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.

Application Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Miniature Bearings Play a Major Role in Mars 2020 Mission
Miniature Bearings Play a Major Role in Mars 2020 Mission
Timken
North Canton, OH
www.timken.com

As NASA prepares for the launch of its newest Mars rover in 2020, Timken engineers have designed and tested its miniature...

Miniature Bearings Play a Major Role in Mars 2020 Mission
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Transparent, Self-Healing Electronic Skin

Scientists have taken inspiration from underwater invertebrates like jellyfish to create an electronic skin with similar functionality. Like a jellyfish, the electronic skin is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and self-healing in aquatic environments.

Articles : Photonics/Optics
An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging
An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging

Three-dimensional (3D) imaging applications are used in many different industries ranging from industrial pick and place, palletization/depalletization, warehouse, robotics, and metrology to...

An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging
White Papers : Motion 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. Handling applications often include long distances between machines, such as with...

INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft Robots Created with 3D Printers
Soft Robots Created with 3D Printers

Recent advances in material science have enabled the fabrication of robots with deformable bodies or the ability to reshape when touched, but the complex design, fabrication, and control of soft robots...

Soft Robots Created with 3D Printers
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Tolerance Rings Can Save Your Design When Mounting Ball Bearings

These unique circular fasteners can secure and mount ball bearings within housings or to shafts by exerting radial holding forces. A series of equally spaced waves or corrugations formed into their circumference act as springs to retain ball bearings in place. The amount of...

White Papers : Automotive
How mmWave Radar Will Influence Autonomous Driving Systems

Automotive radar is today’s leading sensing technology for increasing driving safety in all environmental conditions. Advanced automotive radar takes advantage of 76 – 81Ghz band higher frequency and 5 Ghz wider bandwidth for better resolutions, smaller and lighter sensor design, for...

White Papers : Motion Control
Complimentary White Paper on the Basics of Bellows Couplings

In case you haven't read it yet, R+W would like to recommend this short technical article describing the how and why of torsionally rigid bellows couplings. This white paper will cover where they come from, how they're made, proper sizing techniques, why people use them, and more....

INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
AI-Based Human-Friendly Robot
AI-Based Human-Friendly Robot

Blue – a low-cost, human-friendly robot – was designed with durable, plastic parts and high-performance motors that total less than $5,000 to manufacture and assemble. Its arms are sensitive to outside...

AI-Based Human-Friendly Robot
White Papers : Automotive
Green Light on Lidar

For driverless cars to see mainstream adoption, engineers must solve lidar design challenges including detection range and field of view, adaptability to environmental factors, and safety. Engineering teams are debating the best design choices, with no clear winner.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Want to Work Alongside a 'Handle' Robot?

Another video featured on Tech Briefs TV this week demonstrated a robot from Boston Dynamics called "Handle." The bipedal wheeled robot takes on material handling tasks like pallet building and truck unloading for warehouse logistics. Take a look for yourself.

Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Automate Show 2019: Introducing New Robots to North America
Automate Show 2019: Introducing New Robots to North America
On day one of the Automate show in Chicago, Stäubli introduced its new TS2 four-axis robots to the North American market.
Automate Show 2019: Introducing New Robots to North America
Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Have You Used Collaborative Robots?

Last week, a Tech Briefs reader asked our expert: "Can collaborative robots help manufacturers looking to scale their business?"

Briefs : Propulsion
Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes
Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes

Mechanical systems such as engines and motors rely on two principal types of motions of stiff components: linear motion, which involves an object moving from one point to another in a straight...

Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Selecting Electric Traction Solutions for AGVs and Mobile Robots
Selecting Electric Traction Solutions for AGVs and Mobile Robots

Smarter, better, faster, less expensive — those words are the mantra of today’s global economy. As organizations seek to streamline operations and do more with less, they...

Selecting Electric Traction Solutions for AGVs and Mobile Robots
Articles : Motion Control
Failsafe Linear Magnetic Brakes
Failsafe Linear Magnetic Brakes

Linear permanent magnet brakes, also known as eddy current brakes, are a failsafe, power-free deceleration system that is used in conjunction with a metal reaction plate. Ceramic or rare earth magnets are...

