Motion Control/​Automation

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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.

Products: Motion Control

The TMK Series rotary torque motors from ETEL (Schaumburg, IL) feature an electro-magnetic design that utilizes buried magnet technology along with field weakening, enabling it to rotate with speeds of up to nine times greater...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control

KOMA Precision (Windsor, CT) offers a line of extra-large center bore, dual-disc hydraulic clamping rotary tables from Tsudakoma that feature a proprietary dual lead worm gear system with cross roller bearings. Three new models...

Products: Motion Control

Manncorp (Huntingdon Valley, PA) offers the 2004D Series of multi-purpose dispensing solutions that combine 3-axis robots with integrated digital dispense controllers for SMT assembly tasks. Point-to-point, linear, or...

Products: Motion Control

Beckhoff (Savage, MN) has introduced the EL7211 servo terminal that operates with the EtherCAT I/O system to provide a compact servo drive with an output current of up to 4.5 ARMS integrated into a 24-mm-wide...

Products: Motion Control

The UXX ironless motor from Tecnotion (Almelo, The Netherlands) features no cogging and zero attraction force between the coil unit and the magnets. It is designed for heavy-duty industrial applications requiring high...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printer That Could Build a Home in 24 Hours Wins Global Design Competition

New York, NY – Contour Crafting, a computerized construction method that rapidly 3D prints large-scale structures directly from architectural CAD models, has been awarded the grand prize of $20,000 in the 2014 "Create the Future" Design Contest.

Contour...

News: Transportation
'Cloaking' Device Uses Ordinary Lenses to Hide Objects

Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways to hide objects from view. The latest effort, begun at the University of Rochester, not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but also uses inexpensive, readily...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Fabric Moves and Contracts

Researchers are developing a robotic, sensor-embedded fabric that moves and contracts. Such an elastic technology could enable a new class of soft robots, stretchable garments, "g-suits" for pilots or astronauts to counteract acceleration effects, and lightweight, versatile robots to roam alien landscapes...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers Equip Robot with Novel Tactile Sensor

Researchers at MIT and Northeastern University have equipped a robot with a novel tactile sensor that lets it grasp a USB cable draped freely over a hook and insert it into a USB port.

The sensor is an adaptation of a technology called GelSight, which was developed by the lab of Edward Adelson,...

News: Motion Control
New Algorithm Lets Cheetah Robot Run

Speed and agility are hallmarks of the cheetah: The big predator is the fastest land animal on Earth, able to accelerate to 60 mph in just a few seconds. As it ramps up to top speed, a cheetah pumps its legs in tandem, bounding until it reaches a full gallop.

Now MIT researchers have developed an algorithm...

News: Motion Control
Untethered Soft Robot Walks Through Flames

Developers from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have produced the first untethered soft robot — a quadruped that can stand up and walk away from its designers.

The researchers were able to scale up earlier...

Articles: Motion Control

Linear motion systems are found inside countless machines including precision laser cutting systems, laboratory automation equipment, semiconductor fabrication machines, CNC machines,...

Articles: Motion Control

At first glance, the photo at the top is not appealing to any market — a pallet full of old gearmotors is not something one wants to think about after purchasing the necessary...

Articles: Motion Control

Permanent magnet brushless motors of various design architectures and power levels have been used since the late 1980s in industrial and commercial applications. Over the course...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Life-sized, hummingbird-like, unmanned surveillance aircraft weighs two-thirds of an ounce, including batteries and video camera.

The Nano Hummingbird is a miniature aircraft developed under the Nano...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

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...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control

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,...

INSIDER: Test & Measurement

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...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Are You Encouraged by Robots' Increasing Role in the Workplace?

A recent Pew Research Center and Elon University report of nearly 1,900 technology experts suggests that the rise of robots in the workplace could bring both disruptions and benefits. As artificial intelligence replace jobs in factories and shop floors, some pros say that the...

News: Aerospace

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...

News: Automotive

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: Motion Control

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

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: Robotics, Automation & 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: Motion 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...

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