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.

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
How to Power Robots with Popcorn
How to Power Robots with Popcorn

Cornell researchers have discovered a novel – and delicious – way to power simple robots: Popcorn.

How to Power Robots with Popcorn
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
How Soon Will Autonomous Vehicle Fleets Take the Streets?
How Soon Will Autonomous Vehicle Fleets Take the Streets?
Automated vehicles – fleets of them – may soon change the way we travel through cities. "How soon?" asks a reader.
How Soon Will Autonomous Vehicle Fleets Take the Streets?
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Conical, Floating-Piston Isolation Valve
Conical, Floating-Piston Isolation Valve

A new valve concept consists of a solid piston floating in a medium to control a flowstream. Although the conical shape of the seat is a prominent feature of the valve, especially when the concept was...

Conical, Floating-Piston Isolation Valve
Application Briefs : Motion Control
High-Speed Reluctance Machine Design
High-Speed Reluctance Machine Design

Silphenix GmbH is an engineering and consulting firm in Switzerland specializing in high-speed electrical machines, magnetic bearings, and electromagnetic field analysis. One project focus is compact...

High-Speed Reluctance Machine Design
Briefs : Motion Control
Fast, Low-Voltage Actuator for Soft and Wearable Robotics
Fast, Low-Voltage Actuator for Soft and Wearable Robotics

The unique capabilities of soft robots are to bend, deform, stretch, twist, or squeeze in all the ways that conventional rigid robots cannot. Today, it is easy to envision a world in...

Fast, Low-Voltage Actuator for Soft and Wearable Robotics
Application Briefs : Motion Control
Drive Technology: The Recipe for Precise Actuator Control
Drive Technology: The Recipe for Precise Actuator Control

Worldwide, there are only a handful of manufacturers of electrical actuators for the process industry, and the Vienna, Austria-based company Schiebel Antriebstechnik GmbH is the...

Drive Technology: The Recipe for Precise Actuator Control
Articles : Test & Measurement
Machine Vision Can Do More Than You Think
Machine Vision Can Do More Than You Think

The ability to automatically extract information from digital images opens many doors for manufacturers striving to cut costs, improve quality, and streamline their processes overall. The primary...

Machine Vision Can Do More Than You Think
Briefs : Motion Control
Ultra-Thin Capacitive Sensor Has the Least Possible Resistance to Motion

A thin and flexible sensor was developed for sensing sounds, since it can move with the airflow made by even the softest noises. With the least possible resistance to motion, the sensor addresses issues with accelerometers, microphones, and many other similar sensors. The...

Articles : Materials
IMTS2018 Preview
IMTS2018 Preview

Presented by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) has been the premier manufacturing technology show in the Northern Hemisphere. IMTS is held every even...

IMTS2018 Preview
Briefs : Materials
Variable-Camber Compliant Wing
Variable-Camber Compliant Wing

In the early years of manned flight, wing warping was used for lateral control of an aircraft. This technique consisted of a system of pulleys and cables used to twist the trailing edges of the wings in...

Variable-Camber Compliant Wing
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding
Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding

Resistance welding with direct current (DC) using inverter technology reduces costs by improving quality, reducing maintenance, and increasing productivity. Switching from...

Using Direct Current with Inverter Technology in Resistance Welding
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Crop-Counting Robot
Autonomous Crop-Counting Robot

Today's crop breeders are trying to boost yields while preparing plants to withstand severe weather and changing climates. To succeed, they must locate the genes for high-yielding, hardy traits in crop...

Autonomous Crop-Counting Robot
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hydraulic-Based Spherical Robot

Current spherical robots rely upon rotating mechanical weights inside the sphere to change the center of gravity of the sphere, causing the robot to roll. The use of rotating mechanical weights is not optimal due to the reliance upon moving parts, which can present burdensome maintenance issues. It would be...

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Products: August 2018 Motion Design
New Products: August 2018 Motion Design

Servo Controller IC

TRINAMIC Motion Control (Hamburg, Germany) announced the TMC-4671 fully integrated servo controller IC that provides field-oriented control for BLDC/PMSM and 2-phase...

New Products: August 2018 Motion Design
Briefs : Automotive
Integrated Inverter for Controlling Multiple Electric Machines
Integrated Inverter for Controlling Multiple Electric Machines

There are applications that require multiple electric machine drives, such as electric or hybrid electric vehicles, where there is a main traction motor and one or more accessory...

