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.

Products : Motion Control
DC Compressor

Designed for air seats, light-duty air suspension, and other mobile applications, the Thomas 135 Series DC WOB-L® compressor from Thomas Division, a Gardner Denver Company (Sheboygan, WI), is a compact, lightweight intermittent-duty pump. The compressor is 1.16 pounds and 3.6 × 1.66 × 4.34". Avail able in 12V or 24V, the...

Products : Motion Control
DC Accelerometer

Measurement Specialties (Hampton, VA) has introduced a rugged, triaxial DC accelerometer for steady-state, low-g vibration measurements and high-g transient shock measurements. The piezoresistive, MEMSbased Model 3803A provides triaxial measurement under harsh operating conditions. Hermetically sealed in a welded, stainless...

Products : Motion Control
Encoders

Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) offers the Leine & Linde DRIVE-CLiQ encoder platform for operation in harsh drive environments where they are exposed to vibration, shock, and mechanical loads. The encoder can be installed to the motor mechanics typically found in heavy-duty applications without any adaptation needed. DRIVE-CLiQ is...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Torque Transducers

HBM (Marlborough, MA) offers the T40B and T40FM torque transducers that include an integrated speed measurement system. They are designed to work in harsh environments such as those that contain humidity, condensation, dust, oil, and grease. The transducers take measurements based on the contactless sensing of an anisotropic...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuators

Zero-Max (Plymouth, MN) offers Roh’lix® linear actuators made from stainless steel for use where cleanliness is a priority. Used to convert rotary motion to linear travel, the actuators carry loads at speeds up to 70 inches per second, depending on size. Stainless steel components make the actuators suitable for food, drug,...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Motor Stages

The PlanarDL-series stages from Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) are available in nine different travel and performance configuration applications ranging from high-accuracy surface profilometry to high-speed semiconductor and LED wafer scribing. The PlanarDL XY design allows for use in applications where straightness and flatness...

Articles : Aerospace
Mars 2020: The Next Journey

Building on the success of Curiosity’s landing, NASA has announced plans for the next robotic science rover, which is set to launch in 2020. The proposed 2020 rover mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. The mission would address key...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Station Astronauts Remotely Control Planetary Rover From Space

Just as remotely operated vehicles help humans explore the depths of the ocean from above, NASA has begun studying how a similar approach may one day help astronauts explore other worlds. NASA tested the Surface Telerobotics exploration concept, in which an astronaut in an orbiting...

Articles : Motion Control
Real-Time Software Enables Multi-Core PCs for Industrial Automation

As early as 25 years ago, industrial system integrators saw the great potential that the Windows operating system brought to PCs. They saw the possibility of using the advanced graphic capabilities that Windows offered versus the relatively primitive human interfaces of...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Couplings Synchronize Motion in Pipe Bending System

Pines Technology’s (Westlake, OH) Model 250 Heavy Duty CNC bender is a powerful automatic precision system for fast, repeatable bending of tube and pipe up to 10" in diameter. Providing fast setup and changeover advantages, this giant bender has an advanced level of programming to deliver...

Articles : Motion Control
Using Source Measure Units to Characterize High-Power Semiconductors (Part 1)

The proliferation of electronic control and electronic power conversion into a variety of industries (e.g., energy generation, industrial motor drives and control, transportation, and IT) has made efficient power semiconductor device design and test more critical than...

Products : Motion Control
Instrumentation Valves

Brennan Industries (Cleveland, OH) offers a line of compression-end instrumentation valves available with single or double ferrule-style tube fittings. The NVB Series ball valves range in size from 1/8" to 3⁄4 " and are available in either 316 stainless steel or brass construction. These valves can have two- or three-way...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Actuators

Exlar, a business group of Curtiss-Wright Controls (Chanhassen, MN), offers the K Series™ linear actuators with a 75-mm frame size. They combine roller screw technology in varying performance levels, and allow the use of third-party motors. Along with 60-mm and 90-mm frame sizes, the actuators feature dimensions and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Controller

Fairchild Semiconductor (San Jose, CA) has released the FCM8531 analog and digital integrated motor controller. The 3-phase, hybrid BLDC/PMSM controller offers two parallel processors — an advanced motor controller (AMC) and an embedded microcontroller (MCU) — that provide a one-chip solution for complex motor control...

Products : Motion Control
DC Brushed Motor

The RE 30 EB precious metal brushed motor from maxon precision motors (Fall River, MA) features a low startup voltage and a rated torque of 53 mNm. Other features include minimal highfrequency interference, ironless windings, and precious metal brushes. The motor is designed for haptic applications such as surgical robots. The...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Drive Module

ACS Motion Con - trol (Eden Prairie, MN) offers SPiiPlusUDMlc compact EtherCAT dual/quad-axis drive for equipment utilizing small motors such as pick/place machines, tabletop motion platforms, and wide-format inspection/ assembly equipment. The universal drives can run servo, stepper, and voice coil motors with a power range of 10W...

