Features

Products of Tomorrow: March 2017

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Product development, Research and development
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Autonomous Driving — In a ‘Flash’

By combining CMOS technology with avalanche photodiodes, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS (Duisburg, Germany) have developed a potentially cost-effective sensor prototype that aims to support driverless car applications. The “Flash LiDAR” could play a valuable role alongside the cameras, radars, and other components within autonomous vehicles.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Lidar, Sensors and actuators, Product development, Semiconductors, Autonomous vehicles
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ViDAR Optical Radar Provides New Maritime Search Capability

ViDAR, developed by Sentient Vision Systems in Melbourne Australia, provides autonomous, real-time, wide-area search capability, optically, from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or manned aircraft. ViDAR, which stands for Visual Detection and Ranging, essentially acts as an optical radar, using high-megapixel video or infrared cameras to search the ocean over significantly greater operational coverage areas than can be achieved with current optical sensor approaches.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging, Photonics, Optics, Surveillance, Performance upgrades, Product development, Fixed-wing aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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A New Clinical Challenge: Making Sense of Heart Failure

Cardiologist Dr. John Boehmer spends many of his days assisting individuals who have heart disease, a condition affecting approximately 5.7 million US adults, according to the American Heart Association.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Cardiovascular system, Diagnosis, Diseases
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NASA Navigation Sensor May Land in Applications Beyond Mars

Although a NASA-built sensor being tested in the Mojave Desert this summer will be used to support the safe landing of rovers on Mars, one of the technology's lead researchers sees other commercial possibilities. Principal Investigator Farzin Amzajerdian and his team at NASA's Langley Research Center developed the Navigation Doppler Lidar, a bread-box-sized sensor system that could someday play a role in aircraft navigation and even driverless car applications.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Sensors, Lidar, Spacecraft guidance, Autonomous vehicles, Entry, descent, and landing, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Product of the Month: February 2017

OriginLab, Northampton, MA, released Origin and OriginPro 2017 data analysis and graphing software with more than 100 new features, enhancements, and apps. Features include Trellis plots for creating multi-panel graphs from grouped data, 3D stacked bars and 100% stacked bars with various bar shapes, a set of standard geology patterns and user-defined patterns, improvements to box plots, improvements to axis dialog including support for multiple reference lines, and enhanced multi-tabbed dialog for customizing graph annotations. Enhancements include a revamped plot menu with large icon, simpler column/cell notation for defining column formulas; and the Origin Central Startup Dialog that provides graph and analysis samples, access to existing templates and projects, resources to explore and install apps, and videos and tutorials. The release includes 14 new apps for extending graphing and analysis features.

For Free Info Click Here

Posted in: Products, Software
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The Basics of Encoder Selection

Many small motor applications, such as robotics, industrial equipment, and consumer products, employ digital incremental encoders for feedback sensing. Encoder selection is therefore an important part of the system design process. Choosing the best encoder for the job requires knowledge of the most important encoder properties as well as the application’s control requirements.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Electronic control systems, Integrated circuits, Supplier assessment
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Servo Couplings for High-Tech Systems

Proper coupling ensures a design will meet performance requirements and have a long, trouble-free life.

Couplings are a critical part of system performance in high-tech applications, yet they are often one of the last components to be specified. Selecting the proper coupling ensures the equipment will meet performance requirements and have a long, trouble-free life. Poor coupling selection can lead to high maintenance costs, frequent downtime, and imprecise positioning.

Posted in: Articles, Joining & Assembly, Motion Control, Power Transmission, Sensors and actuators, Materials properties, Fittings, Parts
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Metallic Glass Shatters Gear Limitations

Gears play an essential role in precision robotics, and they can become a limiting factor when the robots must perform in space missions. In particular, the extreme temperatures of deep space pose numerous problems for successful gear operation. At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, technologist Douglas Hofmann and his collaborators aim to bypass the limitations of existing steel gears by creating gears from bulk metallic glass (BMG).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Metals, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission, Robotics, Robotics, Alloys, Glass, Gears, Durability, Spacecraft
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Adding SCADA to a Hydraulic Power Unit

With an increased focus on plant productivity and equipment reliability, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have become vital tools to reduce downtime while increasing asset reliability in hydraulic systems. A SCADA system is a computer system that essentially gathers and analyzes real-time data.

Posted in: Articles, Fluid Handling, Motion Control, Computer software and hardware, Hydraulic and pneumatic hybrid power, Productivity, Hydraulic control
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