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.

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
NASA's SuperCam Set to Look for Evidence of Life On Mars
See what the SuperCam will do when it arrives on Mars in 2021.
White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
New Ways to Increase Productivity with ‘Smart’ Systems

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) like the Festo Motion Terminal promise to increase production, simplify value chain processes and future-proof plants. In a new white paper, we explore...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
5G in Manufacturing: What’s Here and What’s to Come
5G has the potential to provide connectivity for a range of different uses in manufacturing.
Briefs: Motion Control
Insect-Inspired Motion Sensing
This mechanical gyroscope can advance motion sensing capabilities in consumer-sized applications.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Shape-Shifting Robot Uses New Locomotion Strategy
The robot is built entirely from smaller robots and can form a robophysical system that can move by itself.
Such grippers would be suited for human-robot partnership in assembly lines in the automotive, electronic packaging, and other industries.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: February 2020 Motion Design
Encoder

The AI25 hazardous series AI25 encoder from Dynapar (Gurnee, IL) is suited for Class 1 Division 2 applications where a Zone 1 or Division 1 encoder may have previously been...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Smart Manufacturing Control
Today's advanced smart CNC controls allow manufacturers to optimize the manufacturing process right on the factory floor
Briefs: Motion Control
Flexure for Self-Assembly

Conventional fastening mechanisms like nails, bolts, and welds are subject to manufacturing and inspection tolerances, differential thermal growth, and other sources of error that lead to over-constraint, among...

These soft robots can be rolled up and carried in a pocket.
Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Modified Fittings Enhance Industrial Safety

NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is home to one of the largest buildings in the world — the massive Vehicle Assembly Building — and also hosts a number of one-of-a-kind facilities. The...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robots Assemble Large Structures from Little Pieces
Systems of tiny robots could build high-performance structures, from airplanes to space settlements.
Machine and system designers now have greater options in choosing a motor to meet motion control requirements.
This robot “blood” stores energy, transmits force, operates appendages, and provides structure, all in an integrated design.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
Intelligent Microrobots
Such machines, only a few tens of micrometers across, could be used in the human body to perform small operations.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Valves for Pneumatic Cylinders and Actuators
Know your valve options.
Facility Focus: Electronics & Computers
Facility Focus: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Explore Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA's first space flight complex.
Filaments with embedded circuitry can be used to print complex shapes for biomedical and robotic devices.
The flat structure morphs into another shape when temperature changes, enabling self-deploying tents or adaptive robotic fins.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Soft Robot That Can Maintain Its Temperature? No Sweat!
Cornell researcher T.J. Wallin explains what's so cool about a robot that sweats.
INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
VIPER Rover to Map Lunar Water Ice

An engineering model of the VIPER lunar rover is being tested at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. About the size of a golf cart, VIPER is a mobile robot that will roam around the Moon’s South Pole...

INSIDER: Motion Control
Tractionless Motion is Possible

Cells are observed to “crawl” by attaching themselves to a surface and using these anchor points to push themselves forward (like crawling on the ground). Scientists have identified a different...

White Papers: Automotive
Load Simulation for Test Benches

When designing a test bench, the Merobel™ Particle brake provides an excellent solution to simulate a variable load (resistance torque) on the device to be tested. With reproducible and accurate torque fast...

White Papers: Aerospace
Enhancing Aerospace Interior Design with Lightweight Positioning Technology

The continued pressure from airlines to aircraft manufacturers to keep fuel costs down drives the need to engineer light weight, fuel efficient planes. For aircraft...

A fun way to show the robustness of a soft robot? Swat it.
This microbot can walk on land, swim, and walk underwater.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Particle Robot Works as a Cluster of Simple Units
Loosely connected disc-shaped “particles” can push and pull one another, moving together to transport objects.
These stickers wirelessly beam health readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot Performs Complex Maneuvers
An upgraded mini robot can leap over obstacles with ease.

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