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 : Motion Control
Implementing Anti-Rotational Guidance for Stepper Motor Linear Actuators
Implementing Anti-Rotational Guidance for Stepper Motor Linear Actuators

Integrating lead screws with stepper motors is a simple and cost-effective method for getting precise linear motion. But achieving that precision requires...

Implementing Anti-Rotational Guidance for Stepper Motor Linear Actuators
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes
Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes

Hundreds of small robots can work in a team to create biology-inspired shapes without an underlying master plan, purely based on local communication and movement. To achieve this, the biological...

Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements
Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements

For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one's wrist (pronate and supinate). These are essential movements...

Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light
Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light

Numerous devices in everyday life use computerized cameras to identify objects — think of automated teller machines that can “read” handwritten dollar amounts when...

Artificial Intelligence Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light
Articles : Test & Measurement
Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory
Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory

The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) — located in Aiken, SC — is the applied research and development laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site...

Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory
On-Demand Webinars : Robotics, Automation & Control
Extending Your Robot's Reach: Learn How to Use Linear Axis Systems to Increase the Positioning Range

The future of manufacturing and automation will focus on reducing manual operations, extending machinery ranges, increasing productivity, and reducing costs. This 30-minute Webinar offers ways to reach these goals.

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Silicon Evolution for the Automotive Revolution

The automotive landscape is rapidly changing, there are new disruptive opportunities for service revenue and design innovation, both enabled by software and advanced silicon. This new wave of computing requires a game changing combination of computing performance and functional safety integrity,...

White Papers : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robust VFD Solutions to Meet Industry Standards

The market for Variable Speed Drives (VFDs) is expanding, placing new demands on cables and cable performance. Because machines that utilize VFD motors are often shipped with cables from overseas manufacturers, it is critical to ensure these cables meet electrical codes and regulations to avoid...

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
The First Family of Rack & Pinion Dedicated Reducers

Redex-Andantex is the only manufacturer in the world able to make a family of high precision planetary reducers specifically designed for use with racks on linear axes and ring gears on rotary axes for machine tools and automation equipment. Our planetary reducers offer extremely high...

White Papers : Motion Control
Load Simulation for Test Benches

Test bench designers can count on Andantex to provide a comprehensive, low cost, viable solution backed by decades of industry expertise. With reproducible and accurate torque fast response time, easy remote control and with low power consumption, magnetic particle brakes offer an up-to-date and cost effective...

White Papers : Automotive
Fundamentals of Building a Test System

Defining a test strategy is critical to reducing cost and maximizing the efficiency of your product development and manufacturing organizations. These guides teach the recommended process for building test systems from start to finish. Ensure you have the fundamentals to build a smarter test system that can...

White Papers : Aerospace
Selecting the Optimal Washer Solution for Assembly Applications

Washers are critical to the operation of virtually every machine or device with moving parts. They perform a variety of functions beyond securing bolts, nuts and screws, including insulating, sealing, locking and more. With what appears to be almost limitless varieties of washers...

White Papers : Sensors/Data Acquisition
How New Angular Positioning Sensor Technology Opens A Broad Range of New Applications

A new generation of touchless position sensors solves a number of new problems while simplifying existing on-line control applications by providing design engineers with an opportunity to reduce implementation and maintenance costs. This technology can solve...

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Can AI Prevent Famine?

Today's INSIDER story demonstrated how artificial intelligence models are being used to mark areas most in need of famine relief and funding. Ed Hsu from the World Bank spoke at CES last week about his collaboration with AI heavyweights Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Briefs : Materials
Ricocheting Radio Waves Monitor the Tiniest Movements
Ricocheting Radio Waves Monitor the Tiniest Movements

Infrared motion detectors can cover only a limited amount of space, a person has to be within the detector's line of sight to be detected, and lights can go off when a person remains...

Ricocheting Radio Waves Monitor the Tiniest Movements
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetic, 3D-Printed, Moving Structures
Magnetic, 3D-Printed, Moving Structures

Soft, 3D-printed structures have been created whose movements can be controlled with a wave of a magnet, much like marionettes without the strings. The structures that can be magnetically manipulated...

