Features

High-Speed Cameras Assist in Crash Sled Testing

The Kettering University Crash Safety Center (Flint, MI) conducts vehicle subsystem tests using a pneumatic deceleration sled. The research and testing includes frontal, rear, or side impact occupant protection systems containing airbags, pretensioners, and/or child safety seats. The sled system can carry up to a 2,000-pound payload to a speed up to 42 miles per hour, and reach peak decelerations over 70 Gs. Access to high-quality imagery and dependable on-board and off-board high-speed digital video is as vital to the success of the data collection as is the anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs, also known as “crash dummies”) and their instrumentation (Figure 1).

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Forest City Gear Controls Prosthetic Hand

Forest City Gear of Roscoe, IL, is a turnkey gear manufacturer, responsible to their customers for literally every facet of gear manufacturing, including prototyping, testing, production, finishing, quality and process validation, even packaging and delivery. One customer the gear manufacturer has increased their involvement with is Motion Control, Inc., of Salt Lake City, Utah, a world leader in myoelectric prosthetic devices and the makers of the Utah Arm, considered the most advanced prosthetic elbow/hand in the industry for above-elbow amputees.

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Omron Controls and Drives Improve Animals’ Joint Health

Ferno Aquatic Therapy, Wilmington, OH, designs and manufactures canine and equine underwater treadmill equipment used by veterinarians to provide aquatic therapy, rehabilitation, and conditioning for both dogs and horses. Designed specifically for canine rehabilitation, the Ferno Aqua Paws Plus Under water Treadmill System allows dogs to begin the rehabilitation process earlier than normal. Using the buoyancy, resistance and heat properties of water, the Aqua Paws unit creates a low-impact treadmill workout that helps the animal to increase muscle strength and endurance, providing the foundation for a quicker transition to land-based therapy.

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NASA Energy Concept Could Harness the Power of Ocean Waves

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) researchers who developed a new way to power robotic underwater vehicles believe a spin-off technology could help convert ocean energy into electrical energy on a much larger scale. The researchers hope that clean, renewable energy produced from the motion of the ocean and rivers could potentially meet an important part of the world’s demand for electricity.

Posted in: UpFront

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2D and 3D Design and Engineering Software

Autodesk, San Rafael, CA, has introduced the latest releases of its 2D and 3D design and engineering software for manufacturers. The 2010 products include Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical, and AutoCAD Electrical. Autodesk Inventor 2010 features new capabilities for 2D product documentation and 3D product design, including automated capabilities for designing injection molds for plastic parts, and improved support for motion simulation and static and modal finite element analysis at both the part and assembly levels. Inventor also has a new user interface that combines an intuitive 3D design environment for creating parts and assemblies, with tools that drive the automatic creation of components such as plastic parts, steel frames, and rotating machinery. The new version of AutoCAD Mechanical includes intelligent drafting features for automating common design tasks. AutoCAD Electrical includes a new one-line circuit symbol library and enhancements to the Circuit Builder tool that lets designers analyze the energy efficiency of circuits for “green” engineering. For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products

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Audio Enrichment Technology

ARC International (San Jose, CA), has introduced the Virtual Bass™ audio enrichment technology that delivers a deep rich bass response on existing speakers or headphones, eliminating the need to add subwoofers or other audio components. Virtual Bass optimizes a product’s bass rendering capabilities, taking into account the analog to digital converter, amplifier, speaker cavity, and speaker driver, resulting in audio that more accurately reflects the original performance without adding artificial signals or muffling voice articulation and audio clarity. The low-power ARC® Sound Subsystem is a 100-hour audio playback solution for portable devices. When implemented on the ARC® Sound Subsystem, Virtual Bass offers a complete solution that lowers manufacturing cost while producing an enhanced listening experience. The complete solution includes an underlying silicon solution that cuts chip size and lowers power consumption, a complete set of software to provide playback of any digital music format, all the tools needed to develop the chip solution, and the complete Sonic Focus™ audio enrichment technology suite. For Free Info Click Here.

Posted in: Products, Products

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DSP Library

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has released a new DSP library for its ARM Cortex-M3-based STM32 microcontrollers. The STM32 DSP library is license-free, royalty-free, and provides a large number of valuable functions coded in C or assembly language. These include a PID controller, Fourier transform functions, and a selection of digital filters such as 16-bit FIR, IIR direct-form, and IIR canonical-form filters. The functions are ready to use, easy to integrate, and are comprehensively documented to promote software maintainability and accelerate endproduct development. Operations such as multiply-accumulate or hardware divide can be executed within only two cycles. Demonstrations running on the STM32F103 Performance Line MCU have performed a complex 256-point 16-bit radix-4 Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) in only 362μs. Compared to alternative hybrid architectures such as digital signal controllers (DSC) with separate control- and signal-processing cores, the STM32 streamlines software development, enhances performance, and allows developers to use standard tools. The new DSP libraries can be used with the IAR, Keil, and Raisonance tool-chains for the STM32. The DSP library reduces cost and time-to-market for applications such as digital power conversion, including solar-energy projects, closed-loop control of switched-mode power supplies, audio and speech processing, and digital image processing. For Free Info Click Here.

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