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.

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Positioning Sensor

The OLM distance measurement positioning sensor from SICK (Minneapolis, MN) is designed for high-speed positioning of overhead cranes, rail cars, elevators, and other vehicles. The vehicle can be positioned around curves and inclines. The sensor uses a linear bar code tape for positioning, enabling users to position vehicles...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Torque Location Sensor Arm

KolverUSA (Westford, MA) offers the torque location sensor arm, an intelligent system that ensures every screw in an assembly is in the correct location at the right torque. Assembly sequences and X-Y coordinates are programmed with user-interface screens through the keypad. Torque programs are automatically selected...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Motor Identification Chip

B&R Industrial Automation Corp. (Roswell, GA) offers an embedded parameter integrated chip that stores mechanical and electronic motor data such as serial number, type, parameters, and manufacturer specifications, making the entire power transmission system identifiable in an application program. The drive reads the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Process Pumps

KNF Neuberger (Trenton, NJ) offers process pumps for fuel cell applications for the delivery of natural gas and pure hydrogen. The pumps feature brushless DC motors and a double diaphragm system. Oil-free operation eliminates the risk of gas contamination. The pumps can achieve maximum flow rates up to 25 l/min, maximum vacuums up...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Encoder

Gurley Precision Instruments (Troy, NY) offers the A08/R108 series rotary encoder that provides both incremental (to 4,096 counts) and absolute (up to 12 bits) position information in an 8-mm-diameter package. Available in both a shaft and blind hollow-shaft configuration, the encoder offers several mounting and interface options....

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuator

Ultra Motion LLC (Cutchogue, NY) has introduced the Series A linear actuator that can be configured for stroke lengths up to 16", for forces up to 500 pounds, or for speeds up to 20" per second. Add-on equipment includes brakes, position feedback devices, and mounting hardware. Applications include those requiring minimal weight...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetic Particle Brakes

Fan-cooled magnetic particle brakes from Placid Industries (Lake Placid, NY) incorporate an electrically powered fan fastened directly to the brake. The fan cools the brake by blowing ambient air over the outside and into the vent holes. The moving air lowers the temperature of the brake and increases heat dissipation...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Pan-Tilt Units

FLIR Motion Control Systems (Burlingame, CA) offers the E-Series family of computer-controlled pan-tilt units that incorporate an integrated 32-bit microcontroller for motion control fidelity, including lower jitter, built-in Ethernet interface for IP and Web control, and expandable payload I/O. The units also include integrated...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Drive

Technosoft (Bevaix, Switzerland) has introduced the ISD860 intelligent drive for motion applications that require embedded intelligence and high servo control. Based on MotionChip™ DSP technology, the device is able to drive 12A continuous and 31A peak currents at a supply voltage ranging from 12 to 72 VDC, with a PWM of 20 kHz...

Application Briefs : Imaging
Camera/Robot System Increases Quality and Reduces Costs for Vehicle Component Supplier

The Piston Group (Redford, MI and Liberty, MO) builds cooling modules for seven different vehicles. These cooling modules are built on five different assembly lines, with each line building more than 50 different variants in sequence to the customer’s...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Innovative Waste Heat Recovery Systems and Improvements with Advanced Turbomachinery

The increasing cost of fuel and U.S. dependency on foreign fuel supplies has renewed interest in conserving energy and in generating electric power using otherwise wasted heat energy from prime mover processes. Such power generation systems are typically based...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Centennial Challenges: NASA’s Prize Program for the “Citizen Inventor”

The Centennial Challenges are NASA’s prizes for the citizen inventor. Through open competitions, we seek novel solutions from diverse sources in technology challenges of interest to NASA and the nation. Competitions are open to anyone, and teams have included small...

Articles : Motion Control
Reducing Electromagnetic Interference in Motion Systems

EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) comes in different forms, frequencies, and levels. Electronic equipment has different categories for both emissions and susceptibility. Under normal circumstances, elimination is not possible so reduction to acceptable levels is what can be reasonably...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rugged-Duty Actuator Enhances State-of-the-Art Pool/Spa Lift

The benefits of aquatic physical therapy and rehabilitation for those who have difficulty with weightbearing activities due to arthritis or injury, or those who are overweight, have long been known. There is also a significant population of wheelchairbound and disabled persons who use...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Low-Friction, Low-Profile, High-Moment Two-Axis Joint

The two-axis joint is a mechanical device that provides two-degrees-of-freedom motion between connected components. A compact, moment-resistant, twoaxis joint is used to connect an electromechanical actuator to its driven structural members. Due to the requirements of the overall mechanism,...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature Multi-Axis Mechanism for Hand Controllers

