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.

This detector could help robots, drones, and self-driving cars avoid collisions.
This partially superconducting machine can be used as a motor or generator.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Human-Like Hands with Flexible, Hybrid Pneumatic Actuators
These hands, with a large grasping force, enable safer human-robot interactions.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Executive Roundtable: Robotics Design
A panel of experts explains how robots are playing a larger role in manufacturing.
Learn about the sensors assessing and analyzing plant equipment.
Briefs: Motion Control
Compact, Long-Reach Robotic Arm
Applications include retractable covers and awnings, camera booms, and spacecraft and astronaut positioning.
We review three of your power-supply choices.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Miniature Magnetic Pump
The magnetic, multi-material pump was 3D-printed all in one piece.
Automatic recirculation valves offer efficiency for critical pump protection in power or oil and gas applications.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Raising the Ergonomics Bar with Smart Electric Actuators
Smart electric actuators not only enable fine position adjustments, but they also provide real-time feedback on the extent of those adjustments.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Products: December 2020 Motion Design
Linear slides, electric motors, gears, and more.
Mixed-signal oscilloscopes, 3D printers, DC/DC converters, and more.
Briefs: Motion Control
Multirotor Aircraft Noise Reduction
NASA's phase-locked rotors reduce noise.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
16-Atom Molecular Motor
The tiny motor can be powered by both thermal and electrical energy.
The mobile system could reduce healthcare workers’ exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Upper Body Robotic Exoskeleton
This lightweight, portable garment is designed for active shoulder and elbow positioning.
Wire-connected drones may complement or replace the fixed base stations of cellular communications networks.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Tactile Robot Finger with No Blind Spots
This robotic finger has a highly precise sense of touch over a complex, multi-curved surface.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Flexible, Sturdy Robot “Grows” Like a Plant
The robot’s extendable appendage can wind through tight spaces and then lift heavy loads.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Technology Aids Surgeon-Guided Robotic Hands
This method enables users to control their robotic fingers precisely enough to gently land on fragile surfaces.
The NiobiCon™ underwater connector will not short out, corrode, or cause an electrical shock if touched while powered in harsh environments like saltwater.
These 12 products are the nominees for the 2020 Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year.
Jacobs' scientists are helping to make contract-tracing apps, emergency-use ventilators, and even squid-bots.
Briefs: Unmanned Systems
Modular, In-Air, Multi-UAV Docking
This system can be used for long-range or high-payload deliveries as well as search and rescue.
A low-frequency antenna with enhanced bandwidth will enable robust networking among compact, mobile robots.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: December 2020
Robotic exoskeletons, a breath-test for cancer, and plastic-eating enzymes are Products of Tomorrow.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Glove-Like Device Mimics Sense of Touch
The soft, wearable device simulates the sense of touch and has wide potential in medical and industrial applications.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Programmable Balloons for Shape-Morphing Devices
Kirigami balloons could be used in shape-changing actuators for soft robots, minimally invasive surgical devices, and macro structures for space exploration.

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