Motion Control/​Automation

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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.

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

A wireless triboelectric nanogenerator (W-TENG) generates electricity from motion and vibrations. It consists of a biodegradeable polymer and graphene. When the two materials are brought...

INSIDER: Imaging

Engineers from MIT and Princeton University have developed a robotic pick-and-place system that consists of a standard industrial robotic arm outfitted with a custom gripper and suction cup. An...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will cockroach-inspired robots support search-and-rescue?

This week’s INSIDER featured a robot that moves like a cockroach. By studying the fundamental principles of object traversal, the technology’s inventors want to apply the idea to search-and-rescue robots. What do you think? Will cockroach-inspired robots support...

INSIDER: Motion Control
A JHU team has developed a prototype robot that steals some moves from a Central American cockroach species known as blaberus discoidalis.
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D printing uses computer control to fuse layers of polymers or powders into a three-dimensional object. Rutgers University researchers found a way to add to a fourth dimension –...

Articles: Electronics & Computers

As contemporary electronics embrace light weight, increasing efficiency, and high speed, each link of the manufacturing process also conforms to this philosophy, including printed...

Application Briefs: Automotive

Behr Hella Thermo Control (BHTC) of Lippstadt, Germany, manufactures automotive interior components. As the demand for smarter cars increases, BHTC encountered a new automotive interior challenge:...

Articles: Motion Control

For most electrical engineers, the simple term “motor” means one thing: an electromagnetic rotary-motion unit. Engineers who need linear rather than rotary motion consider adding a mechanical...

Application Briefs: Test & Measurement

Smart manufacturing capabilities should be built into machines, particularly those with advanced functionality such as motion control. Even if the factory is not currently connected to...

Briefs: Motion Control

Servo control systems require accurate control of motion parameters such as acceleration, velocity, and position. This requires a controller that can apply current (torque) to...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Soft robots are made from soft materials that react to applied voltage with a wide range of motions. Such soft robots contain tremendous potential for future applications, as they adapt to dynamic...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Using 3D printers, researchers have created a metamaterial from cubic building blocks that responds to compression forces by a rotation. Usually, this can only be...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Ring Motor

ThinGap (Camarillo, CA) introduced the PM model TGO77 large-bore compact ring motor for precision and highspeed applications. The brushless, frameless motor has an outside...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Linear actuator manufacturers have a history of strong mechanical design expertise, which is the core of any linear actuation; however, giving motion to modern powered equipment goes beyond a...

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

The wide variety of industrial applications each independently calls for a level of robustness from the physical (PHY) layer, all the way up to applications. Time...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Product of the Month

Fluke Corp., Everett, WA, introduced the Fluke 3560 FC Vibration Sensors and Fluke 3502 FC Gateway for equipment vibration analysis. The sensors enable remote capture of...

INSIDER: Motion Control

Scientists have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. Traditional nanobots take minutes to carry out actions, sometimes even hours. Therefore, efficient molecular assembly...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Farmers in Europe are increasingly turning to robotic weeders. A specialist from University of California, Davis tested out the technologies.
INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Cornell University engineers have been experimenting with a new type of programming that mimics the mind of an insect.

Articles: Materials

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

To date, it has been difficult or impossible for most robotic and prosthetic hands to accurately sense the vibrations and shear forces that occur, for example, when a finger is sliding along a tabletop,...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A software system was developed that helps robots more effectively act on spoken instructions — no matter how abstract or specific those instructions may be — from people who...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Engineers have fabricated transparent, gel-based robots that move when water is pumped in and out of them. They are made entirely of hydrogel — a tough, rubbery, nearly...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
System Enables Robots to Understand Contextual Commands

Today’s robots can accomplish many repetitive tasks, but their inability to understand the nuances of human language makes them mostly useless for more complicated requests. For example, if a specific tool is placed in a toolbox and a robot is asked to “pick it up,” it would be...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A fundamental advance in controlling soft robots involves using magnetic fields to remotely manipulate microparticle chains embedded in soft robotic devices. Several devices have been developed...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Evolving and Controlling Behaviors in a Computation-Free Robot Swarm

Flocks of birds, schools of fish, and colonies of ants exhibit a remarkable robustness and resilience, despite the limited capabilities of each individual. Recently, research into bio-inspired swarm robotics has been gaining popularity due to the low-cost, robust, redundant,...

INSIDER: Materials

A vortex in the atmosphere can churn with enough power to create a typhoon. But more subtle vortices form constantly in nature. Many of them are too small to be seen with the naked eye....

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping

One technology uses magnetic fields to generate mechanical work. The other enhances the magnetic properties of 3D-printed materials. Combined, they could lead to efficient, economical production of magnetic...

News: Medical

A team of researchers from the University of Houston has reported a breakthrough in stretchable electronics that can serve as an artificial skin, allowing a robotic hand to sense the...

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