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
Motor Control Platform

XMOS (Sunnyvale, CA) has released a motor control platform that contains XCore® processors, an XMOS motor control hardware board with support for dual axis motor control and communication, and a suite of control,...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vision-Guided Motion Controller

A pocket-sized, vision-guided motion controller from Precise Automation (San Jose, CA) is based on a distributed network architecture that allows the device to be located at the point of use. Along with...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
EtherCAT Communication-Enabled Drive

The IDM680 Intelligent Servo Drive from Technosoft (Canton, MI) comes equipped with a CANopen, or EtherCAT communication interface, and combines motion controller, drive, and PLC functionality in one...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Food and Beverage Sensors

A series of food and beverage sensor products from AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) includes AC and DC proximity, photoelectric sensors and quick-disconnect sensor cables. Compliant with the IP69K standard, the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Strain System for the Motion Base Shuttle Mission Simulator

The Motion Base Shuttle Mission Simulator (MBSMS) Strain System is an innovative engineering tool used to monitor the stresses applied to the MBSMS motion platform tilt pivot frames during motion simulations in real time. The Strain System comprises hardware and software produced by...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pyrotechnic Actuator for Retracting Tubes Between MSL Subsystems

An apparatus, denoted the “retractuator” (a contraction of “retracting actuator”), was designed to help ensure clean separation between the cruise stage and the entry-vehicle subsystem of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The retractuator or an equivalent mechanism...

In dozens of industries and in millions of applications around the world, dangerous chemicals are transferred from their original shipping containers...

A unique cavitating pump dynamics test facility has been developed at Concepts NREC (CN, White River Junction, VT) in cooperation with engineers at NASA Marshall...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Servo Drives and Motors

National Instruments (Austin, TX) has announced the AKD servo drives and AKM servo motors for deploying custom motion applications to any NI real-time controller supporting NI EtherCAT technology. The motors are...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Piezo Nanopositioner

MICOS USA (Irvine, CA) offers a multiphase piezo nanopositioner that reduces stick-slip signature for nanopositioning applications. The motor uses at least two piezos and friction elements that move in unison, but slip...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Valves

The Model 475 series diaphragm valves from Tridak, a Dymax Co. (Torrington, CT), are used with low- to medium-viscosity fluids. The internal design prevents fluid contact with the actuating components, making them suitable...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Encoder Interface Device

US Digital (Vancouver, WA) offers the QSB (Quadrature to USB) encoder interface adapter that interfaces standard quadrature encoder signals into a PC USB port for encoder verification. Single-ended or differential...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Position Sensors

Novotechnik (Southborough, MA) has introduced the TX2 series of position sensors with stroke lengths up to 300 mm. The sensors are sealed to IP67 specifications, and feature an 18-mm-diameter housing size. The sensors...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Rotary Position Sensor

PIHER North America (Libertyville, IL) offers the PS15 rotary position sensor in a 15-mm package. It is surface-mountable for detecting changes in angle and position, and converting them to a voltage output. It can be...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Electronic Handwheel

The HR 1120 electronic handwheel from Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg, IL) is used in machine automation systems where changing formats or positioning objects with numerous axes is necessary. It is suitable for both...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Lead Screws

Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions (Hollis, NH) offers the Kerk® Micro Series lead screw assemblies. Standard configurations include 2-mm-diameter screws with leads ranging from 0.3 mm to 2 mm revolution, and a variety of nut...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Pump

The Thomas 1210 Series diaphragm liquid DC pump from Thomas Division (Sheboygan, WI) features the REFLEX valve design that provides a bubble-free liquid flow for fuel cell and diagnostic applications. Available in 12V and 24V...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Driver IC

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) offers the AUIRS4426S dual-channel, low-side driver IC for hybrid power train drives, direct fuel injection, and DC-DC converter applications. Available in an 8-lead package, the IC is a...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rolled Ball Screws

Lee Linear (Piscataway, NJ) has introduced end-machined precision rolled ball screws available in a range of sizes and leads. Made from induction case-hardened alloy sheet, the screws are integrally sealed and are...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
MEMS Inclinometer

The PTAM27L series MEMS-based inclinometer from ASM Sensors (Elmhurst, NY) is designed for single- and dual-axis tilt angle measurements. For single-axis versions, measurement ranges span from ±15° to ±180°, in...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Vertical Lift Stage

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the ANT 130-5-V linear motor-driven wedge-style vertical lift stage that provides in-position stability for nanopositioning applications. It offers travel up to 5 mm and is a precision...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motors

The Super Torque 5818 series stepper motors from Lin Engineering (Morgan Hill, CA) measure 2.4" and feature up to 305 oz-in of holding torque. Bipolar and unipolar windings are available with the option of a custom winding for...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic 3D Scanner Automatically Scans Spacecraft Heat Shields
Adept Viper 850 robot arm
Adept Technology
Pleasanton, CA
925-245-3400
www.adept.com

NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, performs research...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Controlling Robotics Precisely With Haptic Technology

Robots are capable of very precise motion, but must be guided with precision in order to fulfill their potential. Consider the task of guiding a robotic surgeon’s arm to suture a wound...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Control System Safely Moves a Robot During Invasive Neurosurgery

Robotic devices have been used in the medical industry for more than 40 years. Despite the advantages, researchers have faced unique challenges in developing effective, safe...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Progress in Development of the Axel Rovers

Progress has been made in the development of a family of robotic land vehicles having modular and minimalist design features chosen to impart a combination of robustness, reliability, and...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Compact, Lightweight Servo-Controllable Brakes

Compact, lightweight servo-controllable brakes capable of high torques are being developed for incorporation into robot joints. A brake of this type is based partly on the capstan effect of tension elements, which is described by the well known equation

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robotic Arm Manipulator Using Active Control for Sample Acquisition and Transfer, and Passive Mode for Surface Compliance

A robotic arm that consists of three joints with four degrees of freedom (DOF) has been developed. It can carry an end-effector to acquire and transfer samples by using active control and comply with surface topology in a...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Alignment System

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) offers the F206.S six-axis Hexapod alignment system that provides 6D motion with 33-nanometer resolution and alignment software for optics and photonics components. The system...

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The Path to High-Level Autonomy for Commercial Vehicles

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