Integrated Inverter for Controlling Multiple Electric Machines
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Key Technologies Needed to Advance Mission-Critical IoT
Key Technologies Needed to Advance Mission-Critical IoT

By 2028, virtually all major sensing and feedback systems benefiting from continuous monitoring will connect to devices currently known as the Internet of Things (IoT). As that...

Key Technologies Needed to Advance Mission-Critical IoT
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Modified, 3D-Printable Alloy for Flexible Electronics and Soft Robots
Modified, 3D-Printable Alloy for Flexible Electronics and Soft Robots

Liquid metal printing is integral to the flexible electronics field. Additive manufacturing enables fast fabrication of intricate designs and circuitry. The field features...

Modified, 3D-Printable Alloy for Flexible Electronics and Soft Robots
Products : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
IMTS Product Preview 2018
IMTS Product Preview 2018

Cable Carrier

igus, East Providence, RI, offers the E4.1L general-purpose energy chain (e-chain) cable carrier with high dynamics that includes a honeycomb strain relief block. It also includes separators...

IMTS Product Preview 2018
Question of the Week : Test & Measurement
A Role for Cell-Sized Robots?

Today's lead INSIDER story highlighted cell-sized robots developed by a team at MIT. The researchers say the nanobots could someday support oil-pipeline inspection or medical diagnostics.

Blog : Test & Measurement
Researchers Ready Cell-Sized Robots for Inspection Tasks
Researchers Ready Cell-Sized Robots for Inspection Tasks

Researchers at MIT have created cell-sized robots that may someday be used to inspect and analyze hard-to-reach locations, from oil pipelines to the human body.

Researchers Ready Cell-Sized Robots for Inspection Tasks
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Is It Important to Know How a Robot is 'Feeling?'
Is It Important to Know How a Robot is 'Feeling?'

Talking about your feelings can be difficult. Now imagine if you’re a robot.

Is It Important to Know How a Robot is 'Feeling?'
Podcasts : Defense
Here's an Idea: Engineering Real-Life 'Superpowers'
Here's an Idea: Engineering Real-Life 'Superpowers'

Engineers today are using their creativity to build a variety of superhero-like technologies that enhance our human capabilities, including exosuits, invisibility cloaks, and wall-scaling...

Here's an Idea: Engineering Real-Life 'Superpowers'
Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data
Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data

Computers and software play a major role in force measurement and quality control. Whether in the engineering lab, quality control inspection area,...

Selecting a Force Measurement Solution to Minimize Variables and Protect Tensile Testing Data
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Positional Sensor Measures Rotational and Lateral Displacements
Positional Sensor Measures Rotational and Lateral Displacements

Positional sensors have applications where a very accurate measurement of position is needed over a limited range. One example of such an application is in manipulation of a...

Positional Sensor Measures Rotational and Lateral Displacements
Briefs : Aerospace
Active Response Gravity Offload System

NASA has used two systems to train astronauts for weightlessness. The first is the Reduced Gravity Simulator that suspended the astronaut at an angle of 80.5 so that only 1/6th of his or her weight was supported by the ground, while the rest was supported by a pulley system. The other system, designed...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Integrated Ultra-Wideband Tracking and Carbon Dioxide Sensing System
Integrated Ultra-Wideband Tracking and Carbon Dioxide Sensing System

Recent findings indicate that frequent, short-term crew exposure to elevated CO2 levels, combined with other physiological impacts of microgravity, may lead to a...

Integrated Ultra-Wideband Tracking and Carbon Dioxide Sensing System
Products : Software
Product of the Month: July 2018
Product of the Month: July 2018

Altair, Troy, MI, released the 2018 versions of electromagnetic (EM) simulation software FEKO®, WinProp®, Flux®, and FluxMotor®. These electromagnetic solver...

Product of the Month: July 2018
INSIDER : Aerospace
Aerial Robot Morphs in Flight
Aerial Robot Morphs in Flight

An aerial robot capable of altering its profile during flight paves the way for a new generation of large robots that can move through narrow passages, making them ideal for exploration as well as search and...

Aerial Robot Morphs in Flight
White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Application Note: Extreme Customization, Well-maintained Tooling, and Accuracy

Take a look behind the scenes at how Nippon Pulse America Inc. re-designed one of its standard linear stepper motors to replace a competitor motor that was no longer meeting customer resolution or accuracy requirements. This application note showcases major...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance
Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance

Step motors are widely used in automation due to their high resolution, precision positioning, minimal control electronics, and low cost. As an open loop system, traditional...

Benefits of Using Encoders to Improve Step Motor System Performance

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robot Applications in the Automotive Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

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

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal 3D Printing

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

Tech Talks: Medical

New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2