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.

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
3D Projection Improves Robot-to-Human Communication

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a way for robots to project their next action into the 3D world and onto any moving object, such as car parts on an assembly line. The achievement will help to improve human and robot safety in manufacturing scenarios.

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
What Engineers and Customers Need from a Motion Control System

In the automation industry, engineers strive every day to advance their process and products. Engineers have to select components, learn and use many tools to construct their...

Hydraulic and pneumatic systems have traditionally been the market leader in providing power in the aerospace and defense industry because of their low cost and...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Industrial Robot

ABB (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced YuMi, a collaborative dual-arm industrial robot designed for small parts assembly environments. It features dual arms, flexible hands, a universal parts feeding system, camera-based part...

Products: Motion Control
Air-Bearing Platform

Aerotech (Pittsburgh, PA) offers the PlanarHDX planar air-bearing platform for semiconductor manufacturing and advanced test and inspection. Structural elements were designed using a silicon carbide ceramic. The...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Accelerometers

PCB® Automotive Sensors Division (Depew, NY) offers MEMS DC response accelerometers for improving the precision of low-frequency vibration and motion in automotive applications. Available in full-scale ranges from ±2g to...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Infrared Scanner

Aimess Services (Braunschweig, Germany) offers the R3Dscan 3D infrared scanner as an automated solution with direct connection to industrial robots. The scanner can be integrated into production lines to inspect...

Products: Robotics, Automation & Control
Brushless DC Motors

High Torque Density Brushless DC Motors from BEI Kimco (Vista, CA) are available in multiple designs. The motors use proprietary low magnetic circuit design techniques and feature a frameless motor design composed of a...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rigging Kit

AeroGo (Seattle, WA) introduced the Air Caster Rigging Kit that contains everything necessary to move heavy, awkward, or delicate loads using compressed air. The kit is housed in a rugged and lockable storage box, and can be...

Products: Motion Control
Driver and Controller

The Tolomatic ACS actuator control solution from Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) is a servo or stepper driver and controller developed for use with electric actuators. The system is ODVA™ conformant for EtherNet/IP™. The...

Products: Motion Control
Linear Actuators

Haydon Kerk™ Motion Solutions (Waterbury, CT) offers linear stepper actuators as replacements for solenoid valves in critical applications such as security door actuation systems. With over 200 thread designs and four...

Products: Motion Control
Brushless Motor

maxon precision motors (Fall River, MA) offers the EC-I 40 DC brushless motor in a high-torque version for applications demanding very high torque. The iron-core internal rotor drive is available with a diameter of 40 mm, and...

Products: Motion Control
Diaphragm Pump

Gardner Denver Thomas (Sheboygan, WI) offers the 1610 diaphragm pump that provides fast evacuation times for applications where speed is key. Volume flow rate is up to 8.0 l/min, vacuum up to 90%, and pressure up to 2.0 bar....

Products: Motion Control
Stepper Motors

Nanotec (Feldkirchen, Germany) introduced the SC3518 series stepper motors that feature high torque and EMC properties. The 2-phase hybrid stepper motors feature frame size NEMA 14 (35 mm) and a 1.8° step angle; torque is...

Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Servo Drives

ADVANCED Motion Controls (Camarillo, CA) introduced the AZBH10A4 and AZBD10A4 micro-sized analog plug-in brushless servo drives that add Hall Velocity mode and Duty Cycle mode capabilities to the μZ series. The drives are...

Products: Motion Control
Electronic Valves

Clippard Instrument Laboratory (Cincinnati, OH) introduced the DV-3 Minimatic® electronic 3-way valves that use a patented valving principle. The valves are suited for applications across numerous industries, and are...

Products: Motion Control
Brushless Torque Motors

Allied Motion (Buffalo, NY) released the Megaflux MFH170i series of 170-mm (6.7-in) diameter housed brushless torque motors. The series is comprised of the 170 series brushless torque motor, a digital servo drive, and...

Manufacturers in the process industries need to adjust to smaller batches and different types of product in the same plant. Plants based on the “Lego principle”...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrochemically Enhanced Mechanical Polishing of Optics

Optical component fabrication using metals or ceramic materials involves many grinding and/or machining and polishing steps to achieve the proper form to the tolerances of imaging or photonic focusing instruments. These instruments range from infrared sensors, through visible and...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Expendable Cooling System for Venus Lander Concept

This innovation is a concept for a novel thermal architecture that would enable a day-long surface mission on Venus. A Venus lander mission could last much longer than a few hours on the surface of the planet by absorbing heat from the Venus environment, and from the electronics within the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rapid Quench Furnace for Processing Powder in an Inert Environment

Ongoing work in the development and characterization of sensory materials requires the development of shape memory alloy (SMA) powder or particles. These are embedded in structural material so that the progression of localized damage that occurs during fatigue crack growth will...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Field Excavator with Embedded Force Measurement

The Centaur 2 (C2) platform is a compact vehicle with four independently steered and actuated wheel pods, allowing the vehicle to pivot in place and tilt in two directions. It is designed to...

Deep space missions, like the ones going to outer planets and those that rely on solar photovoltaic power, need extremely large solar arrays to produce that power for...

Existing technologies [Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) and passive Thermal Control Valve (TCV)] are integrated and made to work together to provide a passive variable thermal link. The...

MIT has been investigating techniques for amplifying movements captured by video, but indiscernible to the human eye. The algorithms can make the human pulse visible and even recover...

When robots and humans have to work together, it often leads to problems. Researchers on the CogIMon project want to teach robots to understand the forces during the movement of an...

When modern football helmets were introduced, they all but eliminated traumatic skull fractures caused by blunt force impacts. Mounting evidence, however, suggests...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Lunar Materials Handling System

A method was developed for transfer of lunar soil into and out of process equipment. The Lunar Materials Handling System (LMHS) conveys solids to a process vessel, provides a gas-tight seal, prevents seal contamination, and minimizes wear from abrasive particles. The LMHS increases equipment life and minimizes...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Two-Dimensional Dropped Sensor Suite

There are locations that are either too hazardous to land and gather data, or not practical to land. Also, data may need to be gathered from multiple (tens to hundreds) locations (sometimes at once). This...

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