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.

INSIDER: Motion Control
Self-Latching Piezocomposite Actuator

NASA Langley has developed a self-latching piezocomposite actuator with power-off, set-and-hold capability. If integrated into an aerodynamic control surface or engine inlet, deflections could be...

Mars 2020 NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and other NASA experts offer a briefing on this week's launch of the Perseverance rover.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Watch: NASA's Mars 2020 Sample Return Briefing

Watch below as NASA experts review how they plan to return samples from the surface of Mars back to Earth.

In the past 24 months, there has been increased skepticism regarding the ability of the automotive industry to deliver fully functional Level 3...

Can NASA "joystick" the landing of the next Mars rover? A Tech Briefs reader asks our NASA expert.
We plug in our headphones everyday. Now a robot can perform the task.
On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Path to High-Level Autonomy for Commercial Vehicles

Automated-driving technology experts continue to project commercial vehicles as the most promising early adoption sector for high-level automation. But ever-evolving technology...

Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Will ‘Roboats’ Catch On?

Our July issue of Tech Briefs highlighted a fleet of “roboats” that could someday transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures.

The Roboat autonomous robotic boats — rectangular hulls equipped with sensors, thrusters, microcontrollers, GPS modules, cameras, and other...

A tiny underwater robot may someday filter out water contaminants by catching them with its tentacles.
The Mars rover Perseverance has a helicopter. Will the rover have to carry it around?
Podcasts: Robotics, Automation & Control
Here's an Idea: A Morphing Airplane Wing Built by Tiny Robots
Ben Jennet is a PhD student at MIT and a former space research fellow at NASA. He is working with NASA to develop a new kind of aircraft wing that's flexible and changes mid-flight.
Briefs: Motion Control
Bio-Inspired Propulsion
Frequencies and passive dynamics of vehicles moving in air or water help enhance propulsion performance.
A fleet of “roboats” could transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Optical In-Line VCSEL Testing
In-line testing of certain LEDs, using nanosecond pulses, will become more and more relevant with time-of-flight applications.
A new low-cost imaging system could make it easier to track mosquito species that carry disease, enabling a more timely and targeted response.
Sensors in the hand can actually detect forces being transmitted through the thickness of the robot.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot Automates Blood Drawing and Testing
The device provides quick results and gives healthcare workers more time to treat patients in hospitals and other settings.
An automated system cuts the energy required for training and running neural networks.
Special Reports: Robotics, Automation & Control
Exploring Mars - July 2020

As NASA prepares this week to launch its latest robotic rover to the Red Planet, we are excited to present this commemorative publication chronicling – through historic images and video – six decades of Mars...

NIBIB is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care.
INSIDER: Motion Control
Smallest Motor in the World

The smallest motor in the world — consisting of just 16 atoms – measures less than one nanometer or about 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The rotor rotates on the surface of the...

A reader asks NASA experts: How much hardware from the Curiosity rover is being used on the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover?
On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars 2020: The Legacy Continues for NASA Space Robotics

Scheduled for launch in the summer of 2020, the latest NASA rover will continue the legacy of its predecessors – Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity – by taking the next step in space robotics. With innovative instruments, new science goals, and improved technologies,...

Traditional robotic feet are made of rigid components. A team of engineers at UCSD turned to coffee grounds to make legged robots more flexible and able to walk on a variety of rough terrain.

A new metal-air scavenger works like a battery, in that it provides power by repeatedly breaking and forming a series of chemical bonds. But it also works like a harvester,...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Challenges in Designing and Manufacturing Sensors for Robotic Surgery

The design and manufacture of a haptic feedback sensor for a robotic surgery platform entails two distinct but complementary aspects: overcoming technical obstacles of...

White Papers: Propulsion
Recoma®HT: Rare Earth Magnets for High Temperatures

Arnold Magnetic Technologies has developed Samarium Cobalt magnets for a wide range of applications. The RECOMA®HT grade magnets were developed specifically for applications operating at...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Don’t Blame it on the Bearings
New measurement methodologies can save you time that would otherwise be wasted on returning and reordering bearing.
This program provides a relative navigation capability for spacecraft, remotely operated terrestrial vehicles, and machine vision.

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

Trending Stories

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Integrity Sensing With Smart Polymers and Rubber Components on Vehicles

Q&A: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Q&A: NanoLED Architecture Overcomes Efficiency Droop

Articles: Green Design & Manufacturing

Driving Growth and Innovation With Sustainable Design

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Deep Learning in Machine Vision

Application Briefs: Software

Using the IoT for Predictive Maintenance

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers Prove Their Elastic Exosuit Eases Back Stress

Videos