Robotics, Automation & Control

Artificial 'Skin' Gives Robotic Hand A Sense Of Touch

A team of researchers from the University of Houston has reported a breakthrough in stretchable electronics that can serve as an artificial skin, allowing a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold, while also offering advantages for a wide range of biomedical devices.

Posted in: News, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Automation, Robotics

LEARNING TO CRAWL: Origami Robot Moves Like an Earthworm

A team of engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign built a new kind of crawler robot. The wheel-less design takes inspiration from two unconventional sources: origami and the earthworm. Assistant professors Aimy Wissa and Sameh Tawfick, along with a team of graduate and undergraduate students, used “Kresling” paper-folding principles to create buildingblock actuators (Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Materials, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Automation, Robotics

Innovators Recognized for "Creating the Future"

The Create the Future Design Contest has helped stimulate and reward engineering innovation over the past 16 years, drawing more than 14,000 product designs from engineers, students, and entrepreneurs worldwide. Top prizes in the 2017 contest — including the Grand Prize and winning designs in seven categories — were awarded on November 10 in New York City.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aviation, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies, LEDs, Lighting, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Medical, Automation, Robotics, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement, Transportation

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA, has been operated by Battelle and its predecessors since the lab’s inception in 1965. For more than 50 years, PNNL has advanced the frontiers of science and engineering, making fundamental scientific discoveries and solving problems in energy, the environment, and national security.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Energy Storage, Green Design & Manufacturing, Remediation Technologies, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Research Lab, Robotics, Detectors, Sensors

Short Review of Basic, General-purpose Adjustment Mechanisms for Alignment and Leveling

A web search for words “leveling” and/or “alignment” usually brings the searcher to materials discussing methods of verification of alignment or leveling with various types of tools starting with simple, but very precise mechanical indicators, and finishing with sophisticated laser measurement systems. In this white paper, we will concentrate rather on rarely discussed adjustment mechanisms, trying to assess, and rate their quality, simplicity of use, value for money and effectiveness.

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Posted in: White Papers, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Automation

When to 3D Print In House and When to Outsource

Rapid prototyping with 3D printing helps teams communicate with stakeholders and ultimately results in better end products. Download the white paper now if you want more information on:

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, White Papers, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics

Autonomous Vehicle Standards – A Comprehensive Discussion

Vehicle Connectivity, including the real prospects of hands-free and fully autonomous driving, is revolutionizing personal mobility as profoundly as the invention of the automobile did 130 years ago. Cars, light trucks, and commercial vehicles equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P), and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies will reduce crashes, energy consumption and pollution, as well as mitigate the costs associated with traffic and parking congestion.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Automation

2017 Create the Future Design Contest: Machinery Category Winner

EJBot: Versatile Climbing Robot for Industrial Vessel Inspection

Dr. Mohamed Gouda Alkalla and Mohamed Fanni
Mansoura University
Mansoura, Ad-daqahliyah, Egypt

The EJBot is a propeller-type climbing robot for climbing various types of structures to inspect industrial vessels made of various materials, including non-ferromagnetic material. The inspection process includes capturing images of important spots that are prone to corrosion, as well as measuring the vessel's wall thickness.

Posted in: Articles, Robotics

Piezoelectric Actuator with Dual Horns Separately Controllable to Drive Miniature Vehicles Along a Single Axis

Actuators are a critical driver of all the mechanisms used in space, and improvements of their operation mechanism enhance mission capabilities. The disclosed invention is a new type of actuator that simultaneously drives dual mechanisms (e.g., rotors, wheels, etc.) at opposite sides of a piezoelectric stack using the generated vibrations. The actuator consists of dual-sided horns and is capable of operating ratcheting mechanisms through walls.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation

Mineral Analyzer Shakes Answers Out of Soil and Rocks

On the Curiosity rover, a tool called CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy) is helping scientists determine what minerals make up the Martian landscape, and whether single-celled or more complex organisms could once have thrived there. CheMin sends an X-ray beam through tiny samples of Martian soil or rock, recording how the beam scatters as it bounces against atomic planes of the different minerals contained within. The technique, called X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), has been around for a long time, but the tools commonly used were not practical for a robotic mission millions of miles from the nearest human hands.

Posted in: Spinoff, Articles, Robotics, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Soils, Robotics, Test equipment and instrumentation

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