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.

Briefs : Materials
Toughening Stretchable Fibers Using a Metallic Core
Toughening Stretchable Fibers Using a Metallic Core

Researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material. The fibers consist of a gallium metal core...

Toughening Stretchable Fibers Using a Metallic Core
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
A team of inventors found a fast way to join plastic to metal.
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Smart Electronic Skin for Robots and Prosthetics

Humans use the sense of touch to accomplish almost every daily task such as picking up a cup of coffee or shaking someone’s hand. Without it, humans can even lose their sense of balance when walking. Similarly, robots need to have a sense of touch in order to interact better with humans but...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Simulating Softness for Haptic Interfaces
Simulating Softness for Haptic Interfaces

Researchers have developed a formula that enables them to recreate different levels of perceived softness. Based on the results from their experiments, they created equations that can calculate how...

Simulating Softness for Haptic Interfaces
Briefs : Materials
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras

UCLA engineers have made major improvements on their design of an optical neural network — a device inspired by how the human brain works — that can identify objects or process...

Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
“Pushy” Robots Learn How to Move Objects
“Pushy” Robots Learn How to Move Objects

MIT researchers have compiled a dataset that captures the detailed behavior of a robotic system physically pushing hundreds of different objects. Using the dataset, robots “learn” pushing...

“Pushy” Robots Learn How to Move Objects
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
A minimal, map-less approach to drone navigation takes after the bee.
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Finding the Right Approach: How to Test a Vehicle’s ECU

Modern vehicles can contain over 100 ECUs controlling everything from the drivetrain to the ADAS systems. Each ECU needs to be tested individually as well as in conjunction with other components. This white paper discusses the five main tester design challenges and five common approaches...

White Papers : Automotive
Securing the Connected Car: Application Code Matters

Connected car application developers have seen a shift from static, fixed function, device specific applications to a “cloud” connected world, vulnerable to the whims of bad actors and white hat hackers alike.

On-Demand Webinars : Robotics, Automation & Control
The Importance of Signal Routing to Maximize Automated Test System Performance and Reliability

When designing an automated test system, an important but often overlooked task is the development of a signal routing subsystem that connects the test instrumentation and switching elements to the device under test. Implementing a signal routing...

Blog : Defense
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
Editor Bruce A. Bennett offers a look at the Association of the United States Army's 2019 Annual Meeting.
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
A Tech Briefs reader asks: What's next with military motion control?
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
On-Demand Webinars : Robotics, Automation & Control
Military Robotics

While drones are relatively new additions to the military's stable of high-tech robotic systems, ground-based robots have been in use for more than a decade. From detecting, defusing, and disposing of explosives to working side-by-side with soldiers in the field, robots have found a myriad of applications within the...

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Create the Future: A Drone That Folds to Fit Through Holes and Gaps
Create the Future: A Drone That Folds to Fit Through Holes and Gaps
A new drone “folds” itself into configurations that suit a given environment.
Create the Future: A Drone That Folds to Fit Through Holes and Gaps
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
How to Validate Autonomous VTOL Safety

Prepared for Takeoff? When market share is up for grabs, virtual VTOL testing is the only way to fly. ANSYS offers the industry’s most complete simulation solution for accelerating autonomous aircraft development. It integrates high-fidelity physics with sensor design and testing, functional safety...

INSIDER : Wearables
Reconfigurable Electronics Show Promise for Wearable, Implantable Devices
Reconfigurable Electronics Show Promise for Wearable, Implantable Devices

Medical implants of the future may feature reconfigurable electronic platforms that can morph in shape and size dynamically as bodies change or even transform to...

Reconfigurable Electronics Show Promise for Wearable, Implantable Devices
White Papers : Transportation
How to Determine Creepage and Clearance Requirements for 48-Volt Applications

This white paper provides OEMs with TE’s approach for evaluating connectors for 48-volt applications that are designed with reference to UL 840 and IEC 60664-1 standards. The paper provides TE’s methodology, for evaluating creepage and clearance, the two key...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Liquid Lab-on-a-Chip
3D-Printed Liquid Lab-on-a-Chip

Researchers have 3D-printed an all-liquid device that, with the click of a button, can be repeatedly reconfigured on demand to serve a wide range of applications from making battery materials to screening drug...

3D-Printed Liquid Lab-on-a-Chip
Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs

Toposens, Sunnyvale, CA, released the TS3, a 3D ultrasonic sensor suitable for autonomous systems including robotics, autonomous vehicles, and other positioning applications that require...

Product of the Month: October 2019 Tech Briefs
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tiny “Walking” Motor Moves in Discrete Mechanical Steps
Tiny “Walking” Motor Moves in Discrete Mechanical Steps

A set of five tiny fundamental parts can be assembled into a wide variety of functional devices including a tiny “walking” motor that can move back and forth across a surface or...

Tiny “Walking” Motor Moves in Discrete Mechanical Steps
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Lightweight Exosuit Combines Robotics and Functional Apparel
Lightweight Exosuit Combines Robotics and Functional Apparel

Between walking and running, human gaits can cover a wide range of speeds; for example, at low speeds, the metabolic rate of walking is lower than that of running in a slow jog....

Lightweight Exosuit Combines Robotics and Functional Apparel
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Airplane Wing Assembled from Tiny Identical Pieces
New Airplane Wing Assembled from Tiny Identical Pieces

A radically new kind of airplane wing, assembled from hundreds of tiny identical pieces, can change shape to control the plane’s flight, and could provide a significant boost in...

New Airplane Wing Assembled from Tiny Identical Pieces
Briefs : Communications
Technique Locates Robots and Humans in GPS-Challenged Environments

An algorithm enables localization of humans and robots in areas where GPS is unavailable. The Army needs to be able to localize agents operating in physically complex, unknown, and infrastructure-poor environments. This capability is critical to help find dismounted soldiers and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Smartphone App Programs Robots
Smartphone App Programs Robots

A smartphone app was developed that allows a user to easily program any robot to perform a mundane activity such as picking up parts from one area and delivering them to another. The app, called VRa, uses...

Smartphone App Programs Robots
Briefs : Transportation
High-Sensitivity, Low-Noise MEMS Accelerometer
High-Sensitivity, Low-Noise MEMS Accelerometer

A high-sensitivity and low-noise MEMS accelerometer was developed using multi-layer metal structures composed of multiple metal layers. The accelerometer achieves 1 μG level resolution that has...

High-Sensitivity, Low-Noise MEMS Accelerometer
Briefs : Motion Control
Miniature Stretchable Pump
Miniature Stretchable Pump

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over rigid robots: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects, and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber, or other stretchable polymers,...

Miniature Stretchable Pump
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Automated System Generates Robotic Parts
Automated System Generates Robotic Parts

An automated system designs and 3D-prints complex robotic parts that are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. The system fabricates actuators — devices that mechanically...

Automated System Generates Robotic Parts
Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Are You Encouraged by the Increasingly Sophisticated Capabilities of Today’s Robots?

Researchers from Boston Dynamics have stuck the landing and created a robot that can perform a full gymnastics routine. Watch the performance on Tech Briefs TV.

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off
By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off

A lake is usually a picture of serenity, perhaps the last place you’d expect to find a flying-fish robot launching itself 85 feet in the air.

By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off
INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
Shape-Shifting Robots Built from “Smarticles”
Shape-Shifting Robots Built from “Smarticles”

Researchers built robots entirely from smaller robots known as smarticles, unlocking the principles of a potentially new locomotion technique. The smarticles (smart active particles) can do...

Shape-Shifting Robots Built from “Smarticles”