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.

With self-driving vehicles poised to take the road, how can today’s engineers prepare themselves to support an autonomous future?
White Papers : Motion Control
Substrate Mastered Scale on a CMM

The thermal behavior of encoder scale is an important consideration when selecting any encoder system. Renishaw's scales are effectively either thermally independent of the substrate (floating) or thermally dependent on the substrate (mastered); depending on the scale thickness / material and mounting method....

Briefs : Software
Speedy Motor Modeling

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have created open source software that scales up analysis of motor designs to run on the fastest computers available.

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Walking Robot Moves Without GPS

Ants are able to use polarized light and ultraviolet radiation to locate themselves in space. AntBot mimics this ability to explore its environment randomly and go home automatically, without GPS or...

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘Developable Mechanisms’ Solve Complex Tasks?

Brigham Young University engineers have created "developable mechanisms" that they hope to use in components like surgical instruments, adjustable airplane wings, robotic arms, or vehicle cylinders. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV, to see how the flat shapes can be converted into 3D...

White Papers : Automotive
SAE J3061 and ISO 26262? They’re Made for Each Other

Embedded systems in cars are increasingly complex and connected, and the inherent security implications are not explicitly addressed by ISO 26262. SAE J3061 addresses that security deficiency, complementing the functional safety focus of ISO 26262.

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Peltier 'Affects' Autonomous Vehicle Design

Coined the “PELTIER EFFECT” after its discoverer, Jean Charles Athanase Peltier, thermoelectric cooling has been utilized in marketable products for decades. Such products have a history of being used in “new” applications. In the 1970s, thermoelectric elements were cooling components in NASA...

Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Morphing Soft Actuator Expands the Motion Options
Even a shape-morphing plane is possible, says Harvard's Ehsan Hajiesmaili.
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Designing Self-Propelled, Chemically Active Sheets

Researchers have created a two-dimensional, shape-changing sheet that moves autonomously in a reactant-filled fluid. The integrated system utilizes a chemical reaction to activate the fluid...

Jet engines can have up to 25,000 individual parts, making regular maintenance a tedious task that can take more than a month per engine. Many components are located deep...

Briefs : Medical
Foot Pedal Controller

A novel foot-pedal-operated system and device were developed to control translational and rotational movement of an object in three-dimensional (3D) space. The Foot Pedal Controller system enables operators to control...

Products : Semiconductors & ICs
New Products: February 2019 Motion Design

Motor Control Integrated Circuit

Microsemi Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology (Aliso Viejo, CA), announced the LX7720 radiation-tolerant motor control integrated...

Different types of motion encountered in dynamic environments require designers to specify connectors for boards, wiring, and devices that can meet significant g-forces,...

Application Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Bring Airplane Production Up to Speed

Robots are helping a European airplane manufacturer cut into an eight-year backlog of orders for one of its most popular aircraft.

Integrating lead screws with stepper motors is a simple and cost-effective method for getting precise linear motion. But achieving that precision requires...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Tiny Robots Grow Bio-inspired Shapes

Hundreds of small robots can work in a team to create biology-inspired shapes without an underlying master plan, purely based on local communication and movement. To achieve this, the biological...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Artificial Joint Restores Wrist-Like Movements

For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one's wrist (pronate and supinate). These are essential movements...

Numerous devices in everyday life use computerized cameras to identify objects — think of automated teller machines that can “read” handwritten dollar amounts when...

Facility Focus : Green Design & Manufacturing
Facility Focus: Savannah River National Laboratory

The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) — located in Aiken, SC — is the applied research and development laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site...

White Papers : Automotive
Silicon Evolution for the Automotive Revolution

The automotive landscape is rapidly changing, there are new disruptive opportunities for service revenue and design innovation, both enabled by software and advanced silicon. This new wave of computing requires a game changing combination of computing performance and functional safety integrity,...

White Papers : Motion Control
Robust VFD Solutions to Meet Industry Standards

The market for Variable Speed Drives (VFDs) is expanding, placing new demands on cables and cable performance. Because machines that utilize VFD motors are often shipped with cables from overseas manufacturers, it is critical to ensure these cables meet electrical codes and regulations to avoid...

White Papers : Automotive
Fundamentals of Building a Test System

Defining a test strategy is critical to reducing cost and maximizing the efficiency of your product development and manufacturing organizations. These guides teach the recommended process for building test systems from start to finish. Ensure you have the fundamentals to build a smarter test system that can...

White Papers : Aerospace
Selecting the Optimal Washer Solution for Assembly Applications

Washers are critical to the operation of virtually every machine or device with moving parts. They perform a variety of functions beyond securing bolts, nuts and screws, including insulating, sealing, locking and more. With what appears to be almost limitless varieties of washers...

Question of the Week : Green Design & Manufacturing
Can AI Prevent Famine?

Today's INSIDER story demonstrated how artificial intelligence models are being used to mark areas most in need of famine relief and funding. Ed Hsu from the World Bank spoke at CES last week about his collaboration with AI heavyweights Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Infrared motion detectors can cover only a limited amount of space, a person has to be within the detector's line of sight to be detected, and lights can go off when a person remains...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Magnetic, 3D-Printed, Moving Structures

Soft, 3D-printed structures have been created whose movements can be controlled with a wave of a magnet, much like marionettes without the strings. The structures that can be magnetically manipulated...

In traditional hardwired avionics systems, sensor integration requires installation of literally tons of physical cable that significantly increases vehicle weight and the...

Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machines can be susceptible to tow-tape defects such as gaps and overlaps. These can reduce strength between 7% and 32%....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Shape-Shifting Material Morphs Using Heat and Light

A controllable material was developed that can transform into complex, pre-programmed shapes via light and temperature stimuli, allowing it to morph into a different shape before fully...

Researchers have developed a customizable soft robot that fits around a heart and helps it beat, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Using Simulation to Design Robust Adhesively Bonded Structures

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Electric-Vehicle Transmission Development and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Energy

Thermal Management Crisis: Knowing Your Passive Solution Options

Upcoming Webinars: Transportation

IoT’s Role in Today’s Transportation Systems

Dynamic White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Precision Bellows Couplings: 3 Secrets to their Success

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Testing and Inspecting 3D-Printed Parts

TRENDING STORIES

Articles: Defense

Smart Sensor Technology for the IoT

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Fabricating Optical Mirrors for Use in Outer Space Measurements

Features: Photonics/Optics

CCD and CMOS Sensors

Briefs: Materials

3D Printing Technique Produces “Living” 4D Materials

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Phase-Oriented Gear Systems

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Experiment on Reducing Drag on an Aerospace Launch Vehicle