Motion Control/​Automation

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Explore the latest developments in motion control and automation. Discover innovative advances from NASA and major research labs in robotics, autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, PID controller applications, motor drives and power transmissions.

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Lunar Regolith Simulant Sample Collection Mechanism for Remote Operation in a Thermal Vacuum Chamber

The Sample Capture Mechanism (SCM) is a remotely actuated, spring-driven mechanism designed to remotely capture and seal a 15-mL sample in less than 1 second. It was used to capture a 10-g sample of simulated regolith dispensed from a drill in a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

NASA’s Johnson Space Center innovators have designed a Robotic Inspection System that is capable of surveying deep sea structures such as oil platform storage cells/tanks and pipelines in order to determine...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Researchers at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors (GM) and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2)....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vessel Sealing Device for Robotic Devices

Invasive surgical procedures are essential for addressing various medical conditions. When possible, minimally invasive procedures are preferred, but these technologies are often limited in scope and complexity. These limitations are due in part to mobility restrictions from the use of rigid tools in...

Articles: Energy

The 2016 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, Mouser Electronics, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in seven...

Articles: Medical
SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY BASED SAFETY LATCH

Nicholas W. Pinto, Suresh Gopalakrishnan, Chandra S. Namuduri, Nancy L. Johnson, and Mark Vann General Motors,...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will artificial intelligence do more good than bad for humanity?

This week's Question: World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking recently warned that the creation of powerful artificial intelligence will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.” Hawking noted the risks of creating superintelligence with a will of its...

INSIDER: Motion Control

The SIMbot robot features an elegant motor with just one moving part: the ball. The only other active moving part of the robot is the body itself. A spherical induction motor...

INSIDER: Motion Control

In order to make plug-in electric vehicles as affordable and convenient as internal-combustion cars, their motors must be smaller, lighter, more powerful, and more cost-effective. A research team...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
‘Robomussels’ Monitor Climate Change

Northeastern University scientist Brian Helmuth and other researchers have developed "robomussels" that monitor climate change. The tiny devices have miniature built-in sensor that track temperatures inside the mussel beds.

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
3D-Printed Robots Feature Shock-Absorbing Skins

A “programmable viscoelastic material” (PVM) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) allows users to program every single part of a 3D-printed object, including exact levels of stiffness and elasticity.

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Hexapods — six-legged parallel-kinematic machines — are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after “learning” how to...

Application Briefs: Motion Control

A Fortune 200 company needed a turnkey, DC voltage, agency-compliant electronic control solution capable of providing motion control with memory position capabilities and auto...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Delta Computer Systems (Battle Ground, WA) has announced the RMC200 closed-loop electro-hydraulic motion controller that has the capacity to handle closed-loop control of up to 32 motion axes. The...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

Airpot® Corp. (Norwalk, CT) announced GramForce™ Accurate Force Pneumatic grippers that generate no measurable friction and provide a gentle grip for delicate operations. They operate at pressures from 0.02 MPa to 0.7 MPa, and...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Advanced Motion Controls® (Camarillo, CA) announced AxCent™ servo drives for centralized motion control schemes. The Models AB15A100, AB25A100, and AB20A200 are panel-mount servo drives that operate with brushless permanent...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

Kübler (Charlotte, NC) released the Sendix F5883 Motor-Line optical hollow shaft encoder with a mounting depth of 43 mm. The encoder is based on the Sendix platform, and features Intelligent-Scan Technology . It is...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Danfoss Drives (Milwaukee, WI) introduced the VACON 20 AC drive that features built-in PLC functionality. It is available in all common voltages (110- 600V), and a power range up to 18.5 kW/25 HP. The built-in RS-485 interface...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

Portescap (West Chester, PA) introduced the 16DCP Athlonix™ high-power-density brush DC mini motors. Available in a 16-mm diameter, the 16DCP motors feature a coreless design with an optimized self-supporting coil and...

Products: Motion Control

maxon motor (Fall River, MA) offers the EPOS4 controller module with detachable pin headers and two different power ratings. With a connector board, the modules can be combined into a ready-to-install solution. The...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Orion Fans (Dallas, TX) offers the OA11/22 fan speed control unit that provides precise airflow control. The field-adjustable, dual-channel phase control unit allows the user to control fan speed for single or multiple fan...

Products: Motion Control

TE Connectivity (Pennsauken, NJ) announced the HLIR 750 intrinsically safe, 4-20 mA LVDT position sensors that are CSA listed for use in hazardous locations and where an intrinsically safe sensor is required. With stainless...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

The Series 6PF positioning feedback cylinder from Camozzi Pneumatics (McKinney, TX) is equipped with a potentiometric transducer of a linear position integrated inside the rod. This type of cylinder, when used with the...

Products: Motion Control

SEPAC (Elmira, NY) announced the Thin Spring Engaged Brake, a thin-body, spring-engaged, power-off brake. The brake offers reversible mounting with the shaft extending past the brake or within the brake body. The friction disc/rotor...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

Nidec Motor Corp. (St. Louis, MO) launched NMC’s ACCU-Series™ family of variable-speed products. Users can match a U.S. MOTORS® brand inverter duty motor with an NMC drive or panel, or purchase integrated motors...

Products: Motion Control

Control Techniques, a business of Emerson Industrial Automation USA LLC (Eden Prairie, MN), offers Unidrive M and Powerdrive F300 variable-speed, high-power modular drives. Both are available in frame size 11, providing a...

Products: Motion Control

The Lexium Motion Module (LMM) from Schneider Electric Motion USA (Marlborough, CT) is a compact, programmable motion controller for motion applications measured in millimeters. The controller is programmed via MCode, and...

Products: Motion Control

NovaTorque (Fremont, CA) introduced 600 RPM versions of its PremiumPlus+® Electronically Commutated Permanent Magnet (ECPM) motors. The new versions are available from 0.75 HP to 3 HP, and are suited for directly...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Fabco-Air (Gainesville, FL) announced the FKHS Series 3 Jaw Parallel Motion Pneumatic Gripper line for handling small parts in tight spaces. The design is available in six different bore sizes: 25, 32, 40, 50, 63, and 80...

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