Robotics, Automation & Control

Automation

Access your resource for innovative automation technologies and applications. Find technical briefs and applications that play an essential role in today's age of automation in industrial manufacturing and medical industries.

Briefs: Unmanned Systems

The Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) has been a partner in many uninhabited-aerial-vehicle (UAV) test programs. Our participation has largely been in the areas of...

Briefs: Motion 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: Robotics, Automation & Control
Active Homopolar Magnetic Bearing

A report presents information on an earlier work on active magnetic bearings with high-critical-temperature superconducting coils. To recapitulate, the device is a homopolar radial-type active magnetic bearing with a bias coil and control coils made of a high-critical-temperature superconductor. The report...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An experiment consisting of flight tests on the X-31A airplane (see figure) has demonstrated the ability to use thrust vectoring to replace the functions of stabilization and turn...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Human-powered machines that can be operated as centrifuges or as stationary exercise stations have been invented. These machines are suitable for a variety of terrestrial and...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Small, lightweight sensors that exploit the unique characteristics of nanoceramics are being developed for use in measuring air/fuel ratios in the exhaust gas flows of advanced aircraft...

Briefs: Energy

Early experiments in a continuing research program have demonstrated that thermal batteries made from powdered solid electrode and electrolyte materials can be improved by use of smaller...

Briefs: Energy

According to a proposal for small electric-power systems that must operate in cold environments, heat released in the operation of solar photovoltaic arrays with solar concentrators would be...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Each member of the aircrew of an advanced fighter airplane wears a complex, multilayered ensemble that imposes a significant thermal burden by inhibiting normal transport of heat from the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A spark-ignited reciprocating gasoline engine, intake-pressurized with three cascaded stages of turbocharging, was selected by NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Ceramic Hybrid Electromechanical Systems

Ceramic hybrid electromechanical systems (CHEMS) have been proposed to overcome some of the disadvantages while retaining most of the advantages of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Whereas MEMS are fabricated mostly by micromachining of silicon and have typical feature sizes of the order of microns...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Performance of an Arc-Jet Thruster

A report discusses the design and testing of a laboratory-model arc-jet thruster designed to operate at a nominal power level of 300 W. This thruster is an intermediate product of continuing efforts to develop smaller, lower-power, higher-specific-impulse thrusters for use in a forthcoming generation of small...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Miniature, lightweight, low-power, low-vibration Joule-Thomson Rankine-Cycle refrigerators have been proposed for cooling portable scientific instruments. These refrigerators would be made...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collision-Avoidance Experiments on 7-DOF Robot Arms

A report describes experiments on the concept described in "Real-Time Collision Avoidance for a Robot Arm" (NPO-19861), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 20, No. 12 (December 1996), page 98. Under this concept, collision-avoidance software processes data computed by model-based obstacle-detection...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Update on System for Robot-Assisted Microsurgery

Two reports present updated information on a robotic system that extends the dexterity of a microsurgeon. The system was described in two articles in NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 21, No. 10 (October 1997); namely, "Telerobot Control for Microsurgery" (NPO-19823), on page 46 and "Force-Feedback Device...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A swivel-head drill bit has been invented for use in acquiring a sample of a possibly hard material at a predetermined depth. This mechanism is a simpler and thus potentially cheaper alternative to deep-coring...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Sorption Compressor for Collecting Atmospheric CO₂ on Mars

A report describes a small, lightweight sorption compressor that is now undergoing development for use in collecting CO2 from the atmosphere on Mars. This compressor would be part of a system that would use the CO2 to generate oxygen and a carbon-based fuel for a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A three-ball tribometer has been developed for use in evaluating the performances of oils and greases as lubricants in a vacuum at room temperature. This apparatus differs from the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars Lander

A brief report presents drawings for the conceptual design of a spacecraft that would land on Mars or another remote planet. The spacecraft would have a tetrahedral shape, would include airbags to cushion impact, and would have a self-righting capability. The drawings show the general appearance of the spacecraft and show the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A methodology for optimizing the fundamental structural designs of rotating turbine disks has been developed to aid in preliminary evaluations of various gas-turbine-engine...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A rib valve is under consideration for use as a shutter in an air swirler in the fuel nozzle of a variable-geometry combustor. In the original application, the variable-geometry...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A walking robot connected to external instrumentation via a tether has been proposed to enable visual inspections, retrieval of loose objects, and some repairs inside thin-wall round...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

"Biomorphic explorers" are a class of proposed small robots that would be equipped with microsensors and would feature animallike adaptability and mobility. These robots would capture key features, a specific design or...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Zinc telluride is a semiconductive material that has been found to become photorefractive when it is suitably doped with vanadium or with manganese and vanadium. The combination of...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Robots with multiple-link arms that could reach through narrow openings into hidden cavities are undergoing development. Called "multifunction dexterous boro-robots" (MDBRs), these robots...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Wavy Blades for Secondary Centrifugal Blood-Pump Impeller

The rectangular-cross-section blades of a centrifugal secondary impeller in a ventricular-assist blood pump would be replaced with blades of wavy cross section, according to a proposal. As explained below, the resulting modification in the flow pattern would reduce the tendency toward...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Jewellike bearings have been devised to enhance the performance and safety of small rotary pumps that are used to increase or sustain flows of blood in cardiac patients. A pump of this type includes a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Lightweight, inflatable robotic vehicles (rovers) that superficially resemble beach balls and that could be driven by wind and/or electric power are undergoing development. These rovers were...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Eclipse flight project was established to demonstrate a reusable-launch-vehicle concept developed by Kelly Space and Technology, Inc. An F-106 delta-wing aircraft was chosen as the...

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