As soon as we come across the word robot, we tend to imagine a metallic structure with arms and legs carrying a human-like appearance and running errands for our help. However, in actual terms, it’s just a machine operated externally or through a controller embedded within and doesn’t necessarily look like a human. Technically, robotics is a branch of Science and Engineering which deals with designing, constructing, and operating robots as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.Interestingly, the concept is almost as old as the hills with the first robot dating back to 350 BC, built in the form of a mechanical bird, by a Greek mathematician named Archytas. Although the term was coined ages ago, the actual potential of the fully autonomous robotics was realised in the second half of the 20th century.
As we discussed earlier about the amazing world of robotics, it’s believed that fully autonomous robots weren’t developed until the second half of the 20th Century. In all these years, a lot of new inventions have taken place from drones to nanobots; not to forget the animal robots and humanoids that look just like living beings. However, this is not it! There is a lot more than what has been explored till now. The future of robotics would be re-defined by soft robotics, a concept that is still unknown to the masses.
An electrical design engineer by profession, Sandeep Sharma is a part time hobbyist who likes to experiment with electronic projects, especially involving Arduino. With an aim to share his knowledge about arduino and embedded projects, he owns a website as well as a YouTube channel through which he showcases certain interesting projects. In one of his Arduino based projects, he made a unique use of old DVD drives to build a DIY CNC Plotter at home. This machine is not only inexpensive but also quite easy to construct and operate. Presented here, is one of his exciting DIY projects that illustrates the construction and coding of an arduino based mini CNC plotter.
Texas Instruments, a global semiconductor design, and manufacturing company has unwrapped the company’s first robotics solution for middle and high school students rendering an enhanced experience of learning STEM subjects. Students will now be able to write programs on their IT graphing calculators that will get the Rover’s wheels turned. This would help their minds learn things in a fun, interactive way. The Rover connects to the TI-Innovator Hub and either a TI-84 Plus CE or TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator that many students already have. It will also drive their interest and curiosity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects. Those who don’t have any exposure to coding or robotics can get started by writing a simple program to make the Rover draw, dance, or even crash.
Fujitsu has recently announced that the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA) is going to adapt the former’s cloud service-based Blockchain platform. It would be made available over Fujitsu Cloud Service K5. Starting from October 2017, JBA is planning to offer this Collaborative Blockchain Platform as a testbed environment to its member banks and other institutions. The platform is going to be rendered for applications employing blockchain technology like settlement and funds transfer services, and identity and time-of-transaction authentication. The association will also support the practical implementation of these applications.
Mobileye, a leading company in developing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving technologies, has announced an official collaboration with Munich Reinsurance America Inc. The aim of this association is to reduce the commercial fleet collisions and enhance road safety in the United States. With an immediate effect of the collaboration, Munich Re, US will make available Mobileye’s aftermarket Advanced Collision Avoidance System to its clients, including commercial fleets. This new program will aid Munich Re, US clients to retrofit existing vehicles with Mobileye ADAS technology.
Congatec, a leading technology company for embedded computer modules, single board computers and embedded design, has launched the Conga-B7AC. This is a new Intel Atom C3000 processor based COM Express Type 7 Server-on-Module that offers an enhanced embedded edge computing through 10 GbE bandwidth support. With a power consumption starting at just 11 Watt, the new low-power multicore Server-on-Modules with up to 16 cores offer up to 4x 10 GbE real-time capable network performance. The feature set has been designed for modular industrial micro servers as well as rugged telecom and network equipment like small cells, factory gateways and storage systems.
Intersil, a subsidiary of Renesas Electronics, has announced the first 42V single-channel DC/DC step-down power module. The ISL8215M delivers up to 15A of continuous current and operates from a single wide input voltage range including industry standard 12V, 18V, and 24V intermediate bus power rails. The module offers adjustable output voltages from 0.6V to 12V and provides the highest power density of 60mA/mm2 in a 13mm x 19mm package. It’s 96.5% peak efficiency enables point-of-load (POL) conversions for FPGAs, DSPs, and MCUs in industrial, medical, RF communications, after-market automotive, and portable equipment carrying Li-ion batteries.
Fujitsu has announced that the University of Tokyo is going to use heart simulator viewers equipped with stereoscopic displays compatible with virtual reality technology. The heart viewer utilizes the output data from a heart simulator. This simulator has been developed jointly by Fujitsu and University of Tokyo by utilizing the K computer as well as a computer cluster. In the lecture, students will be able to observe a phenomenon whereby electric simulation from pacemaker cells spread throughout the heart. The stereoscopic, 360-degree view utilizing VR, allowing them to comprehend how electrocardiograms are created through this process.
Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Client Computing Limited have officially released two new enterprise workstations. The lineup features Windows 10 Creators Update, which is the latest version of the Windows 10 operating system. The newly added devices in the lineup include mid-range model named CELSIUS M770 and CELSIUS R970 “2-Way” high-performance workstation. The roll out will take place in stages from late December in Japan. In addition, Fujitsu will also offer other versions of the aforementioned models equipped with Windows 7 Professional. By expanding the product line performance, the Fujitsu Group is aiming to support customers’ work efficiency and ensure improvement across a variety of industries.
