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.

Application Briefs: Motion Control
PLCs Improve Control of Radio Broadcasts

Broadcasting employs the latest technology in many areas, but controlling the broadcast hardware connected to the antenna and the related transmission power, source, and facilities is usually still a...

A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy, is working to improve how industrial electric drives operate. They propose a new control scheme that will not only...

Designing a soft robot to move organically — to bend like a finger or twist like a wrist — has always been a process of trial and error. Now, researchers from the Harvard John A....

Articles: Motion Control
The Basics of Encoder Selection
Positioning: Resolution and Accuracy

An application’s required positioning resolution dictates the choice of encoder resolution. A well-tuned system can maintain the position within one encoder state...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanisms for Achieving Non-Sinusoidal Waveforms on Stirling Engines

The current state-of-the-art Stirling engines use sinusoidal piston and displacer motion to drive the thermodynamic cycle and produce power. Research performed at NASA Glenn has shown that non-sinusoidal waveforms have the potential to increase Stirling engine power density,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Improving Stirling Engine Performance Through Optimized Piston and Displacer Motion

Stirling engines typically achieve high efficiency, but lack power density. Low power density prevents them from being used in many applications where internal combustion engines are viable competitors, and increases system costs in applications that require...

A robotic capture module system prototype was built to help NASA engineers understand the operations required to collect a multi-ton boulder from an asteroid’s surface. The hardware...

Inspecting the condition of dikes and other sea defense structures is typically a task for robots, working in a team and in a highly autonomous way. But if they move around across the dikes,...

Boosting the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles by “harvesting” the energy generated by their shock absorbers and feeding it back into batteries or electrical systems such as air...

News: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Machine-Learning System Recognizes Sounds from Video

A machine learning system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recognizes sounds by watching video. The neural network interprets natural sounds in terms of image categories, without hand-annotated training data.

Advantages of Electric Linear Actuators

Reduced downtime. Electric linear actuators (whether screw- or belt-driven) are very low-maintenance. Regreasing may be the only...

MJC Engineering, a custom machine tool builder in Huntington Beach, CA, specializes in metal-spinning machines for such applications as sheet spinning, flow forming, wheel spinning,...

Products: Software
Modeling and Analysis Software

COMSOL (Burlington, MA) announced updates to COMSOL Multiphysics® modeling and simulation software that include a Rotordynamics Module. The module is designed to help engineers analyze vibrations due to...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Foundry Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRB 1200 Foundry Plus 2 robot for material handling and machine tending. The compact foundry robot features the company’s optional protection system so it resists corrosion and...

Products: Software
Robot Programming Software

With the RISE interactive graphical interface from Hypertherm (Hanover, NH), users control the Robotmaster V6 programming software from within a robot simulation environment. Users can modify a robot’s positions...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Digital Piezo Controller

PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P. (Auburn, MA) announced a 4-channel version of the E- 727 digital piezo controller that is designed for multi-axis nanopositioning applications. The controller features a choice of...

Products: Motion Control
Linear Motor

The LinX® linear motor from Anca Motion USA (Wixom, MI) delivers a continuous force from 333 N to 665 N, and peak force from 2136 N to 4272 N. It features a cylindrical design with a thermal barrier that helps separate and...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Automatic Multi-Pallet Changer

Midaco Corp. (Elk Grove Village, IL) offers an automatic multi-pallet changer for 5-axis and standard vertical machining centers (VMCs). It can load and unload 19 aluminum pallets, one at a time, on any new or...

Products: Motion Control
Vertical Lift Module

Modula OnePick from Modula (Lewiston, ME) combines the company’s vertical lift technology with an automated system for picking or replenishing a single product directly from the bay. Using a secure delivery interface...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Automation System

Liebherr (Saline, MI) introduced the Rotary Loading System (RLS) for entry into high-efficiency production with one or two machining centers. The compact automation system is designed for workpiece weights of up to 800 kg...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Reversible Hard Jaws

Reversible hard jaws from Dillon Manufacturing (Springfield, OH) are suitable for ID and OD workholding. The jaws are designed to hold a specific range of part sizes and are usually used for first operation workholding....

Products: Motion Control
Cable Retraction System

The triflex® RSE pullback system from igus (East Providence, RI) uses a simple linear retraction without bends, fiber rods, or rollers. The system consists of a drylin® linear guide with carriage, elastic cord for...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robot

Kawasaki Robotics (Wixom, MI) introduced the duAro collaborative robot. The dual-arm, horizontal articulated robot can safely collaborate with humans in work operations due to its low-power motors, soft body, speed, and...

Products: Transportation
Auto Crash Sensor

Meggitt Sensing Systems (Irvine, CA) introduced the Endevco model 7264H optimally gas-damped accelerometer for automotive safety testing. The sensor is small in size and mass, and eliminates irrelevant frequency content...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Air Compressor

Gardner Denver Thomas (Sheboygan, WI) offers the 2380 series twin WOB-L® piston oil-less air compressor designed for pressure/vacuum and high flow. It provides 100 psi (6.9 bar) maximum pressure with open flow of 2.3 cfm (65...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotational Speed Sensors

RHEINTACHO Messtechnik GmbH (Freiburg, Germany) introduced the FQ series of plastic sensors for detecting rotational speed and direction. The sensors feature an IP69K protection class rating, which means they can...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robot

Rethink Robotics (Boston, MA) introduced Sawyer, a smart collaborative robot designed to execute machine tending, circuit board testing, and other precise tasks. The robot modifies its behavior to respond to changing and...

Products: Software
Manufacturing Connectivity

Sandvik Coromant (Fair Lawn, NJ) introduced the CoroPlus™ platform for connecting manufacturing tools and software. The platform gives users access to product and application data through connected software and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Part Positioners

Yaskawa Motoman (Dayton, OH) expanded its line of RM2 ferris wheel-style robotic part positioners. The positioners have two servo-driven trunnion/station axes on opposite sides of a central “sweep” axis. One station is...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Understanding O-ring Complexity in the Aerospace Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

The Path to High-Level Autonomy for Commercial Vehicles

Upcoming Webinars: Medical

COVID-19: The New Design Paradigm and Emerging Technologies

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Why Multiple Sensing Modalities Are Required to Achieve Level 3...

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Aviation Electrification: Choosing Your Motor Topology and...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robotics: Sharing the Workspace

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