Machinery & Automation

Engineers Develop 'Simple' Robotic Swarms

University of Sheffield engineers have developed a way of making hundreds — or even thousands — of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks. The robots do not require memory or processing power. Each robot uses just one sensor that indicates the presence of another nearby robot. Based on the sensor's findings, the robots will either rotate on the spot, or move around in a circle until one can be seen.Until now, robotic swarms have required complex programming, complicating the development of miniaturized, individual robots. With the programming created by the Sheffield team, however, nanoscale machines are possible.SourceAlso: Learn about a Kinematic Calibration Process for Flight Robotic Arms.

Posted in: Motion Control, Sensors, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, News

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Driving Simulator Helps Engineers Calculate Human Factor

Simulations are an important development tool in the automobile and utility vehicle. The properties of vehicle components, such as how they respond in an accident, their reliability, or their energy efficiency can be investigated using simulations before the first component is manufactured. Researchers developed an interactive driving simulator using RODOS (robot-based driving and operation simulator) with which realistic interaction between human and vehicle can be analyzed.

Posted in: Motion Control, Software, Simulation Software, Transportation, Automotive, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, News

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Telematics: An Industry Game-Changer

Telematics is the transmission of machine data to a remote consumer. If that remote consumer is an electronic device rather than a human, the process is called machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The emerging M2M revolution is based on innovations in hardware and software that are converging to form a whole new way of transacting business.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Software, Communications, Machinery & Automation, White Papers

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Working With Mechanical Motion Subsystems

Embedded motion subsystems are engineered to fit within a predefined physical space on a machine and tie into the machine's motion control system, ready to accept commands from a top-level computer interface, control card or PLC. This plug-and-play approach to motion can increase the performance while reducing development time and cost. Read more about these embedded mechanical systems in our latest technical paper.

Posted in: Machinery & Automation, White Papers

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IEC 61131-3 Now in Motion

The IEC 61131-3 standard defines 5 programming languages for PLCs and distributed control systems. More recently, dedicated motion companies such as Trio Motion Technology are incorporating the standard into their motion control hardware. By adding specific functions such as camming, electronic gearing, and interpolated motion the controllers have a widely supported usability on the factory floor. Additionally, such controllers can be very compact in size and low cost making them a good choice for a vast array of machines.

Posted in: Machinery & Automation, White Papers

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Video: Sigma-5 with EtherCAT. Case Study of Sigma-5 with EtherCAT Plasma Cutting Application

Case study of project that included W.A. Whitney Co., Rockford, IL (OEM) and Waymatic, Inc., South Fulton, TN (End User)

Posted in: Machinery & Automation, White Papers

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PDC Drill Bits Open Up Options for Geothermal Energy

Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology full circle, showing how geothermal drillers might use it.

Posted in: Geothermal Power, Renewable Energy, Test & Measurement, Machinery & Automation, News

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