Features

Tactile Feedback for Touch-input Devices

As products become more featurerich, manufacturers are looking at ways to improve the human-computer interface (HCI). Touchscreens, with intuitive operation and software flexibility, and screen-printed touch surfaces, with refined aesthetics and better sealing, have become extremely popular. But what these touch-input devices do not supply is tactile confirmation of (1) a button’s location and (2) pressing it. The loss of this tactile information can be detrimental to user engagement and understanding, productivity, completion of transactions, safety, and satisfaction. In some applications, the lack of tactile feedback has been enough of a problem to prevent the conversion from mechanical switches to digital controls. The solution is simple — add tactile feedback to secure the best features of touch-input devices.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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NASA Challenges Students to Design a Supersonic Airliner

A new NASA competition challenges high school and college students to research and design a small, supersonic airliner that could enter commercial service in the next decade. During the 2008-2009 academic year, individuals and teams of high school students will prepare well-documented short papers describing what needs to be accomplished to make supersonic flight available to commercial passengers by 2020. Advanced-curriculum high school students and college students will prepare longer papers that depict a highly efficient, environmentally friendly commercial aircraft that would emit only low sonic booms, and be ready for initial service in 2020.

Posted in: UpFront

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NASA and Ocean Tomo Establish Groundbreaking Partnership to Commercialize NASA Technologies

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD) and Ocean Tomo Federal Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ocean Tomo, LLC (Chicago, IL), announced a partnership to commercialize NASA-funded technologies. The partnership will focus on maximizing the value of NASA Goddard inventions by facilitating transfer of over 40 technologies to the private sector for commercial application. “A major component of NASA Goddard’s Innovative Partnerships Program’s mission is to transfer NASA technology to the commercial marketplace,” said Nona Cheeks, Chief of NASA Goddard’s IPP Office, which facilitated the licensing arrangement. “We look forward to working with Ocean Tomo to create greater awareness of the technological innovations available at NASA Goddard.” Ocean Tomo plans to offer the right to license NASA’s technologies through its IP transaction platforms, including Live Public Auction, Private Brokerage, and Patent/Bid-Ask™ as well as IPX International™. “While both NASA and Ocean Tomo stand to benefit from the agreement, the ultimate beneficiary,” said Cheeks, “is the taxpayer. This groundbreaking collaboration between Goddard and Ocean Tomo accelerates the commercialization of NASA technologies into new and advanced products that help improve quality of life,” she added. For more information, contact Darryl Mitchell, technology transfer manager in Goddard’s IPP Office, at 301- 286-5169, Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov; or Connie Chang at 240-482-8204, cchang@oceantomo.com.

Posted in: UpFront

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VIUscan™

Creaform, Levis, QE, Canada, offers the VIUscan™, the latest addition to the Handyscan 3D line of handheld scanners, which are used for the design, manufacturing, and inspection of any type of parts or assembly. VIUscan is a selfpositioning, high-resolution, portable 3D color scanner that creates an exact representation of an object, and generates files that can be exported to most CAD platforms. The scanner features simultaneous texture and geometry acquisition, real-time rendering, true color acquisition via a built-in lighting system, adjustable uniform texture resolution, and automatic texture mapping. The texture and geometry of an object are automatically acquired in the same reference system and aligned together, eliminating an additional alignment step normally required after scanning. Resolution parameters enable users to increase or decrease the texture and geometry resolution, independent of one another. It requires no external reference system and no external tracking or positioning devices. A topmounted button lets users switch between color-textured geometry scanning or geometry scanning only. For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products

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Stepper Motor/Drive

The STM Drive+Motor solution from Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) is a stepper drive and motor unit fused into a single device that saves space, wiring and cost, when compared with conventional motor/drive solutions.

Posted in: Products

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Conveyor Control

Holjeron (Tualatin, OR) has unveiled conveyor control assemblies and 24 VDC motor-driven rollers able to operate in extreme temperature and humidity conditions.

Posted in: Products

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Digital Motion Control

The SPiiPlus HP Series motion control module from ACS Motion Control (Plymouth, MN) is available in PC-based, standalone, or rack-mounted multi-axis controllers that support direct-connected servo or stepper motors and HSSI-networked drives. The series also features multi-axis controllers with up to eight integrated drives that can support direct-connected servo motors, direct-connected stepper drives, and HSSI-networked servo drives.

Posted in: Products

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