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.

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Soft Robots Reach Cheetah-Like Speeds?

Our lead INSIDER story today featured a proof-of-concept robot that moves at almost 3 body lengths a second.

A proof-of-concept soft robot has a cheetah-like gait that avoids the usual crawl.
The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
Xilinx is now applying AI to the in-cabin environment.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Radiation-Hardened Gain Digitizer
This instrument has applications in medical equipment, robotics, and satellites.
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
3D Imaging the Biolocomotion of Fruit Flies

The last thing you probably do when a fly buzzes toward you is marvel at its graceful wing and body kinematics. But that’s exactly what researchers at Cornell University’s Itai Cohen Group...

Special Reports: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Medical Manufacturing and Outsourcing - May 2020

How are advances in automation/robotics, welding, 3D printing, and other fabrication technologies shaping the future of medical device manufacturing? Find out in this Special Report – a...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robots: Are They as Safe as They Sound?

Collaborative robots are the fastest growing segment in industrial robotics – for good reason. They’re flexible, easy to program, and when compared to their “older generation” industrial counterparts, far safer and less expensive, as well as faster to deploy. But those who use...

By taking a closer look at the delta deposits on Mars, Stanford University researchers concluded that the Jezero Crater is still the best place to search for signs of life on Mars.
On-Demand Webinars: Motion Control
Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

For years the difference between brushless servos and step motors was understood. That has all been blurred with servo vector control of step motors and the growing popularity of smart motors. Understanding these technologies is key to selecting the best product for specific...

Question of the Week: Transportation
Will 'Metal-Air Scavengers' Power Vehicles and Robots?

Penn Engineering researchers have introduced a "metal-air scavenger" vehicle, which gets energy not from a battery, but from breaking chemical bonds in the aluminum surface it travels over. The technology, which works like both a battery and an energy harvester, has 13 times more energy...

In just three weeks, the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) at UC Berkeley built a robotic COVID-19 laboratory.

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Foldable Robots for Future Moon Mission

The newest edition of NASA's small, foldable robots successfully traversed rugged terrain in the Mars Yard at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Robots are in high demand as medical professionals seek hands-free ways to disinfect environments and contain the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19.

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Algorithm Helps Swarming Robots Avoid Collisions
This technology could help control driverless cars and automated warehouses.
Square trusses replace round for enhanced strength and robotics compatibility.
This technology cancels out the vibrations of a satellite by vibrating the solar panels in the opposite direction.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mechanical Controller for Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery has advanced dramatically over the past decade in almost every surgical sub-specialty. Robot-assisted surgery is usually performed using surgical robot systems that...

Here's what you'll need to know when you’re choosing an encoder for a motion control system.
Briefs: Motion Control
Optical Gyroscope-on-a-Chip
The gyroscope is smaller than a grain of rice — about 500 times smaller than the current state-of-the-art device.
As advancements in technology continue to define how pneumatic or electromechanical linear devices lift, move, or place a load, the requirements of excellent closed-loop positioning and accuracy greatly increase
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Reimagining Robotics in a Connected World
Manufacturers are beginning to realize the same benefits by cloud-connecting their equipment and processes on the shop floor.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: April 2020 Motion Design
Motor drivers, position sensors, offset couplings, and more.
Hardware and software tweak microwave patterns to discover the most efficient way to identify objects.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Maximizing Safety in Advanced Battery Systems
Fuse devices enable circuit safety in high-power applications, such as motion control and alternative energy generation, in addition to electric vehicles.
The newest PLCs can directly access Internet resources, much like a mobile device, to obtain information for improving operations.
Applications include homeland security, vehicle anti-collision systems, telecommunications systems, and industrial instrumentation.

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