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
Robots are (Almost) People, Too

Biologically inspired robots are being realized by engineers and scientists all over the world. While much emphasis is placed on developing physical characteristics for robots such as human-like faces or...

NASA engineers and interns are testing a group of robots and related software that will show whether it's possible for autonomous machines to scurry about an alien world such as the Moon,...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
DARPA Teams With Industry to Create Spaceplane

DARPA has created an Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) to create a new paradigm for more routine, responsive, and affordable space operations. In an important step toward that goal, DARPA has...

NASA announced recently that laser technology originally developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been selected for its new Mars mission in 2020. SuperCam, which builds upon the...

Engineers are preparing to test parts of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will send humans to space. They installed an RS-25 engine on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space...

Nine teams of solar powered model cars competed during the inaugural Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) competition held at the STEM Education and Outreach Center at Aberdeen Proving...

News: Medical
'Active' Surfaces Control How Particles Move

Researchers at MIT and in Saudi Arabia have developed a new way of making surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move across them. The work might enable new kinds of biomedical or microfluidic devices, or solar panels that could automatically clean themselves of dust and...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Redundant Sensors Improve Precision and Reliability

Some machine processes, such as presses, can require extreme accuracy in applying and holding force on an object. A popular way to measure force is via load cells. But what do you do when...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motion Control System Gives Farmers a Hands-Free Approach in Vehicles

The important job of a farmer requires long hours of field work. The often monotonous tasks of driving agricultural vehicles to work long rows in the field — whether it...

Briefs: Motion Control
Compact Active Vibration Control System

This innovation consists of an analog controller, diamond-shaped patch actuator, and point sensors (such as accelerometers). The actuator is designed to couple to the flexural response of the structure in the same manner as a group of point sensors. This results in a co-located transducer pair. The signals...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Deep Throttling Turbopump

Advancement in space exploration necessitates deep throttling of liquid cryogenic rocket engines. Both lunar and Martian robotic and human exploration require engines that can be deep throttled,can start and restart, have a long life, and require minimal maintenance. An engine that is capable of deep throttling at low...

Briefs: Motion Control
Analyzing Rollover Stability of Capsules With Airbags Using LS-Dyna

As NASA moves towards developing technologies needed to implement its new Exploration program, studies conducted for Apollo in the 1960s to understand the rollover stability of capsules landing are being revisited. Although rigid body kinematics analyses of the rollover behavior...

Briefs: Motion Control
Test Fixture for Isolation of Vibration Shaker from G-Loading

The first step in implementing the capability to test sensitive launch vehicle instruments in a combined environment has been completed. The test environment consists of specific vibration spectra induced under sustained Gs, using NASTAR’s ATFS-400 centrifuge. Fixtures allow...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Series Elastic Actuator

In order to perform human-like movement, an actuator is placed at each degree of freedom (DOF) in a humanoid robot. Additionally, these actuators must be packaged in an arrangement that approximates human structure and appearance. In this innovation, a rotary actuator assembly incorporates a brushless DC motor, a...

Products: Motion Control
3D Printer Bearing Filament

igus (East Providence, RI) has introduced plastic filament for 3D printers enhanced with low friction properties. The material is 50 times more resistant to wear and abrasion than conventional 3D printer...

Products: Motion Control
Bearings

NB Slide Ways from NB Corporation of America (Hanover Park, IL) are non-recirculating linear motion bearings used in optical and measurement equipment where high-precision movement is required. The SV style consists of two roller...

Products: Motion Control
Gearbox

The 92.1 and 93.1 Series gearboxes from NORD Gear Corp. (Waunakee, WI) feature a two-stage helical-bevel design. Both series are available in five gear case sizes, and are characterized by an open, self-draining outer surface. The...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Inclinometer

The T-Series industrial inclinometer from BEI Sensors (Goleta, CA) measures slope or tilt angles of an object with respect to gravity. It uses MEMS technology, and offers a range of motion feedback including dual-axis up to...

Products: Motion Control
Guide Wheel

Bishop-Wisecarver Group (Pittsburg, CA) offers a DualVee® guide wheel designed for use in vacuum environments to achieve linear and rotary motion within high-tech processes and vacuum chamber environments. The vacuum wheels are...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Accelerometers

Sherborne Sensors (Wyckoff, NJ) has announced the A820 Series of DC-operated, dual-axis, ultra-low-range servo accelerometers suitable for deployment in structural health monitoring applications where compact design and...

Products: Motion Control
Brushed DC Motors

The DCX 16 S and DCX 32 L brushed DC motors from maxon motor (Fall River, MA) feature high power density and low vibration. They feature maxon System ironless winding that offers low electro-magnetic interference and no...

Products: Motion Control
Rotary Actuators

Fabco-Air (Gainesville, FL) has introduced the FRB Series vane style rotary actuators for tight spaces. The ultra-compact, Pancake® design is available in four different models: 10, 15, 20, and 30 mm. Standard rotation...

Products: Motion Control
Bellows Seal

Senior Operations LLC Metal Bellows (Sharon, MA) offers the DELTA P high-pressure bellows seal for use in injection valve applications. It is capable of withstanding high external system pressures, while maintaining low differential pressure across the edge-welded bellows. This feature enables the bellows to be designed with thinner...

Products: Motion Control
Machine Programming Software

CNC Software (Tolland, CT) offers Mastercam Swiss Expert solids-based machine programming software that supports 5-axis Swiss turning machines. The software enables quick toolpath creation from solid faces,...

Products: Motion Control
Motor Control Chips

Mouser Electronics (Mansfield, TX) offers the Freescale Kinetis KV1x family of microcontrollers for 3-phase sensorless BLDC and PMSM motor control applications. Built upon the ARM® Cortex®-M0+ core running at 75 MHz...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Gearmotors

Bodine Electric (Northfield, IL) offers 34B-WX brushless DC (EC) gearmotors that are ETL listed and comply with National Electrical Code Class I, Division 2 safety standards. They are designed to reduce the risk of accidental...

Products: Motion Control
Encoders

Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) offers the Leine & Linde High Current TTL (HC-TTL) encoders that drive long cables and meet voltage requirements for the transmitted signal. The length of cable an encoder is capable of driving...

Products: Motion Control
Linear Motor Stages

Prior Scientific (Rockland, MA) offers HLD117 linear motor stages for microscope automation. They feature repeatability of 0.15 μm, scanning speeds of up to 300 mm per second, and low-velocity ripple even at speeds down...

Products: Motion Control
Motor Drive Controllers

ElectroCraft (Dover, NH) has released the PRO Series Integrated Motor Drive Controllers that includes brushless motor drives, stepper motor variants, and linear actuators, all incorporating a fully integrated drive...

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Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

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