Products : Motion Control
Axis Calibrator

The XR20-W calibration system from Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) wirelessly measures the an gular position of rotary axes to within ±1 arc second for testing the accuracy of lathes, multi-axis ma chine tools, mill-turn machines, trunnion tables, and spindles. It works in conjunction with XL-80 or ML10 laser interferometers, and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Cables

HELUKABEL® (Elgin, IL) offers the TOPSERV® Hybrid PVC and TOPSERV® Hybrid PUR cables that allow machine end-users, OEM machine builders, and drive system manufacturers to combine the existing power and feedback cables into a single cable in order to connect the frequency inverter to the motor’s feedback system. The cables...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Guide Rails

Sterling Instrument (New Hyde Park, NY) has introduced the S99GWRM40 and S99GWRM80 series linear guide rail systems. The sliding element is a specially formulated polymer material suited for hard-anodized aluminum rails. The combination of the two yields low abrasion. The carriage and rail combination is a compact design, and...

Products : Motion Control
Integrated Motors and Drives

Schneider Electric Motion USA (Marlborough, CT) has introduced Lexium MDrive integrated motors and drives in two motor sizes, NEMA 23 & 34, and two product versions. The Pulse/Direction version is a motor and drive with 4 control modes: torque, speed, velocity, and step clock direction. The Motion Control version...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Piston Pump

HAWE Hydraulics (Charlotte, NC) offers the V40M axial piston pump for open circuits in mobile machines. It has a displacement volume of 2.75 in3/rev, and its swash plate design allows for fine-tuning of the flow rate. With a self-priming speed of 2,900 rpm, it is suitable for applications that require operating...

Products : Motion Control
Integrated Drives and Motors

Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) has introduced the SWM24 IP65-rated integrated drives and motors. The system fuses a motion controller to a high-torque NEMA24 step motor. The entire package is engineered to resist the ingress of water and dust to IP65 standards. All connectors are sealed M12 style. All...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Gear Drives and Motors

Boston Gear and Bauer Gear Motor, Altra Industrial Motion companies (South Beloit, IL) announced the addition of inline models to the Series 2000 right angle helical gear drives and gearmotors. The Boston Gear Series 2000 C-face gear drives feature mounting registers for flexible installation. A front mounting face and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Encoder

Dynapar (Gurnee, IL) has announced the SLIM Tach ST56 encoder, a magnetic digital tachometer that provides position and velocity feedback from electric motors in both industrial and harshduty environments. The encoder also comes with a diagnostic LED to provide visual status of encoder functionality. The encoder features a 3/4" profile...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Position Sensors

Vented versions of the CD 375 Series of miniature AC-operated LVDT position sensors are available from Macro Sensors (Pennsauken, NJ). The sensors withstand high pressures and temperatures in applications where space is at a premium and the environment is hostile. As the coil assembly of the sensor is vented to equalize...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Spring-Engaged Brakes

Nexen Group (Vadnais Heights, MN) has introduced the FMBS flange-mounted, spring-engaged safety brakes with high thermal capacity for NEMA C-Face motors and gear reducers. With continuous thermal dissipation, the brakes are able to stop more kinetic energy without overheating. The brakes are available in two models that...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Drives

Technosoft (Neuchatel, Switzerland) has announced the iPOS3602 BX-CAN and iPOS3604 BXCAN closed-frame intelligent drives. Equipped with a CAN interface, the drives control rotary or linear brushless, DC brush, and step motors of powers up to 144W and 36V nominal voltage. They drive 2 A or 4 A continuous currents, and 3.2 A or 10 A...

Products : Motion Control
Electronic Valves

Clippard Instrument Laboratory (Cincinnati, OH) has introduced the Analytical Series electronic valves available in 2-way or 3-way, normally closed or fully ported. The “A-E” Series pneumatic valves utilize a patented valve system that features power consumption of 0.67 Watts, a response time of 5 to 10 milliseconds, and...

Products : Motion Control
Dispensing Pump

Aalborg® Instruments (Orangeburg, NY) offers the TPV RP dispensing peristaltic pumps with adjustable RPM that can be timer-relay set to start dispensing liquids for a selected time period, and to stop dispensing for another selected time period. Seven time intervals are possible. Easily accessible controls enable priming,...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motors Power NASA’s Interactive Humanoid Tour Guide

RoboThespian is a programmable, interactive humanoid robot designed to communicate, interact, and entertain. First developed in 2006 by Cornish company Engineered Arts, RoboThespian stands 5'9", with a full range of upper-body movement and human-like eyes. NASA will employ the robot’s third...