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.

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Hybrid Stepper Advancements Improve Medical Pump Performance

Designers of medical pumps often have to deal with the challenge of implementing precise, yet low-cost motion control. For most medical pumps, there are three basic technology alternatives for implementing such electronic motion control: permanent magnet brush DC motors, brushless DC...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Gait Analysis Based on Inertial and Magnetic Sensors

Motion analysis often is based on stereophotogrammetry, which estimates the three-dimensional coordinates of points on an object by measurements made in two or more photographic images taken from different positions. While it provides very useful and detailed information about walking, the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Mini Cylinder

Intelligent Actuator – IAI America (Torrance, CA) offers the RCD Mini Cylinder that is designed to replace compact air cylinders used for short-stroke travel, pressing, and hoisting. It features a crosssection of 12 mm, with a body length as short as 60 mm. The cylinder incorporates a brushless DC motor, and provides maximum...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Actuators

K90 linear actuators from Exlar (Chanhassen, MN) are compact, 90-mm frame size actuators available in three performance levels, and allow the use of third-party motors. Featuring dimensions and form-factor consistent with ISO Metric pneumatic cylinder specifications, the actuators are designed to provide a universal solution for...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Pneumatic Air Cylinders

NITRA™ E-Series pneumatic dual-rod guided air cylinders from Automation - Direct (Cumming, GA) are designed for applications that require precise alignment or have large side loads. The devices are interchangeable with other popular brands of cylinders. The double-acting cylinders are constructed with extruded aluminum...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Position Sensors

ASM Sensors (Elmhurst, IL) offers the PMIS4/PMIR5 non-contact measuring system developed for rotary applications. The system provides high EMC protection, large guiding distance tolerance, and signal performance up to 327,680 pulses/360°. The incremental system consists of a PMIS4 sensor head and a PMIR5 incremental magnetic...

Products : Motion Control
Motion Controllers

ADLINK Technology (San Jose, CA) has released the PCI- 8254/PCI-8258 motion controllers that provide servo updates up to 20 KHz through hardware-based PID-FF control loop and secondorder filters, time-deterministic trajectory and velocity planning, comprehensive application functions, and diagnostic and control utilities. The...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Stages

Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA), has introduced the FMSxxHA high-accuracy FMS stages for surface metrology applications. The stages are available in 100-, 200-, and 300-mm models. With all-steel construction, the stages combine high stiffness and thermal stability. The crossed roller bearings have an anti-creep feature to provide smooth...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Scales

Model LF series linear scales from HEIDENHAIN Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) are used on highaccuracy machine tools, jig bore and grinding machines, and linear motors. The LF 485 and 185 incremental models feature very high repeatability and defined thermal expansion behavior. From a grating period of 8 μm, the interferential scanning...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Wheel Force Transducer

Kistler North America (Novi, MI) has introduced the Kistler Type 9269A RoaDyn® S6HT System 2000, a six-component wheel force transducer (WFT) with specialty electronics platform. It is designed to measure three forces and three moments during complete chassis and component road load data acquisition (RLDA) and other...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless Servomotors

The SHX and SPX brushless servomotors for CNC machinery applications are available from NUM Corp. (Naperville, IL). They eliminate the need for a separate encoder cable; machine builders can use a single drive-to-motor cable for each motion axis. Available in 75-, 95-, 126-, and 155-mm frame sizes and three different...

Products : Motion Control
Stepper Motor Driver

Lin Engineering (Morgan Hill, CA) offers the R525 stepper motor driver that reduces overall design time and system cost for an array of step motor applications needing high torque, power, and smooth motion. Measuring 3.3 × 1.3", the driver is accommodated into most systems. It provides up to 5 amps peak of current, handles...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Casters

Revvo Caster Company (West Seneca, NY) offers ET Series casters designed to move moderate loads via manual propulsion. Four-inchdiameter swivel models are available with an optional fixed-position brake that mounts to the top plate so the brake is always in the same position regardless of which way the swivel wheel is facing. The swivel...

Products : Motion Control
Load Sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) has introduced Series 61 photoelectric sensors. The UL and cUL listed sensors are available in DC models with 4-in-1™ output, and AC/DC models with SPDT relay output. Accessible controls simplify set-up and adjustments, and color-coded labels make it easy to identify a given sensor’s sensing mode....

Products : Motion Control
Pump Components

Metallized Carbon Corp. (Ossining, NY), offers custom vanes, rotors, and end plates for use in rotary vane pumps pumping both liquids and gases. The carbon-graphite components provide lubrication in most environments, and are suited for pumping liquids with poor lubricating qualities, strong chemicals that attack metals, and to...

