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.

Magnetic gears transmit rotary motion like mechanical gears but instead of teeth they use magnetic attraction and repulsion between rotating magnets. Magnetic gears have several advantages...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Wall-Climbing Drone Flies and Sticks to Target

Researchers have developed the CAROS (Climbing Aerial RObot System) wall-climbing robot with higher mobility than existing wall-climbing robots because it can fly. It also can restore its...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Light-Up Skin Stretches Robotic Boundaries

Cornell University researchers have developed an electroluminescent skin capable of stretching to nearly six times its original size while still emitting light.

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Flight Termination System Reference Design Hardware

The current range ground-based infrastructure is extremely costly to operate and maintain. NASA has developed an Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) that is an independent, self-contained subsystem mounted onboard a launch vehicle. The AFTS reference system eliminates the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
RoboSimian: Software Algorithms for a Mobile Manipulation Quadruped Robot

RoboSimian, a statically stable quadrupedal robot capable of both dexterous manipulation and versatile mobility in difficult terrain, was built to compete in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge, a competitive effort to develop hardware...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot Task Commander with Extensible Programming Environment

As robotic systems are expected to perform complex tasks, system developers require tools for application programming that are more advanced than the current state of the art....

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Multi-Spacecraft Autonomous Positioning System/Network-Based Navigation

Current deep spacecraft rely heavily on ground-based navigation and tracking for state measurement. The requirement for long ground navigation passes, coupled with analysis support, produces a large latency for updating a vehicle’s state. As the current infrastructure...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Heading Versus Tilt Chart for Assessing HGA Occlusion and Flop Risk in MSL Operations

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) high-gain antenna (HGA) sits low on the deck, leaving the sky occluded in many directions by other parts of the rover. Each drive must end with the rover at a heading where the Earth will be unoccluded during the next HGA...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rapid Forest Triage by Sub-Canopy Micro Air Vehicles

Today, tree distribution maps can only be generated manually in a very time-consuming process, and real-time microclimate mapping of a large 3D volume under tree canopy is not possible. A prototype small quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system was developed that is able to maneuver in...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Insertable, Miniature, In-Vivo Surgical Robot with Embedded Control

This innovation is a miniature, in-vivo surgical robot that is able to be inserted into the peritoneal cavity under insufflation. It is designed to perform Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Surgery (LESS). This robotic device is capable of direct visualization of the surgical...

CHETAN KAPOOR
Senior Director of Technology Innovation
Yaskawa America, Motoman Robotics Division
Miamisburg, OH
www.motoman.com

Programmable machines are increasingly joining the...

JIM LAWTON
Chief Product and Marketing Officer
Rethink Robotics
Boston, MA
www.rethinkrobotics.com

In 1961, Unimate — the first large-scale industrial robot — transformed the...

To improve a robot's ability to "see", the fix is in the code.

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
High-Precision Robot Installs Webb Telescope Mirrors

The James Webb Space Telescope team is installing telescope mirror segments using a high-precision robotic arm. To precisely install the segments, the robotic arm can move in six...

A new soft robotic gripper made out of rubber and stretchable electrodes can bend and pick up delicate objects like eggs and paper. It uses electroadhesion – flexible electrode flaps that...

An artificial intelligence algorithm was developed that greatly increases accuracy in diagnosing the health of complex mechanical systems. Typical vibration analysis searches for...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
'Cockroach' Robots Squeeze Through Cracks

UC Berkeley biologists have found robotic inspiration in the creepy ability of cockroaches to squeeze through even the tiniest crack.

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Optimizing Drive Systems for Energy Savings

Energy savings are an extremely important topic in virtually every segment of industry today. In general, the largest consumer of power in a converting line or machine is the drive system. As...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Automation System Retrofit Transforms 175-Ton Hydraulic Forming Press

Southern Manufacturing Group (SMG) of Morrison, TN, makes automotive components and industrial valves. In 2012, the automation system for its 175-ton hydraulic forming...

Products: Motion Control
Severe-Environment Motors

Marathon Motors (Wausau, WI) introduced totally enclosed air-over (TEAO) cooling tower motors with Bearing Current Protection (BCP) using AEGIS® Shaft Grounding Rings. The NEMA Premium Severe-Duty motors feature...

Products: Motion Control
High-Torque Drives

Schneider Electric Motion USA (Marlborough, CT) offers Lexium MDrive NEMA size 23 drives with high-torque stepper motors as an alternative to standard motors. Closed loop performance of the drives eliminates possible motor...

Products: Motion Control
Rotary Tables

EXSYS Tool (San Antonio, FL) offers pL LEHMANN 500 series ultra-high-precision rotary tables. The modular, multi-axis rotary tables allow users to upgrade a vertical machining center without incurring the expense of a new...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Actuator Control

The DCH Series actuator control from American Control Electronics (South Beloit, IL) combines an AC-to-DC switching power supply with a regenerative PWM drive to create an all-in-one solution. The control is suited for...

Products: Motion Control
Motor Controllers

PITTMAN® Motors, a business unit of AMETEK Precision Motion Control (Harleysville, PA), announced IDEATM PBL4850E programmable 3-phase brushless motor controllers that let users create distributed standalone motion...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Magnetic Encoder

The Model 30M low-profile, 30-mm-diameter magnetic encoder module from Encoder Products (Sagle, ID) provides incremental feedback by means of advanced sensing and signal processing technology. It combines a Hall-effect...

Products: Motion Control
Roller Chain

U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission (Wheeling, IL) introduced Titan Series roller chain for high-speed and harsh environments. The ANSI chain utilizes a “Titan specific” chain construction that includes coated pins and pin...

Products: Motion Control
Spindle Gear

maxon precision motors (Fall River, MA) announced the GP 6 S spindle for a variety of linear drive solutions. The maximum feed velocity is 15 mm/s, at a force of 10 N. Integrated ball bearings ensure that the drive stands up to...

Products: Motion Control
Z-Theta System

Catalyst Motion Group™, a Haydon Kerk Motion System integrator (Waterbury, CT), offers a Z-Theta system capability that provides a compact package to achieve a rotary axis and a linear axis in a single unit. When operated in...

Products: Motion Control
Motion Controller

Soft Servo Systems (Waltham, MA) offers the WMX general motion controller that simultaneously controls up to 64 axes and 64 channels with control functions on the EtherCAT platform. It can run as an EtherCAT master on a...

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