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.

 White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Thermoplastic Material Selection for Injection Molding

There are more than 85,000 commercial options for plastic materials listed in materials databases. Needless to say, narrowing down that extensive list of materials can sometimes seem like a formidable task. Protolabs comprehensive white paper provides a highly technical observation of...

 White Papers : Electronics & Computers
Direct Drive Linear Motors – Overview and Selection Process

While linear motors are not a new technology, advances in the recent past have made this drive type ideal for high precision motion control solutions. Growing popularity and usage in applications requiring precision motion control have reduced the cost of technology and made linear...

 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Cobots can help manufacturers automate tasks both known or unknown, says engineer Israel Nunez.
 Motion Design : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Quickly Track Moving Objects with Precision

Robots using a system of RFID tags can locate tagged objects within 7.5 milliseconds on average with an error of less than a centimeter. TurboTrack could replace computer vision for some robotic tasks.

 White Papers : Automotive
Understanding Aeration

Aeration may seem friendly in a cup of coffee or soda, but it's deadly for powertrain components. All forms of aeration (air bubbles, foam and dissolved air) are harmful, especially in the context of hydraulic and lubricating systems. Aeration is not a new phenomenon, but is a growing threat. Engine downsizing, higher...

 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: When to Use Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing
A reader asks: What types of considerations need to be made before you go in on collaborative robots?
 White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
PCB Design for Smarties

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) support the functionality of just about every working electronic device in use today. They are integral to every professional discipline from mechatronics to robotics and process automation. If you want to make something that does something, PCBs are likely a component of your product...

 White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Connectivity for Next-Generation Mobility

Powertrain electrification and automation will pave the way for a new generation of all-electric, fully autonomous vehicles. At the same time, cloud, big data, and analytics technologies will enable innovative mobility as a service (MaaS) business models. MaaS will create personal and economic freedom...

 White Papers : Automotive
Enhancing Autonomous Vehicle Interior Design with Proven Access Solutions

As drivers begin to transition to autonomous vehicles, automotive designers must create functional interior spaces that not only provide comfort, but also build trust and alleviate passenger fear. Download our Autonomous Vehicle Interiors Industry Report to learn how...

 Blog : Electronics & Computers
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Your design idea could win you $20,000.
 Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
On a Firefighter’s Jacket, a Self-Powered Tracking Sensor Takes the Heat
The wearable is fireproof, thanks to a carbon aerogel nanocomposite material.
 On-Demand Webinars : Robotics, Automation & Control
Collaborative Robotics: Safely Connecting Man and Machine

It used to be that manufacturing robots were kept in cages, programmed by specialists, and often used only for a single task. Today collaborative robots are being used by manufacturers to automate tedious and dangerous jobs, while improving productivity. These robots, which can work alone...

 White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Virtual Commissioning with a Model-Driven Digital Twin

The manufacturing and automation industry is highly-evolving and competitive. As demands on product requirements increase, the inherent design risks can pose significant problems, threatening the success and reputation of those trying to keep pace. The technique of virtual commissioning (VC)...

 White Papers : Test & Measurement
Thinking Outside the Cabinet: What Does Motor-Integrated Automation Technology Have to Do with Your Business ROI?

Thinking cabinet-free is nothing new. We’ve always been able to eliminate some parts from the cabinet and integrate them into the machine. If you are thinking of redesigning your machine or designing a new machine, this article is...

 Briefs : Motion Control
Precision Low-Speed Motor Controller

Innovators at NASA Johnson Space Center have developed a method for controlling precise motion of a brushless DC (BLDC) motor using relatively inexpensive components. Precision motors are usually quite expensive and inefficient when operating at slow speeds. Current motors are only capable of operating at...

 Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: March 2019

Controller and Datalogger

Watlow, St. Louis, MO, introduced a batch processing feature for the F4T temperature and process controller and D4T datalogger. The new feature helps collect manufacturing part...

 Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Products of Tomorrow: March 2019

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 : IoMT
Computer-Controlled Exercise Equipment

While a wide variety of computer-controlled exercise machines for training and rehabilitation exist — some of which can be automatically adjusted to vary resistance or incline — such systems provide for preprogrammed changes in load or resistance. What is needed is a system that overcomes the...

 Articles : Electronics & Computers
The Heat Is On: A Guide to Specifying Insulation Materials

One of the first things an electrical engineer will learn is that the number-one enemy of designing and manufacturing any electrical/electronic product is heat. It's the one...

 Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
Building Blocks for a Practical Wireless Sensor System

We recently interviewed Justin Bessette, Manager, Wireless Systems and Software Engineering at LORD Corporation, Micro-Strain® Sensing Systems, about the nuts and bolts of a wireless...

 Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology

Torque Measurement System

To address the demand for a more accurate, reliable, customizable, and easy-to-use force measurement device, Interface Force Measurement Systems (Scottsdale, AZ)...

 Articles : Electronics & Computers
Create the Future Design Contest Alumni Achieve Market Success

The Create the Future Design Contest, launched in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine, helps stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has...

 5 Ws : Sensors/Data Acquisition
5 Ws of 3D-Printing Piezoelectric Materials

Who

Piezoelectric materials are used in everything from cellphones and wearables, to robotics, energy harvesting, and tactile sensors.

 Blog : Software
Answering Your Questions: What Areas of Study Are Desirable for the Autonomous Industry?
With self-driving vehicles poised to take the road, how can today’s engineers prepare themselves to support an autonomous future?
 White Papers : Motion Control
Substrate Mastered Scale on a CMM

The thermal behavior of encoder scale is an important consideration when selecting any encoder system. Renishaw's scales are effectively either thermally independent of the substrate (floating) or thermally dependent on the substrate (mastered); depending on the scale thickness / material and mounting method....

 Briefs : Software
Speedy Motor Modeling

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have created open source software that scales up analysis of motor designs to run on the fastest computers available.

 INSIDER : Motion Control
Walking Robot Moves Without GPS

Ants are able to use polarized light and ultraviolet radiation to locate themselves in space. AntBot mimics this ability to explore its environment randomly and go home automatically, without GPS or...

 Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Will ‘Developable Mechanisms’ Solve Complex Tasks?

Brigham Young University engineers have created "developable mechanisms" that they hope to use in components like surgical instruments, adjustable airplane wings, robotic arms, or vehicle cylinders. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV, to see how the flat shapes can be converted into 3D...

 White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
SAE J3061 and ISO 26262? They’re Made for Each Other

Embedded systems in cars are increasingly complex and connected, and the inherent security implications are not explicitly addressed by ISO 26262. SAE J3061 addresses that security deficiency, complementing the functional safety focus of ISO 26262.

 White Papers : Robotics, Automation & Control
Peltier 'Affects' Autonomous Vehicle Design

Coined the “PELTIER EFFECT” after its discoverer, Jean Charles Athanase Peltier, thermoelectric cooling has been utilized in marketable products for decades. Such products have a history of being used in “new” applications. In the 1970s, thermoelectric elements were cooling components in NASA...

Technology Leaders

Webcasts

 Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Adaptive AUTOSAR and a Ready-to-Go Vehicle Run-Time Environment

 Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

The Next Giant Leap: Back to the Moon and On to Mars

 Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

SOSA and Its Impact on OpenVPX

 Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Automotive Glazing: Past, Present, and Future

 Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Lightweighting with Composites and Plastics

 On-Demand Webinars: Imaging

Innovative Approach for Ultrahigh-Speed Machine Vision