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.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Submarine Swims Without an Engine

Researchers have developed a new propulsion concept for swimming robots that exploits temperature fluctuations in the water for propulsion without the need for an engine, propellant, or power supply.

Since the first airplane took flight, virtually every aircraft has flown with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, or fans that produce a persistent, whining buzz. MIT has built...

InSight project manager Tom Hoffman spoke with Tech Briefs about the importance of digging deep in our knowledge of Mars.
Professor Hadas Kress-Gazit tells Tech Briefs about the "great promise" of autonomous modular robots.
Application Briefs: Imaging
Imaging Innovation for Spinal Care

Motion capture (Mocap) is a technique used in the film industry to digitally track a human actor's movements and precisely transfer those motions to an animated figure. But it has other applications as...

Reliability and longevity directly impact the cost of using Q-switched, diode pumped, solid state, ultraviolet lasers in industrial applications. Damage to the intracavity harmonic crystal is...

ISCAD — ELECTRICAL DRIVE WITH 0% RARE EARTHS, 25% HIGHER DRIVING RANGE, AND 100% SAFETY

Conventional electrical machines suffer from the problem...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Smart Sensor Technology for the IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) applications — whether for city infrastructures, factories, or wearable devices — use large arrays of sensors collecting data for transmission over the Internet to a central,...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
2018 Create the Future Design Contest Special Awards Section

The Create the Future Design Contest was launched in 2002 by Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of Tech Briefs magazine) to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. Since...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Biologically Inspired Method of Improving Systems and Survivability Through Self-Sacrifice

In human beings, the self-destruction behavior of human body cells is considered as an intrinsic safety mechanism of the human body. It seems that the lifetime of a cell is programmed, and that cells know when to commit suicide. This self-destruction is...

Robots that are adapted to respond to physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) traditionally treat such interactions as disturbances, and resume their original behaviors when the...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Cell-Sized Robots Sense Their Environment

Colloids — insoluble particles or molecules anywhere from a billionth to a millionth of a meter across — are so small they can stay suspended indefinitely in a liquid or even in air. Robots about...

FUTURE ANTENNA MINIATURIZATION MECHANISM: MAGNETOELECTRIC ANTENNAS Hwaider Lin and Nian-Xiang Sun, Northeastern University, Boston, MA USA

Antenna...

DON’T MELT. MELD.™

The MELD™ technology enables additive manufacturing (AM) of metals. This patented process is unique because there is no...

AEROGELS FROM ENVIRONMENTAL WASTES FOR NOVEL ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS Associate Prof. Hai Minh Duong and Prof. Nhan Phan-Thien, National University of Singapore...
Special Reports: Imaging
Robotics & Machine Vision - November 2018

Advances in robotics and machine vision are transforming the factory floor. To help you keep pace with the latest developments in industrial automation, we present this compendium of recent articles...

An unexpected source recently identified a global Martian dust storm. The source was an actuator, or motor, that powers a lid to a funnel that takes in samples of powdered...

Rivers Ingersoll spoke with Tech Briefs about why it is so important to have an up-close understanding of the hummingbird and nectar bat.

The need for Ethernet-based communication within the factory has grown over the past 10 years. Detailed information about the tasks and performance of machines at every stage is...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Technique Allows Mobile Robots to Navigate Autonomously

A technique was developed to quickly teach robots novel traversal behaviors with minimal human oversight. The technique allows mobile robot platforms to navigate autonomously in...

In today’s fast-paced industrial settings, speed and efficiency are key. Reducing time spent on sourcing, installing, and testing motion control systems can play a big...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Popcorn-Driven Robotic Actuators

When heated, popcorn can expand more than 10 times in size, change its viscosity by a factor of 10, and transition from regular to highly irregular granules with surprising force. These unique qualities can...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Modules Modify Their Environment for Specific Tasks

Given the exact parameters of the task at hand, a robot can assemble a car door or pack a box faster and more efficiently than a human, but such purpose-built machines are not...

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), under construction atop 8,737-foot El Peñón peak in northern Chile, is a partnership project of the National...

Multi-Voltage Motors

Simotics SD Pro low-voltage motors from Siemens (Munich, Germany) are suited for mains-fed operation or with a converter for voltages up to 690 volts. There is generally...

It is often desirable to sense the angular position of a rotating part. Numerous kinds of rotation sensors have been developed over the years; one type is a capacitive sensor, where a...

For six decades, NASA has led the peaceful exploration of space, making discoveries about our planet, our solar system, and our universe. At home, NASA research has made great advances in aviation,...

Articles: Data Acquisition
NASA at 60: From Space to Earth

The benefits of NASA's space exploration efforts are not limited to the cosmos. NASA technologies provide innovative solutions for people around the world. NASA missions have generated thousands of spinoffs...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Engineering Soft Materials that Mimic Neural Tissue

A process for engineering next-generation soft materials with embedded chemical networks that mimic the behavior of neural tissue lays the foundation for soft active matter with highly...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Accelerating Pre-Silicon Software Development with Next-Gen...

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