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.

Q&A: Robotics, Automation & Control
A robotic finger has a sense of touch that can be localized with high precision over a large, multi-curved surface.
Articles: Aerospace
Learn about the four goals of the Mars 2020 mission.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Read our special series on the Mars 2020 mission, featuring interviews with NASA experts and designers of the Perseverance rover.
Special Reports: Transportation
ADAS/Connected Car - June 2020

Today's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and connected cars are paving the way for tomorrow's automated vehicles. To help you keep pace with the latest technology developments, we present this...

Special Reports: Photonics/Optics
Advances in Optics - June 2020

From Automotive LiDAR to Cubesats & space communications to smart cameras for robots, optics technology is enabling exciting new applications across a range of industries. Read all about it in this Special...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Soldiers tend to dodge, dive, duck, and run, creating motion measurement challenges.
INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

The next generation of exploration rovers will need to be good at climbing hills covered with loose material and avoiding entrapment on soft granular surfaces. Built with wheeled appendages that can be...

Blog: Software
New software sets the stage for A.I.-enabled robotic prostheses that predict user terrain and initiate mechanical changes accordingly.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Soft Robots Reach Cheetah-Like Speeds?

Our lead INSIDER story today featured a proof-of-concept robot that moves at almost 3 body lengths a second.

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A proof-of-concept soft robot has a cheetah-like gait that avoids the usual crawl.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
Articles: Motion Control
Xilinx is now applying AI to the in-cabin environment.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
This instrument has applications in medical equipment, robotics, and satellites.
Briefs: Materials
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
Articles: Electronics & Computers

The last thing you probably do when a fly buzzes toward you is marvel at its graceful wing and body kinematics. But that’s exactly what researchers at Cornell University’s Itai Cohen Group...

Special Reports: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Medical Manufacturing and Outsourcing - May 2020

How are advances in automation/robotics, welding, 3D printing, and other fabrication technologies shaping the future of medical device manufacturing? Find out in this Special Report – a...

Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
By taking a closer look at the delta deposits on Mars, Stanford University researchers concluded that the Jezero Crater is still the best place to search for signs of life on Mars.
Question of the Week: Transportation
Will 'Metal-Air Scavengers' Power Vehicles and Robots?

Penn Engineering researchers have introduced a "metal-air scavenger" vehicle, which gets energy not from a battery, but from breaking chemical bonds in the aluminum surface it travels over. The technology, which works like both a battery and an energy harvester, has 13 times more energy...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping

In just three weeks, the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) at UC Berkeley built a robotic COVID-19 laboratory.

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

The newest edition of NASA's small, foldable robots successfully traversed rugged terrain in the Mars Yard at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Blog: Packaging & Sterilization

Robots are in high demand as medical professionals seek hands-free ways to disinfect environments and contain the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19.

Briefs: Motion Control
This technology could help control driverless cars and automated warehouses.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Square trusses replace round for enhanced strength and robotics compatibility.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This technology cancels out the vibrations of a satellite by vibrating the solar panels in the opposite direction.
Briefs: Motion Control

Robot-assisted surgery has advanced dramatically over the past decade in almost every surgical sub-specialty. Robot-assisted surgery is usually performed using surgical robot systems that...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Here's what you'll need to know when you’re choosing an encoder for a motion control system.
Briefs: Motion Control
The gyroscope is smaller than a grain of rice — about 500 times smaller than the current state-of-the-art device.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
As advancements in technology continue to define how pneumatic or electromechanical linear devices lift, move, or place a load, the requirements of excellent closed-loop positioning and accuracy greatly increase
Briefs: Materials
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.

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