Littlefuse Inc., the global leader in circuit protection, has unveiled a series of high-voltage Fuse Blocks and Fuse Holders meant for the mechanical installation of fuses. The new series has been developed for applications in the range of 400 to 600 volts. It comprises several fuse mounting alternatives so as to accommodate the mechanical design of the application. These devices have been optimized for field servicing of such equipment which is either costly to move or for which the downtime is unacceptable. The series of fuse blocks and holders prevents electric shocks while replacing fuses in the field, thus ensuring the safety of the maintenance personnel.
Ambiq Micro, a leading provider of ultra-low power solutions, has announced that Huawei has selected Apollo2 platform to power the new lineup of lightweight fitness wearables including the newly launched Huawei Band 2 Pro. The platform features high-performance sensor and application processing at a breakthrough power consumption of under 10µA/MHz, thus enabling more than twice the battery life for wearable and IoT devices and enhanced intelligence and improved functionality.
Silicon Microstructures Inc. (SMI) has launched the new IntraSense product line at the Minimally Invasive Surgery Week Conference in San Francisco this week. IntraSense features biocompatible sensors that fit into 1-French tubing. The sensors are shipped with pre-attached and pre-encapsulated wiring to simplify integration. SMI also offers custom calibration solutions that can be designed to work with customers’ existing equipment. The company has shipped millions of 1-French sensors for minimally invasive surgery and the IntraSenseTM design has a superior performance and is also easy to implement.
Intel and the National Football League (NFL) have come up with a way to deliver more immersive replays to the football fans. The 2017 season will witness the implementation of Intel freeD technology in 11 NFL stadiums. Each of these stadiums has been fitted with 38 5K ultra high-definition cameras to capture the games from every angle. The cameras will create enhanced 360-degree highlights and immersive player perspectives. Apart from the already operational installation works at the home stadiums of the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, and San Francisco 49ers, Intel is adding one freeD technology-enabled Stadium to each division in the AFC and NFC.
Renesas Electronics’ R-Car SOC for car infotainment and advanced driving assistant systems (ADAS) along with the RH850 automotive control micro controller (MCU) have been adopted by Nissan. These chips will be utilized for the latter’s ProPILOT Park- a full-fledged automated-parking system of Nissan LEAF. The R-Car SoC plays an eminent role in the ProPILOT Park of Nissan LEAF. It identifies adequate parking spaces, ensures there are no obstacles, and issues control commands for acceleration, braking, steering, and shifting.
STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader, and Sequans Communications, a leading LTE chip maker, have introduced a new LTE-connected tracker platform based on the integration of Sequans and ST technologies. CLOE, an acronym of Connecting and Locating Objects Everywhere, combines the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies of two industry leaders into one comprehensive platform for the simplified development of LTE-based IoT tracker devices for the full range of vertical markets including consumer electronics, logistics, and automotive.
The recent InterDrone 2017 event witnessed the introduction of Intel Insight Platform. The aim is to address the critical steps of the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) workflow which will help in accelerating the path to actionable business insights. The announced solution is a cloud-based data processing, analytics and reporting service that enables customers to store, share and manage the rich data that commercial drone system provide. The platform will aid in harnessing data collected during a drone flight to unlock business value.
Ametherm, a company that specializes in thermistors for industrial, automotive, AMS (avionics, military, and space) markets, has unveiled a new circuit thermistor. The device features industry’s smallest diameter for a UL-approved device with a maximum continuous current rating of 4.0 A and energy rating of 50 J. With the introduction of a radial lead package carrying a maximum diameter of only 15mm, the designers will be able to avail benefits like lower costs, limitation on the excess circuit board heat, faster reset times, and more board space.
Congatec, a leading manufacturer of embedded computer modules, single board computers, and embedded design, has unveiled the extended roadmap so as to bring 10 GbE inter-connectivity to the industrial fields. With the introduction of this service, the company aims to realize the industry vision of entirely closed, fanless infrastructure components. These low-power x86 nodes for gateway, edge, and fog computing has various IoT applications ranging from vision system infrastructure for public safety to real-time smart data servers in industry 4.0 applications to rugged telecom and network equipment.
Microchip Technology has introduced a new 1.8V Serial Quad I/O SuperFlash memory device. The SST26WF06C is a low voltage 64 megabit device that combines Dual Transfer Rate (DTR) with proprietary SuperFlash NOR Flash technology, thus making it ideally suitable for wireless and battery-powered applications.DTR allows customers to output data on both edges of the clock which not only reduces the overall data access time but also brings down the power consumption. The typical chip erase time for the SST26 WF064C ranges between 35 and 50 milliseconds (ms), while the competitive flash devices take more than 30 seconds to erase.