Motion Control/​Automation

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.

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Specifying Actuators for Cleanroom Environments

Selecting the right actuator for use in any manufacturing operation involves a host of application-specific variables, including aspects such as the required stroke length, load capacity,...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Naval Shipyard Automates Dry Dock Operation

Pearl Harbor Naval Station and Hickam Air Force Base have grown up together around the historic port known as Wai’Momi, adjacent to Honolulu. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY), located at Joint...

Products: Motion Control
Robotic Arm

Global Specialties (Yorba Linda, CA) introduced the R700 Vector Robotic Arm that is fully assembled and ready to be programmed in the C language. The robot comes with pre-written example programs that can be downloaded to the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Optical Encoders

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) announced the AEDR-87xx series of 3-channel reflective optical encoder devices for use in low-power miniaturized motion control systems such as stepper motors, electrical actuators,...

Products: Motion Control
Motor Drive Controllers

ElectroCraft (Dover, NH) released the PRO Series integrated motor drive controllers that include brushless motor drives, stepper motor variants, and linear actuators, all incorporating a fully integrated drive with...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Human-Machine Interface

Mitsubishi Electric Automation (Vernon Hills, IL) introduced the GOT2000 Series human machine interface (HMI) that monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen. It allows operators to interact...

Products: Motion Control
Shaft Grounding Ring

Electro Static Technology (Mechanic Falls, ME) offers the AEGIS® iPRO-MR ring that combines shaft voltage bearing protection with continuous monitoring of shaft voltage levels from a remote location in real...

Products: Motion Control
Force Transducers

HBM (Marlborough, MA) introduced the C10 line of compressive force transducers. The stainless steel version is hermetically sealed, and they have an IP68 rating for use in environments where dirt and moisture can be a...

Products: Motion Control
Linear Position Sensors

Macro Sensors (Pennsauken, NJ) offers the CD 375 series of miniature LVDT linear position sensors that attach to a robotic arm to detect position change when an actuator moves the robotic arm, providing an analog...

Products: Motion Control
Shaft Locking Bushings

Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) offers ETP Techno shaft locking bushings for bore sizes of 110, 120, and 130 mm. They are designed for locking components to large shafts with repeatable precision for applications requiring...

Products: Motion Control
Digital Servo Drive

The SXD 15 digital servo drive from Allied Motion (Amherst, NY) is a compact, modular unit that can drive a DC brush, DC brushless, or AC brushless motor requiring up to 1 kW of power. It can be either panel- or DIN--...

Products: Motion Control
Torquer

Qosina (Edgewood, NY) offers the 97339 one-handed green torquer. Made of ABS, polypropylene, and stainless steel, the torquer fits guide wires 0.018 to 0.038". It is operable with one hand by squeezing (instead of turning) the top...

Products: Motion Control
Fasteners

Fixtureworks® (Fraser, MI) offers Imao® “One-Touch” pin-and-receptacle fasteners used to attach fixtures, plates, machine covers, and more, joining components with moderate clamping force. An alternative to...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Drive Software

Teledyne LeCroy (Chestnut Ridge, NY) announced three-phase Motor Drive Power Analyzer software for its HDO8000 oscilloscopes for motor drive embedded control and power section debug. With the addition of three-phase...

Products: Motion Control
Motor Gate Drivers

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) offers the MCP8025 and MCP8026 3-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor gate drivers with integrated power module, LIN transceiver, and sleep mode. The devices can power the dsPIC®...

Products: Motion Control
HEV Motors

Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division (Rohnert Park, CA) announced the GVM142 HEV motors. The generator and auxiliary motor series is an electric machine intended for use in electric and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV)...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Positioning System

Physik Instrumente (Auburn, MA) offers the H-850KMLD 6-axis hexapod positioning system with 1,000-pound load capacity that provides 1-μm minimum incremental motion over a 100-mm travel range in XY, and 0.5-μm in the Z...

Techs for License: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Spring Joint Package with Overstrain Sensor

This flexible joint provides two degrees of freedom and a tremendous amount of compliance. The overstrain sensor joint has a passive and...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rosetta Begins Science on Comet

After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. Mission controllers at ESA's mission...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Top Prizes Awarded in the Create the Future Design Contest

On November 7, the top prizes in the 2014 Create the Future Design Contest were presented in New York City. Winners in seven categories, as well as the Grand Prize winner,...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
NASA's Hot 100 Technologies: Robotics, Automation & Control
Inductive Monitoring System

IMS software utilizes techniques from model-based reasoning, machine learning, and data mining to build system-monitoring knowledge bases from archived...

The military has used and experimented with robots that perform functions such as scouting and surveillance, carrying supplies and detecting and disposing of improvised homemade...

A new method for improving the thrust generated by laser-propulsion systems may bring them one step closer to practical use. The method, developed by physicists Yuri...

News: Electronics & Computers
Ocean Gliders Measure Melting Polar Ice

The rapidly melting ice sheets on the coast of West Antarctica are a potentially major contributor to rising ocean levels worldwide. Although warm water near the coast is thought to be the main factor causing the ice to melt, the process by which this water ends up near the cold continent is not...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Microbot Muscles Self-Assemble and Flex

In a step toward robots smaller than a grain of sand, University of Michigan researchers have shown how chains of self-assembling particles could serve as electrically activated muscles in the tiny machines.

"We are inspired by ideas of microscopic robots," said Michael Solomon, a professor of chemical...

News: Electronics & Computers
Cockroach Biobots Detect Sound

North Carolina State University researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source of the sound. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.

The...

Rikki Razdan, Alan Kielar, Pat Stearns, and Melissa White
ISCAN Inc.
Woburn, MA

The intrinsic speed and precision of the human ocular-motor system...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
2014 Create the Future Design: Grand Prize Winner
Behrokh Khoshnevis
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Contour Crafting (CC) is a computerized construction method that 3D prints large-scale structures directly...

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