Motion Control/​Automation

Robotics, Automation & Control

Stay updated on the fast-changing advancements in robotics, automation, and control. Access the technical briefs and applications that are trending in AI, robotic operating systems, and machine learning.

Latest Briefs & News

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars 2020: The Legacy Continues for NASA Space Robotics

Scheduled for launch in the summer of 2020, the latest NASA rover will continue the legacy of its predecessors – Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity – by taking the next step in space robotics. With innovative instruments, new science goals, and improved technologies,...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Less is More Approach to Robotic Cable Management

In recent years, cable management has come into the limelight because machine reliability has increased dramatically, even though robots have grown more complex. Unfortunately, the...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Challenges in Designing and Manufacturing Sensors for Robotic Surgery

The design and manufacture of a haptic feedback sensor for a robotic surgery platform entails two distinct but complementary aspects: overcoming technical obstacles of...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars 2020 – The Anatomy of Perseverance
NASA's Mars 2020 rover looks virtually the same as Curiosity but there are a number of differences.
Technology Leaders: Robotics, Automation & Control
RF Innovations Give Batteries New Life
Low-power radio design is enabling new connected IoT products for consumer, commercial, industrial, and medical markets.
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mars 2020 – Building Perseverance
Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Keith Comeaux, Deputy Project Chief Engineer, to learn more about the helicopter heading to Mars.
Facility Focus: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Facility Focus: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Engineering focuses on solving the “grand challenges” facing humanity.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
Mars 2020 – Looking for Life
Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Ken Williford, Mars 2020 Deputy Project Scientist, to learn more about the science capabilities of Perseverance.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mars 2020 – Getting to Mars
Perseverance will have the ability to land in more challenging terrain than Curiosity, making more rugged sites eligible as safe landing candidates.
Q&A: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Q&A: Tactile Robot Finger with No Blind Spots
A robotic finger has a sense of touch that can be localized with high precision over a large, multi-curved surface.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars 2020 – The Science of Mars 2020
Learn about the four goals of the Mars 2020 mission.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Mars 2020 – Perseverance to the Red Planet
Read our special series on the Mars 2020 mission, featuring interviews with NASA experts and designers of the Perseverance rover.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Soft Hardware for More Flexible Robots
Combined muscles and sensors made from soft materials allow for adaptable robots.
This type of energy source could be the basis for robots that seek out and “eat” metal, breaking down its chemical bonds for energy like humans do with food.
An inexpensive gyroscope could help drones and autonomous cars stay on track without a GPS signal.
Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Battlefield Navigation with MEMS
Soldiers tend to dodge, dive, duck, and run, creating motion measurement challenges.
INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mini Rover Pedals Out of Trouble

The next generation of exploration rovers will need to be good at climbing hills covered with loose material and avoiding entrapment on soft granular surfaces. Built with wheeled appendages that can be...

New software sets the stage for A.I.-enabled robotic prostheses that predict user terrain and initiate mechanical changes accordingly.
White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Easy and Profitable Measurement Solutions Using Smart Laser Triangulation Sensors

For fast measurements of displacement, distance and position with high accuracy and resolution, laser triangulation sensors can be used in a variety of...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Soft Robots Reach Cheetah-Like Speeds?

Our lead INSIDER story today featured a proof-of-concept robot that moves at almost 3 body lengths a second.

A proof-of-concept soft robot has a cheetah-like gait that avoids the usual crawl.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Radiation-Hardened Gain Digitizer
This instrument has applications in medical equipment, robotics, and satellites.
The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.

The last thing you probably do when a fly buzzes toward you is marvel at its graceful wing and body kinematics. But that’s exactly what researchers at Cornell University’s Itai Cohen Group...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robots: Are They as Safe as They Sound?

Collaborative robots are the fastest growing segment in industrial robotics – for good reason. They’re flexible, easy to program, and when compared to their “older generation” industrial counterparts, far safer and less expensive, as well as faster to deploy. But those who use...

By taking a closer look at the delta deposits on Mars, Stanford University researchers concluded that the Jezero Crater is still the best place to search for signs of life on Mars.
Question of the Week: Automotive
Will 'Metal-Air Scavengers' Power Vehicles and Robots?

Penn Engineering researchers have introduced a "metal-air scavenger" vehicle, which gets energy not from a battery, but from breaking chemical bonds in the aluminum surface it travels over. The technology, which works like both a battery and an energy harvester, has 13 times more energy...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Performance Starter Contactor Design

Shifts in the vehicle market are forcing changes in internal combustion engine (ICE) starting technology. Most substantively, the advent of start/stop engine technology requires a much longer...

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