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.

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Product of the Month - August 2016

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North Kingstown, RI, introduced the BLAZE 600M non-contact optical measurement solution. The flexible, manually operated system provides ultra-rapid 3D data...

Products: Motion Control
Miniature Connectors

Fischer Connectors, Alpharetta, GA, introduced the MiniMax 06 ultra-miniature connector that can include up to 12 power and signal contacts in a 10-mm footprint. The connector also features a configuration with two...

Products: Motion Control
Self-Clinching Standoff Fasteners

PEM® self-clinching standoff fasteners from PennEngineering®, Danboro, PA, enable mounting, spacing, or stacking of panels, boards, or components in assemblies. The fasteners include a range of types...

Products: Motion Control
Connectors

C&K Components, Newton, MA, announced the Space Splice high-reliability connecting solution that is an alternative to manual splicing. The one-way connectors deliver radiation and temperature resistance, low residual...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Seal

The Ashcroft DF diaphragm seal from Ashcroft, Stratford, CT, provides a means to isolate pressure instruments from harsh media. The flush flanged design eliminates the use of a lower housing and prevents clogging around...

Products: Motion Control
Coin Cell Contacts

Keystone Electronics, Astoria, NY, introduced SMT enclosure coin cell contacts for connections in self-contained battery compartments. The contacts require minimal board space while allowing installation and removal of...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Board-Level Connectors

Amphenol Industrial Products Group, Sidney, NY, offers Max M12 board-level connectors that mate to a PCB board with straight or right-angle solder pins. The connectors can transmit high-speed data in environments...

Products: Motion Control
Radar Level Transmitter

The LVRD10 Series of general-purpose guided wave radar level transmitters from OMEGA Engineering, Stamford, CT, provides continuous level measurement with a 4 to 20 mA signal output. They are offered in three...

Products: Motion Control
Angle Sensor

ASM Sensors, Elmhurst, IL, introduced the POSIROT® PRAS6 non-contact analog angle sensor that measures angular displacement and position of rotating objects from 0-360° using magnetic Hall technology. The sensors are...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Fabric-Reinforced Silicone

Stockwell Elastomerics, Philadelphia, PA, offers SNE556-R and SNE-540-R nickel-graphite-filled silicone rubber with fabric reinforcement that can be die cut or water jet cut into EMI shielding gaskets with...

Products: Motion Control
Network Design Software

Gap Wireless, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, introduced the iBwave Wi-Fi Suite that provides bundled cloud-connected products to streamline the in-building Wi-Fi network planning and design process. The solution...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Self-Latching Piezocomposite Actuator

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a self-latching piezocomposite actuator. The self-latching nature of this invention allows for piezo actuators that do not require constant power draw. Among other applications, the invention is well suited for use in aerodynamic control surfaces and engine...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Active Response Gravity Offload and Method

To train astronauts to live and work in the weightless environment on the International Space Station, NASA employs a number of techniques and facilities that simulate microgravity. Engineers at the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fluid Harmonic Absorber

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Fluid Structure Coupling (FSC) technology is a highly efficient and passive method to control the way fluids and structures communicate and dictate the behavior of a system. This...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Variable-Aperture Reciprocating Reed Valve

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center engineers have developed a new reed valve for controlling fluid flow back and forth between two chambers. The VARR valve provides two-way flow that is proportional to flow demand. As the pressure gradient builds on one side, the reed valve responds by opening an...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Passive, Integrated, Sublimator-Driven Coldplate

Spacecraft thermal control systems typically perform three key functions — heat acquisition, heat transport, and heat rejection — in addition to those of insulation, heat generation, and heat storage. In a typical pumped fluid-loop spacecraft thermal control system, heat is acquired from...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Strat-X

Experiments in space can be expensive and infrequent, but Earth’s upper atmosphere is accessible via large scientific balloons, and can be used to address many of the same fundamental questions. Scientific balloons are made of a...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Hydraulic Pressure Distribution System

Human operation in space over long time periods causes bone and muscle deterioration, so there is a need for countermeasures in the form of physical exercises consisting of working against controlled...

A team of engineers from Washington University in St. Louis is looking to capitalize on the sense of smell in locusts to create new biorobotic sensing systems that could be used...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dust Tolerant Connectors

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has developed a novel ruggedized housing for an electrical or fluid umbilical connector that prevents intrusion of dust, sand, dirt, mud, and moisture during field use under harsh...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Systems, Methods, and Apparatus of a Low-Conductance Silicon Micro-Leak for Mass Spectrometer Inlet

Mass spectrometers on atmospheric entry probes require a method for introducing gas from high-pressure ambient regions to the vacuum of the mass spectrometer interior.

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed three techniques and systems to calibrate and validate...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Release of a Stuck Solar Array or Antenna

Satellite launches experience approximately one deployment failure every two years. These failures include a solar array or antenna that fails to deploy because it is stuck due to a mechanism failure, or is snagged by a cable or thermal blanket. Knowledge of the exact circumstances of the deployable...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Heat-Flux-Capable Boundary Layer Vortex Generator and Boundary Layer Transition Device

Afixed geometry device has been developed to promote boundary layer transition and generation of streamwise vorticity, and is capable of withstanding entry heating environments for the Space Shuttle Orbiter. Designed to have a total height above the...

Because of the cost-effectiveness of flying smallsats compared to large flagship spacecraft, there is increasing interest in boosting their capabilities for...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Piezoelectric-Actuated Rotary Ultrasonic Motor

This actuator was developed out of a need for a cryogenic actuator that can operate effectively in spite of the thermal mismatch involved with construction materials that have different...

Articles: Aerospace
NASA's Game-Changing Robotics

“Over the years, I’ve asked people, ‘If you had a robot, what would you want it to do for you?’” said Rob Ambrose, principal investigator for NASA’s Game Changing Development Program and chief of the...

Today’s robots easily execute “pick-and-place” tasks: finding an object in one specified location and bringing it to another. But what if there are obstacles in a robot’s way? And what...

Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are developing a robotic arm prototype and its control algorithm using myoelectric signals. The mechanical limb will independently recognize the...

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