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.

Soon-Jo Chung is Bren Professor of Aerospace in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) at Caltech and research scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He and his team...

Autonomous vehicles relying on light-based image sensors often struggle to see through blinding conditions such as fog. Sub-terahertz wavelengths, which are between microwave...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Deployable Emergency Shutoff Device Blocks High-Velocity Fluid Flows

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a device and method for blocking the flow of fluid from an open pipe. The device plugs, controls, and meters the flow of gases and liquids. Anchored with friction fittings, spikes, or explosively activated fasteners, the device...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wearable Liquid Unit Harvests Energy

Researchers have created wearable technology to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. It presents a step toward the practical realization of self-powered, human-integrated technologies.

A new approach developed at MIT to building robots is based on a set of five millimeter-scale components, all of which can be attached to each other by a standard connector. Using this simple...

A high-sensitivity and low-noise MEMS accelerometer was developed using multi-layer metal structures composed of multiple metal layers. The accelerometer achieves 1 µG level...

A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, has made a breakthrough in the field of noninvasive robotic device...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping
People with Mobility Issues Set to Benefit from Wearable Devices

The lives of thousands of people with mobility issues could be transformed thanks to ground-breaking research by scientists at the University of Bristol.

White Papers: Automotive
Ebook: AI Sensing for a Safer Tomorrow

This Ebook from Dell EMC® explores the evolution of AI in the automotive industry and how sensor data is used to continuously improve vehicle safety. Includes insights into the array of Deep Neural...

MIT's new way of automatically creating actuators is a bit like solving a Rubik's Cube.
White Papers: Automotive
Camera Selection for Vehicle & Transportation Applications

The intersection of mobility and security represents a particularly attractive area for video imaging devices. These applications require high-performance digital cameras for object...

White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Training Future Medical Professionals with Smart, Force-Sensing Devices

Medical actions like palpation during routine physical exams and emergency procedures like CPR both rely on human contact. Applying the appropriate amount of force is...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘4D Knitting’ Lead to Better Robots and Wearables?

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have demonstrated "4D knitting. The computationally-controlled machines are being used to make a variety of soft textile objects.

Articles: Test & Measurement
The Sensors Behind the GEN II Wearable Device

The population is aging and more people need healthcare support, which is having a big impact on the overall cost of medical care. As a result, authorities and health insurance companies are...

Products: Photonics/Optics
New on the Market: July 2019
Sensor Controller

The induSENSOR MSC7401 sensor controller from Micro-Epsilon, Ortenburg, Germany, is used for displacement and distance measurements and is operated with LVDT and LDR measuring gauges...

Just 54 years ago, the first photograph of Mars from a passing spacecraft appeared to show a hazy atmosphere. Now, decades of exploration on the planet itself has shown it to be a...

Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Humidity Measurement Devices for Mars Are Ready for Final Testing
Vaisala Corp. Helsinki, Finland
www.vaisala.com

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is delivering pressure and humidity measuring devices based on Vaisala technology for use on NASA’s next robotic mission to Mars — the Mars 2020 rover. The pressure measurement...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Face-Tracking Robot

A robot is being developed that tracks facial movements to perform human tasks. The robot resembles large, squiggly arms holding tiny cameras. Sitting in a rolling office chair across from one of the arms, the robot's...

Facility Focus: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

On September 1, 1961, NASA requested appropriations for initial land purchases on Merritt Island on Florida’s east coast to support the Apollo Lunar Landing Program. Designers quickly began developing...

A new app opens up robotics to a large user base.
Editor Bruce A. Bennett takes us through the unusual — and completely unexpected —at this year's LASER World of Photonics.
INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Tool Tells Robots Where Nearby Humans are Headed

On a factory floor, robots are programmed to stop momentarily if a person passes by. The robot often freezes in place long before a person crosses its path. While robots can predict where...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Microbots Like HAMR-E Improve Search and Rescue?

Researchers from Harvard University's Wyss Institute created a 1.5-gram microbot called HAMR-E.

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Get Ready for Factory Intelligence

Successful medical manufacturing depends on speed, accuracy and efficiency. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through seamless collaboration between people and machines — also...

Podcasts: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Here's an Idea: Candy
In this episode of Here's an Idea, we explore how candy manufacturers large and small turn to technology to support their newest, sweetest ideas.

While robots like the WildCat from Boston Dynamics reach speeds of just under 20 miles an hour, engineers from Georgia Tech have gone with a decidedly slower approach.

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: June 2019 Motion Design
Rotary Ball Spline

NB Corporation of America (Hanover Park, IL) released a rotary ball spline that can be used for both rotational and linear motion. Applications include SCARA robots, the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Snake-Inspired Robot

Researchers have developed a new and improved snake-inspired soft robot that is faster and more precise than its predecessor.

In discussing fatigue life, it is important to distinguish between disc springs and conical spring washers, as they differ by design and intended usage. Conical spring washers are...

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