroactive polymeric (ionomeric) actuators are undergoing development. These wiping devices function similarly to...

Briefs: Motion Control

It is not necessary to allocate valuable forebody volume to strake-deployment mechanisms.

Briefs: Motion Control

The figure presents a partial cross section of two poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) tubes with machined ends butted and sealed together in a special coupling fixture. This coupling scheme,...

Briefs: Motion Control

A surface-micromachining process has been devised for use in fabricating microscopic polycrystalline diamond structures (e.g., bridges and cantilevers) as integral...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Harmonic drive gearing is recognized by designers for its zero backlash, high gear ratios, and compact design features. A recent development by HD Systems incorporates a large hollow shaft...

Briefs: Motion Control

When developing the guidance system of a missile, it is necessary to know the resonant frequencies and mode shapes of the missile in flight. Simulating the free vibration condition in the...

Briefs: Motion Control

The automated propellant-blending machine, a Johnson Space Center (JSC) innovation, refines the production processes of commercial rocket-propellant manufacturers by: (1) generating inert blends that...

Briefs: Motion Control

Two types of gear drives have been devised to improve the performances of robotic mechanisms. One type features a dual-input/single-output differential-drive configuration intended to...

Briefs: Motion Control

The figure schematically illustrates part of an accelerometer in which a feedback control subsystem applies voltages to generate electrostatic forces to minimize the displacement of a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Linear-translation motors containing inertial-reaction masses driven by magnetostrictive actuator elements are undergoing development. These motors could be used to make fine position...

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