Motion Control/​Automation

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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.

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Jewellike bearings have been devised to enhance the performance and safety of small rotary pumps that are used to increase or sustain flows of blood in cardiac patients. A pump of this type includes a...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Lightweight, inflatable robotic vehicles (rovers) that superficially resemble beach balls and that could be driven by wind and/or electric power are undergoing development. These rovers were...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Eclipse flight project was established to demonstrate a reusable-launch-vehicle concept developed by Kelly Space and Technology, Inc. An F-106 delta-wing aircraft was chosen as the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

The figure illustrates various aspects of a proposed mechanism that would be mounted in an instrumented penetrator dart for use in acquiring a sample of soil. In operation, the dart would be...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Microscopic forced-flow heat-transfer systems containing heat exchangers, flow channels, electrostatically driven peristaltic pumps, and related components have been proposed. These...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A methodology for designing robots provides for satisfying both safety and performance requirements. Heretofore, most robot-design efforts have been focussed on maximizing performance, with only...

Briefs: Motion Control

Linear-translation motors containing inertial-reaction masses driven by magnetostrictive actuator elements are undergoing development. These motors could be used to make fine position...

Briefs: Motion Control
Device for High-Pressure Fused Deposition of Engineering Polymers From Feed Rods

A more versatile delivery system for fused deposition has recently been developed. This system uses a very stiff, precise, and compact actuator to drive a small piston/cylinder extruder that has a heated nozzle. Because feed rods are used as the feed material, this...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Mobile robots that would resemble earthworms have been proposed for use in exploring remote, hostile, or inaccessible terrain surface and subsurface environments. This class of robots would be a special case...

Briefs: Motion Control

A design has been developed for manufacturing multispeed transmissions that are small enough to be used with minimotors - electromagnetic motors with power ratings of less than 1 W. Like...

Briefs: Motion Control

Research conducted at the Pittsburgh Research Center (formerly U.S. Bureau of Mines) developed technology that will allow computer-assisted operation of mechanized equipment normally used...

Briefs: Motion Control
Hydraulically Driven High-Speed Spindle for General Machining

A hydraulically driven high-speed spindle system for milling, machining, facing, drilling, and joining metallic and nonmetallic materials has been developed. Spindles are the most critical elements of high-speed milling machines. The keys to successful design of high-speed spindles...

Briefs: Motion Control

A robust, optimal, adaptive technique for compensating rate and position limits in the joints of a six-degree-of-freedom manipulator has been developed. In this new algorithm,...

Briefs: Motion Control
Hybrid Propulsion System for Returning a Sample From Mars

A paper suggests the development of a hybrid rocket engine and associated equipment for returning a sample of material from Mars at relatively low cost. In a hybrid rocket engine, a solid fuel is burned by use of a liquid or gaseous oxidizer, the flow of which can be throttled to control...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An improved hybrid thermal/mechanical system has been developed to protect airplane wings and other airfoils against the accretion of ice, which degrades aerodynamic performance. The...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An aircraft control actuator that incorporates self-contained control electronics has been installed in the F-18 Systems Research Aircraft and evaluated in flight tests. This "smart"...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An electromagnetic shaker based on a linear induction motor has been developed for use in flight flutter testing of aircraft. The shaker is a wing-tip-mounted unit capable of delivering...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Micromachined Monopropellant Thrusters

A report proposes monopropellant microthrusters for a new generation of miniature spacecraft with mission lifetimes stretching into years. These thrusters would include micromachined nozzle/chamber assemblies containing microvalves, designed according to emerging concepts of microelectromechanical systems...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

In-situ resource utilization (ISRU) equipment would be incorporated into remotely controlled exploratory robots, according to a proposal, to generate fuels and oxidizers to extend...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Solar-Powered Aerobots With Power-Surge Capabilities

Advanced aerobots that would be powered by solar photovoltaic batteries and that would be capable of storing energy for occasional operation during short intervals at power levels far beyond those of the photovoltaic batteries have been proposed. Aerobots are robotic balloon-buoyed airborne...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Development of Small, Mobile, Special-Purpose Robots

A report presents a scenario for the proposed development of insectlike robots that would be equipped with microsensors and/or micromanipulators, and would be designed, variously, to crawl, burrow, swim, fly, or hop, to perform specific tasks in fields as diverse as exploration,...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Adaptive performance optimization (APO) is an approach for improving aircraft performance without the need for extensive modifications of hardware. In this approach, one exploits...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

An analysis of empirical data on low-frequency oscillations in the inlet flow of a turbopump has led to the conclusion that these oscillations could be reduced or eliminated with...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

An improved motor controller provides a circuit that will allow a motor to run at full speed while traveling from point A to point B, and still be able to obtain the desired damping...

Briefs: Motion Control

The tunable external cavity diode laser is an important new tool used to evaluate and test the latest fiber-optic components and building blocks of modern telecommunications systems. A key factor...

Briefs: Motion Control

A highly sensitive micromachined accelerometer that is intended to be exposed to very small accelerations during operation incorporates features for protection against much larger...

Briefs: Motion Control

An operator interface is undergoing development along with other subsystems of a robot that would assist in caring for elderly and disabled patients. This development has been initiated...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A small prototype robotic all-terrain vehicle features a unique drive and suspension system that affords capabilities for self righting, pose control, and enhanced maneuverability for...

Briefs: Motion Control

Permanent-magnet rotary bearings with ferrofluid stabilization in the axial degree of freedom are undergoing development. These bearings are totally passive, yet stable in all degrees...

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