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.

 Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Air Conditioning Cools Lunar Test Vehicles

NASA tests robotics for lunar electric rovers (LERs) and space exploration in remote locations, such as the Arizona desert, that closely simulate the terrain of the Moon or planets. The LER tests are conducted by a team of NASA engineers also known as the Desert RATS (Desert Research and Technology...

 Articles : Motion Control
Reducing Design Time for Linear Motion Systems

Reducing design time is critical in engineering because the result is lower costs and faster time to market. Design time often includes a number of non-value-added activities such as re-design, over-design, or scope creep that can be minimized by thoroughly understanding all of the application...

 Application Briefs : Motion Control
Robots Play Role in Future Aircraft Wing Production

KUKA Systems (Sterling Heights, MI), in conjunction with Bombardier Aerospace, has devised an innovative robotic cell for laying up dry carbon fiber material as a result of a national research and development project.

 Products : Motion Control
DC Servo Motors

The Series 3400, 4400, and 5400 Pittman® slotless, brushless DC servo motors from AMETEK Technical and Industrial Products (Kent, OH) are available in three frame sizes: NEMA 14, 17, and 23. They incorporate 3-phase slotless stators, 4-pole rotors, and neodymium magnets. The motors can achieve maximum continuous torque up to 43...

 Articles : Software
Expanding the Use of Smart Operator Panels

The evolution of operator interfaces has moved quite far beyond the pushbutton. Once, the intelligence resided in the operator’s brain, and considerable experience and training were required to operate any complex piece of machinery or process. The evolution of the operator panel is actually two...

 Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Prototype Helps Astronauts Use Robot on International Space Station
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) material parts
RedEye On Demand
Eden Prairie, MN
866-882-6934

Wyle is a leading provider of high-tech science, aerospace engineering, and information technology services to the federal government on long-term outsourcing...

 Briefs : Medical
Wireless Foot Switch Design Considerations

Wireless foot switches for the control of medical devices are gaining acceptance and growing in popularity — prompting OEMs to design medical equipment for use with a wireless foot switch or to accept a wireless foot switch as a pre-sale or post-sale option.

 Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Machinery & Equipment Category Winner

Hybrid Rotor Compressor for Natural Gas Extraction

Jeremy Pitts and Pedro Santos, OsComp Systems, Boston, MA

Natural gas is a booming industry in the U.S. and represents a bridge energy solution to a renewable energy future. Unfortunately, the key piece of equipment — the compressor —...

 Articles : Motion Control
Electronic Flow Control Valve (EFCV) with Pressure Compensation Capability

Flow control is one of the most critical functions in the hydraulic industry. Traditionally, flow control is implemented via a proportional or servo valve. When current is applied into the coil of a solenoid (proportional valve) or a torque motor (servo valve), a...

 Application Briefs : Motion Control
DC Motor Automates Patient Transfer Device

One of the growing problems facing nurses is a reduced staff, and with it the need to care for overweight patients with very little help. This effort has led to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) including back injuries. In fact, 12 percent of nurses leave the profession each year due to back injuries....

 Articles : Motion Control
NASA Announces New Launch System

Today, NASA announced the new Space Launch System (SLS), an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

 Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
When Human-Machine Interfaces and Control Converge

Today’s human-machine interfaces (HMIs) provide the link between sophisticated technology and the human touch required to effectively operate essential systems and applications. By offering intuitive contact between the operator and the process, users can safely operate trains, build cars,...

 Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Innovation in Smart Robotics

After turning the dial to heavy-duty and pushing the start button, Modi waits for the click that indicates that the interlock mechanism successfully locked the door of the washing machine. Shortly after, the water starts to flow and the machine indicates that the soak and scour phase is in progress. Now it’s time...

 Articles : Motion Control
Steer-by-Wire Systems with Integrated Torque Feedback Improve Steering Performance and Reduce Cost

Hydraulic steering systems have long dominated the industrial utility vehicle market because of their familiarity both to vehicle designers and operators. More recently, a trend has been seen towards the use of electronic steer-by-wire systems...

 Articles : Imaging
Machine Vision Fundamentals: How to Make Robots ‘See’

Machine vision combines a range of technologies to provide useful outputs from the acquisition and analysis of images. Used primarily for inspection and robot guidance, the process...

 Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) of NASA. The Laboratory has a wide-ranging charter for solar system exploration, Earth observation, astrophysical research, and technology development. It is located on 176...

 Articles : Motion Control
Motion Control Requirements for Medical Instruments

Medical equipment motion control runs the gamut from electric wheelchair motion to heart assist pumps. This article will focus on the segment consisting of medical laboratory instruments. Even in this segment, motion control ranges from precision liquid handling and dispensing, to sample-...

 Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motors Keep Telescope Operating in Record-Low Antarctic Temperatures

At Concordia Station in Antarctica, there is a telescope mount that has been operating for a few years. Recently, there was a new record temperature at the Dome C site: -84.6 °C, or -199 °F. Not many things operate well in such conditions, but the telescope mount — which...

 Application Briefs : Motion Control
Robots and Vision Combine for Accurate Sheet Metal Cutting

In the general construction industry, many different parts are cut from sheet metal and then welded together on a large machine or vehicle. The trouble arises when the sheets are placed on the cutting table; the larger and heavier they are, the more difficult they are to position on the...

 Briefs : Medical
Method of Reducing Stray Energy Burns in Laparoscopic Surgery

Any surgery brings with it risk, both to the patient and the surgeon. However, laparoscopic surgery sometimes brings an additional invisible risk: stray energy burns. Electrosurgical devices and laparoscopic instruments can suffer insulation failures and capacitive coupling,...

 Application Briefs : Motion Control
Crew Test Module Provides Launch Escape System

New Shepard rocket-propelled vehicle

Blue Origin
Kent, WA
253-872-0411 www.blueorigin.com

Blue Origin has received funding from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative to develop a composite crew test module and a launch escape system for its commercial...

 Articles : Motion Control
Synchronizing Hydraulic Axes in a Pultrusion Machine

Many hydraulically operated machines perform adequately with on/off “bang-bang” valves, but some need special controls to avoid maintenance problems and deliver quality production output. This is particularly true when multiple hydraulic axes need to be synchronized. In these cases,...

 Application Briefs : Motion Control
Removing Digestive Tumors With a Therapeutic Endoscopy Teleoperation Robot

Endo Tools Therapeutics (ETT) is a medical device company based in Brussels, Belgium that was established in 2008. The company was formed after an innovative research project started in 2004 at Erasme Hospital (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and the faculty of...

 Articles : Motion Control
Electromobility Drives Green Vehicles

Environmental friendliness, economy, and individuality are the fundamental ideas associated with the topic of eMobility (electromobility). The increasing scarcity of resources and constantly rising prices are being felt by everyone, as will be the follow-up costs if we don’t succeed in reducing...

 Application Briefs : Motion Control
Motion Components Optimize Performance of Liquid Chromatography System

Pricing pressures, intense competition, and strict regulatory demands are challenging scientists and researchers in the fast-growing, highly-regulated pharmaceutical, life science, biochemical, industrial, and environmental industries to make important breakthroughs faster...

 Articles : Photonics/Optics
Machine Vision Aids Earthquake Retrofit Studies

As recent events in Haiti and Argentina have highlighted, many urban buildings in seismically active regions worldwide are in need of reinforcement to resist earthquake damage. One challenge facing earthquake retrofit activities is finding a balance between the cost and the effectiveness of the...

 Articles : Motion Control
Closed System Technology Drives the Trend Toward Safer Dispensing of High-Purity Chemicals

In dozens of industries and in millions of applications around the world, dangerous chemicals are transferred from their original shipping containers into smaller jugs or buckets, or applied to other end-use processes. Historically, the predominant...

 Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic 3D Scanner Automatically Scans Spacecraft Heat Shields
Adept Viper 850 robot arm
Adept Technology
Pleasanton, CA
925-245-3400
www.adept.com

NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, performs research and technology in aeronautics, spaceflight, and information technology in a 3D vision lab. Using...

 Articles : Motion Control
Controlling Robotics Precisely With Haptic Technology

Robots are capable of very precise motion, but must be guided with precision in order to fulfill their potential. Consider the task of guiding a robotic surgeon’s arm to suture a wound or insert a catheter. A human surgeon, with all his or her knowledge and experience, is required to...

 Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Control System Safely Moves a Robot During Invasive Neurosurgery

Robotic devices have been used in the medical industry for more than 40 years. Despite the advantages, researchers have faced unique challenges in developing effective, safe robotics applications for medical use. In contrast with industrial applications in which robots operate in...

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Webcasts

 Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Adaptive AUTOSAR and a Ready-to-Go Vehicle Run-Time Environment

 Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

The Next Giant Leap: Back to the Moon and On to Mars

 Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

SOSA and Its Impact on OpenVPX

 Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Automotive Glazing: Past, Present, and Future

 Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Lightweighting with Composites and Plastics

 On-Demand Webinars: Imaging

Innovative Approach for Ultrahigh-Speed Machine Vision