Products : Motion Control
Stepper Motors

Plug & Drive PD2-N integrated closed-loop stepping motors from Nanotec Electronic, U.S. (Medford, MA), provide closed-loop sine commutation. They feature 71 oz-in of torque, and speed up to 3000 RPM with near-servo performance. The sine commutation position, torque, and speed control, and 12-bit encoder, are integrated inside the...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless DC Pump

The Thomas 230 Series, a brushless DC WOB-L® air compressor designed for applications requiring a compact, lightweight pump with variable output, is available from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI). The pump measures 3.8 × 2.64 × 3.63" and weighs 1.2 pounds. It features variable output (1,000 – 3,000 RPM) utilizing a...

Products : Motion Control
Orientation Sensor

Bosch Sensortec (Palo Alto, CA) offers the BMX055 9-axis sensor that contains three 3-axis sensors: a 12-bit low-noise accelerometer; a gyroscope with a resolution of 16 bits and programmable measurement ranges; and a low-noise, widerange geomagnetic sensor. The sensor uses proprietary MEMS sensor technologies. The FusionLib...

Products : Motion Control
Tubing Pumps

Masterflex® C/L® tubing pumps from Cole-Parmer (Vernon Hills, IL) feature a redesigned head that provides more secure tubing retention and more consistent performance over the full range of tubing sizes and flow. A single motion opens the cover and releases the occlusion bed for easy tubing changes. Tubing retainers are...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Gear Motors

Applimotion (Loomis, CA) has introduced custom gear motors for high-torque, low-speed, and low-profile applications. The assemblies combine precision gearing and directdrive frameless motor kits to form a high-torque alternative to coupling a servomotor to a traditional gearbox. The ULT, UTH, and UTS low-profile frameless motors are...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Fasteners

The Key-Rex™ high-security fastener is available from Bryce Fastener (Phoenix, AZ). The special safeguard feature of the screw is the endless combination of complex shapes developed in the drive (head) of the screw. Each keyway shape and matching driver bit is licensed to only one client. Because the driver bit functions like a key,...

Products : Motion Control
Linear Rail System

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, a division of AMETEK Precision Motion Control (Waterbury, CT), has introduced the BGS04 Linear Rail System designed for high-moment loads. The roll, pitch, and yaw moment load capability allows the system to maintain accuracy and repeatability in applications requiring significant cantilevered...

Products : Motion Control
Motor Drivers

Allegro MicroSystems (Worcester, MA) offers the Sanken Electric SCM1240M family of high-voltage, high-current, three-phase motor drivers for controlling three-phase motor power inverter systems and variable-speed control systems. These integrated circuits (ICs) take 85 to 253 VAC input voltage, and 10 to 30 A (continuous) output...

Articles : Motion Control
Factors to Consider When Selecting and Specifying LVDT Linear Position Sensors

Fitting the right type of linear position sensor to an application requires at least a working knowledge of the attributes of this electromechanical device. Starting with the basics, the LVDT (linear variable differential transformer) is a common type of linear...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Connectors Enable Precise Movement of Lunar Robotic Tool Changer

NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA hired Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp. to develop a totally mechanical tool changer for the end of what Langley’s Lunar Surface Manipulation System (LSMS) team describes as a robot that could unload landers. Then, after...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
CNC Machine Controllers

B&R Industrial Automation Corp. (Roswell, GA) offers standardized system modules for CNC machines. Consisting of hardware components, all necessary software functions, and available simulation options, the software package makes it possible to quickly implement automation processes. The system integrates CNC, PLC, and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Automation Control Platform

GE Intelligent Platforms (Charlottesville, VA) has announced the PACSystems® control and computing platform designed for the industrial Internet. It incorporates COM Express architecture with multi-core CPUs. The RXi platform offers high-speed interfaces, with multiple gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports. These...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Harmonic Gearhead

Nexen Group (Vadnais Heights, MN) has announced a harmonic gearhead that directly replaces much larger, high-ratio planetary gearheads utilizing the latest harmonic strain wave gearing technology. In addition to its compact size, the gearhead features high torque, true zero backlash, and positional accuracy. A gearing-forward...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Helical Gearbox

GAM Gear (Mt. Prospect, IL) has introduced the SPH series inline planetary gearbox featuring helical gearing. It is designed for dynamic and cyclic motion control applications, and can be optimized for high-speed and continuous-duty applications. The gears are cut at an angle to help reduce axial forces associated with helical...

Products : Motion Control
Microstepping Drive

Servo2Go.com (Greenville, DE) offers Applied Motion Products’ STR2 stepper drive, a compact, digital step and direction drive for applications requiring basic step and direction control of a 2-phase step motor. The drive outputs up to 2.2 A/phase to the step motor, and is compatible with a variety of 2-phase step motors...