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.

Vehicles could be affordably produced for a wide variety of specialized purposes using a self-contained wheel unit that combines a wheel and an electric motor with braking, suspension,...

Robots using a system of RFID tags can locate tagged objects within 7.5 milliseconds on average with an error of less than a centimeter. TurboTrack could replace computer vision for some...

A reader asks: What types of considerations need to be made before you go in on collaborative robots?
White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Connectivity for Next-Generation Mobility

Powertrain electrification and automation will pave the way for a new generation of all-electric, fully autonomous vehicles. At the same time, cloud, big data, and analytics technologies will enable...

White Papers: Motion Control
Enhancing Autonomous Vehicle Interior Design with Proven Access Solutions

As drivers begin to transition to autonomous vehicles, automotive designers must create functional interior spaces that not only provide comfort, but also build trust...

Your design idea could win you $20,000.
The wearable is fireproof, thanks to a carbon aerogel nanocomposite material.
White Papers: Motion Control
Thinking Outside the Cabinet: What Does Motor-Integrated Automation Technology Have to Do with Your Business ROI?

Thinking cabinet-free is nothing new. We’ve always been able to eliminate some parts from the cabinet and integrate them into...

Briefs: Motion Control
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller

Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a method for controlling precise motion of a brushless DC (BLDC) motor using relatively inexpensive components. Precision motors are usually quite expensive and inefficient when operating at slow speeds. Current motors are only capable of operating at...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: March 2019
Controller and Datalogger

Watlow, St. Louis, MO, introduced a batch processing feature for the F4T temperature and process controller and D4T datalogger. The new feature helps collect manufacturing...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: March 2019

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computer-Controlled Exercise Equipment

While a wide variety of computer-controlled exercise machines for training and rehabilitation exist — some of which can be automatically adjusted to vary resistance or incline — such systems provide for preprogrammed changes in load or resistance. What is needed is a system that overcomes the...

Technology Leaders: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Heat Is On: A Guide to Specifying Insulation Materials

One of the first things an electrical engineer will learn is that the number-one enemy of designing and manufacturing any electrical/electronic product is heat. It's the one...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Building Blocks for a Practical Wireless Sensor System

We recently interviewed Justin Bessette, Manager, Wireless Systems and Software Engineering at LORD Corporation, Micro-Strain® Sensing Systems, about the nuts and bolts of a wireless...

Products: Test & Measurement
New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology
Torque Measurement System

To address the demand for a more accurate, reliable, customizable, and easy-to-use force measurement device, Interface Force Measurement Systems (Scottsdale, AZ)...

The Create the Future Design Contest, launched in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine, helps stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has...

5 Ws: Manufacturing & Prototyping
5 Ws of 3D-Printing Piezoelectric Materials
Who

Piezoelectric materials are used in everything from cellphones and wearables, to robotics, energy harvesting, and tactile sensors.

Special Reports: Transportation
Connected Commercial Vehicles - March 2019

Trucks and other commercial vehicles are becoming smarter and more connected, moving rapidly on the road to autonomy. To help you keep pace with the latest developments, we present this compendium...

With self-driving vehicles poised to take the road, how can today’s engineers prepare themselves to support an autonomous future?
White Papers: Test & Measurement
Substrate Mastered Scale on a CMM

The thermal behavior of encoder scale is an important consideration when selecting any encoder system. Renishaw's scales are effectively either thermally independent of the substrate (floating) or thermally...

INSIDER: Software
Speedy Motor Modeling

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have created open source software that scales up analysis of motor designs to run on the fastest computers available.

INSIDER: Motion Control
Walking Robot Moves Without GPS

Ants are able to use polarized light and ultraviolet radiation to locate themselves in space. AntBot mimics this ability to explore its environment randomly and go home automatically, without GPS or...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘Developable Mechanisms’ Solve Complex Tasks?

Brigham Young University engineers have created "developable mechanisms" that they hope to use in components like surgical instruments, adjustable airplane wings, robotic arms, or vehicle cylinders. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV, to see how the flat shapes can be converted into 3D...

Even a shape-morphing plane is possible, says Harvard's Ehsan Hajiesmaili.

Researchers have created a two-dimensional, shape-changing sheet that moves autonomously in a reactant-filled fluid. The integrated system utilizes a chemical reaction to activate the fluid...

Jet engines can have up to 25,000 individual parts, making regular maintenance a tedious task that can take more than a month per engine. Many components are located deep...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Foot Pedal Controller

A novel foot-pedal-operated system and device were developed to control translational and rotational movement of an object in three-dimensional (3D) space. The Foot Pedal Controller system enables operators to control...

Products: Electronics & Computers
New Products: February 2019 Motion Design
Motor Control Integrated Circuit

Microsemi Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology (Aliso Viejo, CA), announced the LX7720 radiation-tolerant motor control integrated...

Different types of motion encountered in dynamic environments require designers to specify connectors for boards, wiring, and devices that can meet significant g-forces,...

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