Motion Control/​Automation

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.

White Papers : Test & Measurement
A Compact New Non-contact Proximity Measuring System Provides Greater Speed without Sacrificing Precision

Selecting the right non-contact proximity measuring system can be essential to highly precise measurements and a successful project. Non-contact measuring systems that employ eddy current sensors allow for high-accuracy proximity...

INSIDER : Motion Control
Cageless Bearing Design Reduces Friction

A cageless bearing with rolling separator elements was developed for applications including portable medical devices, toys, and robotic applications with medium force requirements. The normal cageless...

INSIDER : Motion Control
“Actuated” Paper Bends, Folds, or Flattens on Command

A thin layer of conducting thermoplastic, applied to common paper with an inexpensive 3D printer or even painted by hand, serves as a low-cost, reversible actuator. When an electrical...

Question of the Week : Motion Control
Can Popcorn Power Robots?

In last week's INSIDER, we featured a Q&A with Cornell University researcher Steven Ceron, who is experimenting with a new way — and delicious — way of powering robots: Popcorn.

Because kernels expand rapidly and exert force when heated, the unpopped granules may provide just the right kind of boost for...

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
How to Power Robots with Popcorn

Cornell researchers have discovered a novel – and delicious – way to power simple robots: Popcorn.

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Meeting the Emerging Challenges in Manufacturing: The Practical Applications of Lightweight Robotics

Today’s global marketplace is changing the dynamics of manufacturing. The speed of business is accelerating, competition has increased and maintaining high-quality products using manual production methods is not always sustainable....

Articles : Motion Control
Conical, Floating-Piston Isolation Valve

A new valve concept consists of a solid piston floating in a medium to control a flowstream. Although the conical shape of the seat is a prominent feature of the valve, especially when the concept was...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
High-Speed Reluctance Machine Design

Silphenix GmbH is an engineering and consulting firm in Switzerland specializing in high-speed electrical machines, magnetic bearings, and electromagnetic field analysis. One project focus is compact...

Briefs : Materials
Fast, Low-Voltage Actuator for Soft and Wearable Robotics

The unique capabilities of soft robots are to bend, deform, stretch, twist, or squeeze in all the ways that conventional rigid robots cannot. Today, it is easy to envision a world in...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Drive Technology: The Recipe for Precise Actuator Control

Worldwide, there are only a handful of manufacturers of electrical actuators for the process industry, and the Vienna, Austria-based company Schiebel Antriebstechnik GmbH is the...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Machine Vision Can Do More Than You Think

The ability to automatically extract information from digital images opens many doors for manufacturers striving to cut costs, improve quality, and streamline their processes overall. The primary...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ultra-Thin Capacitive Sensor Has the Least Possible Resistance to Motion

A thin and flexible sensor was developed for sensing sounds, since it can move with the airflow made by even the softest noises. With the least possible resistance to motion, the sensor addresses issues with accelerometers, microphones, and many other similar sensors. The...

Articles : Materials
IMTS2018 Preview

Presented by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) has been the premier manufacturing technology show in the Northern Hemisphere. IMTS is held every even...

Briefs : Aerospace
Variable-Camber Compliant Wing

In the early years of manned flight, wing warping was used for lateral control of an aircraft. This technique consisted of a system of pulleys and cables used to twist the trailing edges of the wings in...

Briefs : Motion Control
Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding

Resistance welding with direct current (DC) using inverter technology reduces costs by improving quality, reducing maintenance, and increasing productivity. Switching from...

Briefs : Motion Control
Autonomous Crop-Counting Robot

Today's crop breeders are trying to boost yields while preparing plants to withstand severe weather and changing climates. To succeed, they must locate the genes for high-yielding, hardy traits in crop...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hydraulic-Based Spherical Robot

Current spherical robots rely upon rotating mechanical weights inside the sphere to change the center of gravity of the sphere, causing the robot to roll. The use of rotating mechanical weights is not optimal due to the reliance upon moving parts, which can present burdensome maintenance issues. It would be...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: August 2018 Motion Design

Servo Controller IC

TRINAMIC Motion Control (Hamburg, Germany) announced the TMC-4671 fully integrated servo controller IC that provides field-oriented control for BLDC/PMSM and 2-phase...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Integrated Inverter for Controlling Multiple Electric Machines

There are applications that require multiple electric machine drives, such as electric or hybrid electric vehicles, where there is a main traction motor and one or more accessory...

Podcasts : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Here's an Idea: Engineering Real-Life 'Superpowers'

Engineers today are using their creativity to build a variety of superhero-like technologies that enhance our human capabilities, including exosuits, invisibility cloaks, and wall-scaling...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Positional Sensor Measures Rotational and Lateral Displacements

Positional sensors have applications where a very accurate measurement of position is needed over a limited range. One example of such an application is in manipulation of a...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data

Computers and software play a major role in force measurement and quality control. Whether in the engineering lab, quality control inspection area,...

Products : Software
Product of the Month: July 2018

Altair, Troy, MI, released the 2018 versions of electromagnetic (EM) simulation software FEKO®, WinProp®, Flux®, and FluxMotor®. These electromagnetic solver...

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Application Note: Extreme Customization, Well-maintained Tooling, and Accuracy

Take a look behind the scenes at how Nippon Pulse America Inc. re-designed one of its standard linear stepper motors to replace a competitor motor that was no longer meeting customer resolution or accuracy requirements. This application note showcases major...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance

Step motors are widely used in automation due to their high resolution, precision positioning, minimal control electronics, and low cost. As an open loop system, traditional...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Transparent Eel-Like Soft Robot Swims Silently Underwater

An eel-like robot was developed that can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The...

Briefs : Automotive
Sensor-Free Smart Wheel

Technology was developed that not only allows wheels to “know” when and how to rotate, but also enables them to work together in interactive teams. The new technology can be used wherever there is a need for...

Application Briefs : Automotive
Guiding the Way in Automotive Plants

Vision-guided robotics commonly used in today's automotive plants enables robots to “see” the object they are working on so they can perform the required activity accurately on/to an object that is...

Articles : Transportation
Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability

When engineer Mark Doyle started to put together plans for an exoskeleton to support surgeons in 2012, he wanted to develop a lightweight product that they could wear comfortably for...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sensing the Future of Pneumatics

Some species of sharks must constantly swim to keep water flowing over their gills to stay alive. That same concept also tends to apply to technology — once a technology stops evolving and moving forward,...

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