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.

INSIDER : Motion Control
Insect-Inspired Motion Sensing
Insect-Inspired Motion Sensing

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory took inspiration from flying insects to create a miniaturized gyroscope, a special sensor used in navigation...

Insect-Inspired Motion Sensing
INSIDER : Motion Control
Vibration Isolator Steadies Telescope Optics
Vibration Isolator Steadies Telescope Optics

If you’ve ever tried to hold a camera steady for a long exposure in low light, you know exactly what happens: the camera shakes and the image blurs. The same can happen with images from...

Vibration Isolator Steadies Telescope Optics
White Papers : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Excellent Resistant Seal for Automotive Coolant Fluid

Conventional fluoroelastomers degrade rapidly in the presence of modern cooling fluids. New fluoroelastomers, developed by DAIKIN, has low-temperature flexibility as well as good fuel and base resistance. It also has exceptional mechanical properties, i.e. fatigue resistance and elongation...

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Own a Robot Pet?

At the CES Unveiled kickoff event last week, Sony demonstrated Aibo, a social robotic pet. The technology, which will make the trip to CES 2020 in Las Vegas, makes dog noises, responds to commands, and uses cameras to recognize specific owners and their patterns. Take a look at Aibo on our Tech Briefs Instagram.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Entire Planes Be Built By 'Assembler Robots?'

Commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations, and then flown to a central plant for final assembly. Researchers at MIT are hoping to change that.

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Practical Guide to Pneumatics plus a FREE Slide Chart

A Guide for users who wish to advance their pneumatic knowledge with topics such as circuit symbols, component capability, integrating pneumatics with controls, and improving pneumatic efficiency.

White Papers : Automotive
White Paper: Why Electromechanical Actuators are Increasingly Replacing Hydraulic Actuators

Hydraulic actuation has traditionally provided much of the muscle for the industrial revolution, but that functionality has come with a cost. Hydraulic systems are complicated and messy, labor and space-consuming, and expensive to operate and maintain....

Briefs : Energy
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor

Researchers have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners, and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen....

Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor
Briefs : Motion Control
Soft Robotics Perception System
Soft Robotics Perception System

A perception system for soft robots was developed that is inspired by the way humans process information about their own bodies in space and in relation to other objects and people. The system includes a...

Soft Robotics Perception System
Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: November 2019
New on the Market: November 2019
3D-printing platforms, simulation software, transistors, and more.
New on the Market: November 2019
Briefs : IoMT
Wearable Motion Sensors Measure Fetal Heartbeat

A technique was developed that could allow expectant parents to hear their baby’s heartbeat continuously at home with a non-invasive and safe device that is potentially more accurate than any fetal heartrate monitor currently available in the market.

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: November 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
New Products: November 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
LIDAR Systems, Smart Cameras, Optical Communications, and more.
New Products: November 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It
Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It

For decades, robots in controlled environments like assembly lines have been able to pick up the same object over and over again. More recently, breakthroughs in computer vision have enabled...

Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Method Enables Robots to Exchange Directed Messages
Method Enables Robots to Exchange Directed Messages

A novel approach was developed to improve communications range and allow for covert behavior using a team of robots for future multi-domain operations. Specifically, researchers...

Method Enables Robots to Exchange Directed Messages
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Flying Robot Mimics Rapid Insect Flight
Flying Robot Mimics Rapid Insect Flight

Flying animals both power and control flight by flapping their wings. This enables small natural flyers such as insects to hover close to a flower but also to rapidly escape danger. Animal flight has...

Flying Robot Mimics Rapid Insect Flight
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Track Moving Objects with Sub-Centimeter Accuracy
Robots Track Moving Objects with Sub-Centimeter Accuracy

A system was developed that uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to help robots target moving objects with unprecedented speed and accuracy. The system could enable greater...

Robots Track Moving Objects with Sub-Centimeter Accuracy
Facility Focus : Test & Measurement
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
In recent decades, NSF-funded researchers have discovered quite a bit, including many of the fundamental particles of matter.
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Toughening Stretchable Fibers Using a Metallic Core
Toughening Stretchable Fibers Using a Metallic Core

Researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material. The fibers consist of a gallium metal core...

Toughening Stretchable Fibers Using a Metallic Core
Articles : Imaging
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
A team of inventors found a fast way to join plastic to metal.
2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Smart Electronic Skin for Robots and Prosthetics

Humans use the sense of touch to accomplish almost every daily task such as picking up a cup of coffee or shaking someone’s hand. Without it, humans can even lose their sense of balance when walking. Similarly, robots need to have a sense of touch in order to interact better with humans but...

Briefs : Materials
Simulating Softness for Haptic Interfaces
Simulating Softness for Haptic Interfaces

Researchers have developed a formula that enables them to recreate different levels of perceived softness. Based on the results from their experiments, they created equations that can calculate how...

Simulating Softness for Haptic Interfaces
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras

UCLA engineers have made major improvements on their design of an optical neural network — a device inspired by how the human brain works — that can identify objects or process...

Optical Neural Network Could Lead to Intelligent Cameras
INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
“Pushy” Robots Learn How to Move Objects
“Pushy” Robots Learn How to Move Objects

MIT researchers have compiled a dataset that captures the detailed behavior of a robotic system physically pushing hundreds of different objects. Using the dataset, robots “learn” pushing...

“Pushy” Robots Learn How to Move Objects
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
A minimal, map-less approach to drone navigation takes after the bee.
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Finding the Right Approach: How to Test a Vehicle’s ECU

Modern vehicles can contain over 100 ECUs controlling everything from the drivetrain to the ADAS systems. Each ECU needs to be tested individually as well as in conjunction with other components. This white paper discusses the five main tester design challenges and five common approaches...

White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Securing the Connected Car: Application Code Matters

Connected car application developers have seen a shift from static, fixed function, device specific applications to a “cloud” connected world, vulnerable to the whims of bad actors and white hat hackers alike.

White Papers : Motion Control
Specialized Sensors Perform in Extreme Environments

Demand for sensors that can operate in extreme conditions is increasing, in response to an overall industry trend toward additional product performance testing and monitoring. It takes an extremely durable design to make reliable measurements in extreme conditions, which may include high or...

On-Demand Webinars : Robotics, Automation & Control
The Importance of Signal Routing to Maximize Automated Test System Performance and Reliability

When designing an automated test system, an important but often overlooked task is the development of a signal routing subsystem that connects the test instrumentation and switching elements to the device under test. Implementing a signal routing...

Blog : Transportation
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
Editor Bruce A. Bennett offers a look at the Association of the United States Army's 2019 Annual Meeting.
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
A Tech Briefs reader asks: What's next with military motion control?
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?