Features

Document Camera

The TT-02 from ELMO USA Corp. (Plainview, NY) is an XGA-output Visual Presenter that enables users to share information, documents, and small 3D objects with audiences. The camera contains a 5.3× optical zoom, 8× digital zoom, and one-touch auto focus. It features an 850,000-pixel scan CCD for reproduction of full-size A3 documents and 3D objects. At a speed of 20 fps, it captures and displays objects in real time. Its arm design allows the camera to be moved up and down to offer point-of-view images. A switch-selectable output provides an RGB digital signal that goes to a DLP or LCD projector. The signal can be output to NTSC to connect a TV or VCR for viewing and recording. The TT-02 also can be used as a switching device to loop through a PC’s output, allowing the user to switch between the shooting area and a PC display such as a PowerPoint® presentation.

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Optical Flats

Optical Surfaces (Surrey, UK) offers standard and custom optical flats measuring up to 600 mm in diameter and manufactured of materials such as glass, Zerodur, and silica. The optical flats can be used for measuring surface flatness of polished areas by determining the variations between work surfaces and the surface of the optical flat. They are suitable for applications in astronomy, laser beam steering, inspecting gauge blocks for wear and accuracy, and interferometric flatness testing of prisms, filters, and optical windows. Surface accuracy of up to lambda/20 p.v. can be achieved, as well as surface roughness of 10 A rms on individual flats. Optics up to 450 mm in diameter are provided with a Fizeau interferometric test report; larger flats are quality assured using the Ritchey-Common test procedure.

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CMOS Camera

Lumenera Corp. (Ottawa, ON, Canada) has introduced the Lw290, a USB 2.0 digital camera based on the company’s 1080P HD sensor. The 16:9 HD format, 2.0-megapixel CMOS sensor provides 20 frames per second at full 1920×1080 resolution. Higher frame rates are available at lower resolution, with full sub-window control and live focusing modes. The camera offers dynamic range of >60dB and blooming for image detail. No framegrabber is required. It provides plug-and-play integration with any DirectShow application.

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Diode Laser Platform

Spectra-Physics, a Division of Newport Corp. (Tucson, AZ), has released a 900- to 980-nm diode laser platform based on epitaxial design. The diode laser platform provides CW power conversion efficiency to 71% for 940-nm single emitters (15°C case temperature). More than 68.5% peak PCE at 25°C may be achieved from 100-μm-wide, 3-mm-long single emitters designed for 8-W output power applications.

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AC Drives Provide Precise Control Critical to Next-Generation Test Stands

Direct Torque Control (DTC) is widely used as a method for controlling AC motors in many demanding applications. It is a unique method for controlling AC motors. In pulse-width modulation (PWM) drives, the output frequency and voltage are the primary control reference signals for the power switches, rather than the desired torque in/of the motor shaft. For those who are not familiar with inverter technology, the DTC principle can be illustrated most accurately via this mechanical analogy: the continuous calculation of the best angle at which to rotate a shaft, with a given arm length and the forces available. These electrical “force vectors” are generated with the help of semiconductor switches called Integrated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT).

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Software Used to Control Master-Slave Haptics Experiment

Haptics, also known as “force feedback teleoperation,” attempts to provide environmental interactions through a robotic system. Users mimic these interactions with robotic arms. By varying the amount of force the haptic devices exhibit, a user can achieve the sensation of interacting with the system. As it allows a user to interface with a remote or virtual environment, the goal of haptics is to augment a user’s sensory feedback while performing a given task. In order to construct safer haptic systems, researchers at the Intelligent Machine Dynamics Laboratory (IMDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) have built a series of master-slave devices, and utilize National Instruments’ (Austin, TX) LabVIEW 8.0 software and its various toolkits to control all feedback calculations, communication, control, and simulation, with the objective to investigate control difficulties that occur using a passive master with an energetically active slave.

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Motor Used to Stabilize Remote-Controlled Camera Crane

It is a staple of the summer box office blockbuster: the car chase. Car chases have not only become a vital component of an action movie, they have also had to evolve, with audiences demanding even more thrills. To put the audience directly into the flow of traffic, studio executives turn to companies like Adventure Equipment, whose Ultimate Arm, a gyrostablized, camera-mounted, remote-controlled crane system attached to an SUV, gets in where the action is. Maxon Motors’ (Fall River MA) RE40 motor is used to maneuver the camera, capturing all the adrenaline-pumping moments.

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