Magnetic, 3D-Printed, Moving Structures
Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Gateway Integrates Wireless Sensors with Existing Aircraft Systems
Gateway Integrates Wireless Sensors with Existing Aircraft Systems

In traditional hardwired avionics systems, sensor integration requires installation of literally tons of physical cable that significantly increases vehicle weight and the...

Gateway Integrates Wireless Sensors with Existing Aircraft Systems
Briefs : Imaging
Method and Means to Analyze Thermographic Data Acquired During Automated Fiber Placement
Method and Means to Analyze Thermographic Data Acquired During Automated Fiber Placement

Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machines can be susceptible to tow-tape defects such as gaps and overlaps. These can reduce strength between 7% and 32%....

Method and Means to Analyze Thermographic Data Acquired During Automated Fiber Placement
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Shape-Shifting Material Morphs Using Heat and Light
Shape-Shifting Material Morphs Using Heat and Light

A controllable material was developed that can transform into complex, pre-programmed shapes via light and temperature stimuli, allowing it to morph into a different shape before fully...

Shape-Shifting Material Morphs Using Heat and Light
Briefs : Medical
Soft Robotic “Sleeve” Fits Around the Heart to Help it Beat
Soft Robotic “Sleeve” Fits Around the Heart to Help it Beat

Researchers have developed a customizable soft robot that fits around a heart and helps it beat, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart...

Soft Robotic “Sleeve” Fits Around the Heart to Help it Beat
Articles : Aerospace
Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) has been a leader in human space exploration for more than half a century. Established in 1961 in Houston, TX as the Manned Spacecraft Center, the center...

Facility Focus: NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Large-Scale Robotic Inkjet Printing System
Large-Scale Robotic Inkjet Printing System

Painting of surfaces having numerous facets and/or curved surfaces is a time-consuming process that requires the application of several coats (layers) of paint. Such surfaces are often found on...

Large-Scale Robotic Inkjet Printing System
INSIDER : Motion Control
InSight Measures Motion on Mars
InSight Measures Motion on Mars
NASA’s InSight lander has provided the first ever "sounds" of Martian winds on the Red Planet. Sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to...
InSight Measures Motion on Mars
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Disruption is Here in Automotive and Ground Transportation: Are You Ready?

Connected, self-driving and electric vehicles are forging a totally different automotive industry from the one that has thrived for the past century. We are on the cusp of major disruption.

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Automotive Research User Handbook

Within the next 10 years, we will see remarkable change in the automotive industry. From improved engine efficiency to autonomous vehicles to electrification, innovation will begin in academic institutions around the world. NI solutions integrate hardware and software to help automotive scientists and engineers...

Application Briefs : Transportation
Multi-Axis Motion Controller Accelerates Gear Testing
Multi-Axis Motion Controller Accelerates Gear Testing

Materials testing and characterization is often a lengthy process. It can take more than a year and billions of testing cycles for a manufacturer to characterize the properties of a new...

Multi-Axis Motion Controller Accelerates Gear Testing
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Optical Gyroscope-on-a-Chip
Optical Gyroscope-on-a-Chip

Gyroscopes are devices that help vehicles, drones, and wearable and handheld electronic devices know their orientation in three-dimensional space. Originally, gyroscopes were sets of nested wheels, each spinning...

Optical Gyroscope-on-a-Chip
Application Briefs : Software
One-Cable Automation Streamlines Robotic Non-Destructive Inspection Systems
One-Cable Automation Streamlines Robotic Non-Destructive Inspection Systems

There are few industries where the demands for material testing and quality assurance are more challenging than in the aerospace industry. Ensuring the safety of all...

One-Cable Automation Streamlines Robotic Non-Destructive Inspection Systems
Products : Motion Control
New Products: December 2018, Motion Design
New Products: December 2018, Motion Design

Motor/Drive/Controller

Advanced Micro Controls (Terryville, CT) offers a size 17 PLC-based SMD Series integrated stepper motor/drive/controller system. The integrated solutions are suited...

New Products: December 2018, Motion Design
Briefs : Motion Control
High-Performance Cageless Bearings with Minimal Frictional Loss
High-Performance Cageless Bearings with Minimal Frictional Loss

The global bearings market is expected to grow significantly due to increasing commercial and industrial machinery and manufacturing activity. Bearings are used in virtually...

High-Performance Cageless Bearings with Minimal Frictional Loss