Failsafe Linear Magnetic Brakes
Briefs : Nanotechnology
Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator
Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator

Fast-response, stiffness-tunable (FRST) soft actuators — or movable machine elements — were developed that could be used in soft robots.

Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings
Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings

Researchers, drawing inspiration from bacteria, have designed smart, bio-compatible microrobots that are highly flexible. Because these devices are able to swim through fluids and modify their shape...

Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Self-Lubrication Improves Standard Braking Systems
Self-Lubrication Improves Standard Braking Systems

By mixing carbon fibers into polymer-based brakes, researchers designed brakes that are self-lubricating. These new and improved brakes can prevent wear-and-tear and have better frictional...

Self-Lubrication Improves Standard Braking Systems
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Understanding the Basics of Gas Spring Application
Understanding the Basics of Gas Spring Application

When choosing a gas spring for a particular application, it’s imperative to have a basic understanding of the workings and terminology used when specifying gas springs. This article offers...

Understanding the Basics of Gas Spring Application
Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Keck Telescopes Get a Motion Control Upgrade
Keck Telescopes Get a Motion Control Upgrade

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii Island is surrounded by thousands of miles of thermally stable seas. The 13,796-foot Maunakea mountain summit has no nearby ranges to roil the upper...

Keck Telescopes Get a Motion Control Upgrade
Briefs : Transportation
Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials
Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. A new cooling concept...

Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials
Products : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: April 2019 Motion Design
New Products: April 2019 Motion Design

Bearing Sensor

ABB (Zurich, Switzerland) introduced the ABB Ability™ smart sensor that enables health checks for bearings. The smart sensor technology provides an early indicator of potential...

New Products: April 2019 Motion Design
Products : RF & Microwave Electronics
Product of the Month: April 2019 Tech Briefs
Product of the Month: April 2019 Tech Briefs

nanotron, Munich, Germany, introduced 360° Edge Analytics tools and location-aware wireless sensors for manufacturing and healthcare. The products automatically extract event information in real...

Product of the Month: April 2019 Tech Briefs
Briefs : Propulsion
Achieving Carbon Footprint Reduction with Flywheel Technology
Achieving Carbon Footprint Reduction with Flywheel Technology

Recent technical advances have enabled flywheel energy storage systems (FESS) to become more compact and able to support higher-power applications. Due to their proven...

Achieving Carbon Footprint Reduction with Flywheel Technology
Briefs : Materials
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants

Industrial machinery, agricultural equipment, transportation vessels, and home applications depend on lubricants; however, they leave a heavy environmental footprint. Common lubricants, oils,...

Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants
Products : Test & Measurement
New on the Market: April 2019
New on the Market: April 2019

Wave Springs

Smalley, Lake Zurich, IL, announced a Nested Spirawave Wave Springs series. The multiple-turn, flat wire wave springs are coiled in parallel to produce two to three times as much force as...

New on the Market: April 2019
White Papers : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thermoplastic Material Selection for Injection Molding

There are more than 85,000 commercial options for plastic materials listed in materials databases. Needless to say, narrowing down that extensive list of materials can sometimes seem like a formidable task. Protolabs comprehensive white paper provides a highly technical observation of...

White Papers : Motion Control
Direct Drive Linear Motors – Overview and Selection Process

While linear motors are not a new technology, advances in the recent past have made this drive type ideal for high precision motion control solutions. Growing popularity and usage in applications requiring precision motion control have reduced the cost of technology and made linear...

Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Cobots can help manufacturers automate tasks both known or unknown, says engineer Israel Nunez.
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal 3D Printing

On-Demand Webinars: Aerospace

Update on Civil Certification of Multicore Processing Systems in Commercial...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robot Applications in the Automotive Industry

On-Demand Webinars: Materials

Enhance Product Design and Dependability with Advanced Coating Technologies

On-Demand Webinars: Green Design & Manufacturing

Rapid, Selective Volatile Emissions Testing for Vehicles and Components

On-Demand Webinars: Medical

New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2