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
Disposable Cartridge Components

Plastikos, Erie, PA, offers disposable cartridge components made of cyclic olefin polymer (COC) for wearable drug delivery devices holding medications such as insulin and pain medicines. The disposable...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Valve

RotaVal Ltd. (Wiltshire, UK) introduced a heavy-duty rotary valve for use where solids handled and operating conditions combine to cause abrasive erosion within the valve. It has on-site component replacement. The valves are...

Products: Motion Control
Voice Coil Actuator

The LAH15-19-000A linear voice coil actuator from BEI Kimco (Vista, CA) provides low hysteresis/ low friction with bi-directional position control. It is suited for applications where low friction and high force accuracy...

Products: Motion Control
Compact Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRB 1660ID compact robot for arc welding and machine tending applications. It features a DressPack design that allows users to program and simulate predictable cable movements, a...

Products: Motion Control
Block Spindle

Suhner Industrial Products Corp. Automation Division (Rome, GA) introduced the BEX8 high-speed machining block spindle capable of maintaining rigidity and precision at operations up to 25,000 rpm. The spindle weighs 33 lbs....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rotary Tables

Koma Precision (East Windsor, CT) offers Tsudakoma RDS Series direct drive rotary tables that use a proprietary direct drive motor system that enables the tables to achieve high speed and acceleration with no backlash. The...

Products: Motion Control
Undermount Slide

Accuride (Santa Fe Springs, CA) announced the 3135EC Eclipse Undermount Easy- Close slide. The slide offers improved full extension movement with a 100-pound load rating and 4.8 pounds of pull force. The Easy-Close action...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Pneumatic Gripper

Fabco-Air (Gainesville, FL) announced the FKHS Series 3 Jaw parallel motion pneumatic gripper for handling small parts in tight spaces. They are available in bore sizes of 25, 32, 40, 50, 63, and 80 mm. A magnetic piston...

Products: Lighting Technology
Positioning System

Piezoconcept (Lyon, France) offers the Hybrid System, an integrated positioning system for use with any standard inverted optical microscope. It combines a manual micrometer-driven, two-axis, linear motion stage with...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Method for Accurate Load/Position Control of Rigidly Coupled Electromechanical Actuators

NASA has developed a technique designed to prevent cross-coupling in systems where two or more linear electro-mechanical actuators (EMA) are rigidly connected and are in danger of becoming cross-coupled. In such systems where the linked EMAs are commanded...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Residual Mode Filters

NASA has developed a unique control algorithm and synthesis method that uses a system’s output to modify control inputs to cause the system to track a reference model or a fixed value in the presence of unmodeled system dynamics, varying operating environments, and unpredictable disturbances. The unique feature of this...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Probabilistic Surface Characterization for Safe Landing Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA)

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a probabilistic algorithm for hazard detection and avoidance (HDA) that robustly handles sensor noise. Conventional surface characterization methods use fixed hazard thresholds to determine hazardous...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robot for Controlled Deposition of Multilayer Thin Film Structures

During deposition of thin film layers using shadow masking techniques, thin film layer structure morphology changes with respect to the position of the thin film layer and the shadow of the mask. Morphology changes in the thin film result in refractive index and density changes...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Walk and Roll Robot

In smooth terrain, the most efficient motion to traverse the terrain is rolling. However, when a wheeled vehicle encounters obstacles, it must circumvent them if possible or choose an alternate path. Legged vehicles can...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Human Grasp Assist Device with Exoskeleton

Researchers at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors (GM), have designed and developed Robo-Glove, a wearable human grasp assist device, to help reduce the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Electromagnetic Monitoring and Control of a Plurality of Nanosatellites

NASA has developed an innovative combination of a Magnetometer, low-powered ElectroMagnets, and Res onant Inductive Coupling (MEMRIC) to create and control relative positioning of nanosatellites within a cluster. This is a game-changing approach to enable distributed...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Elimination of Yaw Component of Gyroscope Propagation Error During Arm Activity in MSL

When updating attitude during arm motion, gyroscope propagation error soon becomes greater than the tilt being monitored. The solution is to add an accelerometer-only mode that can update attitude without using gyroscopes, and to add the ability to monitor...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Locomotion of Amorphous Surface Robots

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed multiple ways for amorphous robots to autonomously move across a surface without needing conventional wheels or legs. Amorphous robots are useful in dusty...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Underground Radar Sheds Light on Post-Katrina Damage

An innovative underground radar technology developed at Louisiana Tech University is helping the City of Slidell in south Louisiana to identify and document underground infrastructure damage that had gone undetected in the months and years following Hurricane Katrina.

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Wave-Propelled, Slithering Robot Uses a Single Small Motor

Engineers at Ben-Gurion University have developed the first wave-like robot powered by a single actuator with no internal straight spine. The Single Actuator Wave-Like Robot...

News: Electronics & Computers
Operators Control Multiple Drones by Thought

A researcher at Arizona State University has discovered how to control multiple robotic drones using the human brain. A controller wears a skull cap outfitted with 128 electrodes wired to a...

The first single actuator wave-like robot (SAW) has been developed by engineers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The 3D-printed robot can move forward or backward in a wave-like motion, moving...

What is a Linear Variable Inductive Transducer (LVIT) and where are they used? LVITs, which have been around for more than 30 years, are relatively low-cost, contactless...

Modern satellites use motors for many purposes — moving solar panels for optimum alignment to the Sun; moving reaction wheels to change the...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Ground Fault Sensors

NK Technologies (San Jose, CA) offers AGLD Series ground fault sensors that protect machinery and operators from accidental shocks. The one-piece, solid-core design allows for installation over wires feeding heavy...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Drive Indexer

Nexen Group (Vadnais Heights, MN) introduced the PRD Precision Ring Drive indexer, an alternative to direct drive motors that can start and stop at any incremental position. The motion profile is changed by loading a new...

Products: Motion Control
Electric Linear Actuators

Thomson Industries (Wood Dale, IL) offers Electrak HD™ electric linear actuators that enable design engineers to convert hydraulic applications to electric. The actuators boost power to 10 kN (2250 lbs) with...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Actuator Assemblies

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) offers SureMotion actuator assemblies for X-Y and X-Y-Z positioning systems. Twin round-shaft slide actuators feature a continuously supported round rail slide with ball screw actuation....

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Motors/Drives

Siemens Industry (Elk Grove Village, IL) released combination motor/drive packages for heavy-duty industrial motion control applications that are power-matched for 480V high-overload operation through a 20 HP range, with I2...

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