Non-Recirculating Roller Screw

Technology #ua13-057

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Michael Williams
Lead Engineer, Spaceflight, Lunar & Planetary Lab
Managed By
John Geikler
Asst. Director, Physical Science Licensing (520) 626-4605

Title: Non-Recirculating Roller Screw


Invention: This technology was developed as a key element of the camera focusing mechanism for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission led by the University of Arizona, which was recently launched on a sample retrieval mission to the near-earth asteroid Bennu. This invention meets the demanding requirements of the OSIRIS-REx mission including high precision and reliability as well as low power and has other significant advantages that can be applied to a wide range of commercial applications.


Background: Existing precision roller screw products cannot stand up to the demanding requirements for the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft for precision, reliability and power. These issues led NASA to look to the University of Arizona to create the non-recirculating roller screw that was suitable for the environment and length of the OSIRIS-REx mission.



  • Defense/aerospace
  • Industrial/manufacturing equipment control
  • Factory automation
  • Volumetric filling
  • Positioning systems



  • Lower cost to manufacture, use and maintain
  • Higher reliability and longer life
  • Less power required for the given load
  • Requires fewer parts
  • Less complex to assemble and reassemble
  • Minimizes lubricant, debris and galling
  • Possesses less torque


Licensing Manager:

John Geikler

(520) 626-4605