A hand controller provides up to three axes of motion, and all required feel characteristics (stiffness and breakout torques) located inside a hollow handle within the grip of the hand. This is achieved using a miniature gimbal mechanism that allows for independent motion about one, two, or...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetostrictive Brake

A magnetostrictive brake has been designed as a more energy-efficient alternative to a magnetic fail-safe brake in a robot. (In the specific application, “fail-safe” signifies that the brake is normally engaged; that is, power must be supplied to allow free rotation.) The magnetic fail-safe brake must be supplied with...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Motors

AMETEK Technical & Industrial Products (Harleysville, PA) offers the Pittman® Series 8540 30-mm brush-commutated DC motors that integrate bonded neodymium magnets and 7-slot straight armature to minimize cogging. The motors feature a diamond-turned commutator and copper-graphite brushes for high current capacity. The motors are 1.181"...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Encoders

Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) offers the 1000 Series rotary encoders with IP 64 protection and absolute position-value formation in a 35-mm-diameter housing size. The encoders are designed as single-encoder measurement feedback systems in safety oriented applications. They provide two independently formed position values via...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
MEMS Inclinometer

ASM Sensors (Elmhurst, IL) has introduced the PTAM20 Series POSITILT® MEMS inclinometer available in single- and dual-axis versions. It is available in a compact, flat housing and features a measurement range for the single-axis version of ±15° to ±180° in increments of 15°. For the dual-axis version, measurement range is...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
DC Gearmotor

Midwest Motion Products (Watertown, MN) has released the Model MMP-D22-376H-24V GP52-195 BR-005 DC gearmotor with integral brake. Accepting any 24V DC source, including battery power, the encoder-compatible gearmotor/brake measures 2.25" in diameter and 9" in length. It has a keyed output shaft of 12 mm diameter by 25 mm long....

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servomotor Brakes

Nexen (Vadnais Heights, MN) has introduced the Eclipse line of servomotor brakes designed to mount to servomotors up to 20 horsepower. The spring-engaged brakes are equipped with a split-hub, zero-backlash clamp collar for attachment to the servomotor shaft. The flange-mounted brakes can be used with standard servomotors for...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Stages

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) has introduced the PRO Series of side-sealed, hard-cover, ball-screw-driven linear stages available in 68 standard models with travels from 50 to 1500 mm. A variety of travels, widths, speeds, and load capabilities is available. The hard-cover design provides protection from debris, and the side seals keep...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Mechanically Commutated Drive

Maxon Motor (Fall River, MA) offers the RE 50 mechanically commutated drive that features an ironless rotor for detent-free running, and a combination of a two-pole neodymium permanent magnet with winding technology for high torque and acceleration. The drive measures 50 × 108 mm and is available with four...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Amplifier

Sanyo Denki America (Torrance, CA) offers the SANMOTION R high-speed EtherCAT interface AC servo amplifier that provides 100 Mbps communication. Multi-function software includes a motion simulation function that runs the same codes as the actual amplifier, allowing it to go directly from simulation to live usage without...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetic Encoder

Avago Technologies (San Jose, CA) has introduced the AEAT-601B compact, integrated, incremental magnetic encoder for speed detection, knob control, and rotary encoder applications. Housed in a protective plastic housing, it provides a resolution of 256 cycles per revolution and angular detection in a complete rotation of 360...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Stage

The M660 high-speed, direct-driven piezomotor rotary stage from PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) is designed using PILine® piezomotor drive technology. The stage reaches top speeds of 720 degrees/sec and resolution to 40 μrad. A self-locking ceramic drive holds the position steady at rest, and a directly coupled precision...

Articles : Imaging
Choosing the Right Touchscreen Display Technology for Your Control/Automation Process

From industrial panel PCs, to open-platform graphic operator interface terminals (OITs), to microOITs, to human-machine interfaces (HMIs), there are many choices of interactive display technologies for manufacturing and process control. It can be a challenge to...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Flex Cable Assembly to Aid Robot Arm in Mars Exploration Program
High-Flex
Cables Cicoil Corp.
Valencia, CA 661-295-1295
www.cicoil.com

Cicoil has provided a custom-formed high-flex cable to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), scheduled to launch in 2011 as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The program is...

Articles : Motion Control
Benefits of Magnetostrictive Sensors for Industrial Applications

Modern industrial machines rely on fast, accurate motion control in order to achieve high product quality and productivity, as measurement errors can lead to increased scrap and production downtime. However, these and other costly headaches can be avoided by choosing the proper...