Motion Control/​Automation

Topics:

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: Motion Control
The gripper’s soft, sensitive fingers could enable robots to help with tying knots, wire shaping, or surgical suturing.
Briefs: Motion Control
Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic mini robot moves by magnetism and light.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Complex locomotion techniques enable the rover to climb hills covered with soft granular material.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
This technology can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips.
Products: Test & Measurement
Positioning devices, vibration transmitters, brushless DC motors, and more.
Briefs: Aerospace
Applications include absorbers, tuned mass dampers, harmonic absorbers, and seismic dampers.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A new method manufactures complex shapeshifters for soft robots and biomedical implants.
Facility Focus: Unmanned Systems
See how "APL" is developing ways to ensure the safety and performance of autonomous systems.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
An ultrafast image sensor with a built-in neural network can be trained to recognize certain objects.
Special Reports: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Smart Manufacturing - August 2020

Factories are getting "smarter" and more automated by the day, thanks to advances in connectivity, controls, sensors, and robotics. See the future of manufacturing in this compendium of recent articles from...

Briefs: Energy
This technology shows potential for the detection of subtle human motions and the real-time monitoring of body postures for healthcare applications.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
The sensor has applications in fields such as robotics, healthcare, and security.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This technique offers enhanced resolution and improved system reliability for mapping and obstacle recognition and navigation for vehicles.
Briefs: Aerospace
Multiple commercial applications include defense, search and rescue, and disaster relief.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control

Watch below as the Perseverance rover and its Ingenuity helicopter make their way to Mars.

INSIDER: Motion Control

In industrial settings, robots often are used for tasks that require repetitive grasping and manipulation of objects. A humanoid hand design that is a soft-hard hybrid flexible gripper can...

INSIDER: Motion Control

NASA Langley has developed a self-latching piezocomposite actuator with power-off, set-and-hold capability. If integrated into an aerodynamic control surface or engine inlet, deflections could be...

Blog: Aerospace
Mars 2020 NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and other NASA experts offer a briefing on this week's launch of the Perseverance rover.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Watch below as NASA experts review how they plan to return samples from the surface of Mars back to Earth.

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Can NASA "joystick" the landing of the next Mars rover? A Tech Briefs reader asks our NASA expert.
Blog: Motion Control
We plug in our headphones everyday. Now a robot can perform the task.
Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Will ‘Roboats’ Catch On?

Our July issue of Tech Briefs highlighted a fleet of “roboats” that could someday transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures.

The Roboat autonomous robotic boats — rectangular hulls equipped with sensors, thrusters, microcontrollers, GPS modules, cameras, and other...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A tiny underwater robot may someday filter out water contaminants by catching them with its tentacles.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Mars rover Perseverance has a helicopter. Will the rover have to carry it around?
Podcasts: Materials
Ben Jennet is a PhD student at MIT and a former space research fellow at NASA. He is working with NASA to develop a new kind of aircraft wing that's flexible and changes mid-flight.
Briefs: Motion Control
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.
Briefs: Imaging
A fleet of “roboats” could transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures.
Articles: Test & Measurement
In-line testing of certain LEDs, using nanosecond pulses, will become more and more relevant with time-of-flight applications.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A new low-cost imaging system could make it easier to track mosquito species that carry disease, enabling a more timely and targeted response.

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