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Latest Content tagged with Automation & Motion Control
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Hack Thanksgiving (Don’t Be a Tech Turkey)!
Blog 
11/27/2014  Post a comment
Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
Robo-Fabric Brings New Dimension to Wearable Tech
Blog 
11/26/2014  2 comments
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
Writers Are Getting 3D Printing Wrong
Made by Monkeys 
11/26/2014  5 comments
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Engineer Comic Works in PowerPoint
Blog 
11/26/2014  5 comments
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
Is Sexism Driving Women Out of Engineering?
Blog 
11/25/2014  22 comments
When my daughter decided she wanted to study engineering, I was very proud of her. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I wondered if she knew what she was in for.
Driverless Cars Require More Passenger Trust
Blog 
11/24/2014  26 comments
The key to autonomous driving is not to forget about the driver, and to remember that passengers want a sense of control, as opposed to being utterly passive backseat drivers.
10 Packaging Technologies at Pack Expo
Blog 
11/20/2014  3 comments
Here are 10 examples of the wide range of new technology on display at Pack Expo in Chicago earlier this month.
Video: Bamboo-Based Hybrid Wind Turbine Aimed at Developing World
Blog 
11/20/2014  Post a comment
Green energy is being billed as a way to make communities that are energy deprived more self-sustaining. So it makes sense to use natural materials to create devices that harvest this type of energy. That’s the idea behind a hybrid wind/solar energy harvester made of bamboo that’s been developed by UVM researchers.
Engineers Make Great Leaders
Pamela Moore 
11/18/2014  10 comments
The Harvard Business Review claims engineers make great CEOs. What do you think?
CPG Packagers Want Flexibility in Product Design
Blog 
11/18/2014  Post a comment
The packaging industry is managing major changes in consumer packaging, from multi-versions of packages to the drive for less packaging waste.
Gadget Freak of the Year: Did You Vote Yet?
Gadget Freak 
11/18/2014  Post a comment
There is less than a week left to vote in Round 1 of our second-annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest, sponsored by Allied Electronics.
11 Robots Take Flight
Blog 
11/17/2014  9 comments
Flying robot hardware is still important, but what's getting as interesting now is some of the new uses, such as equipping them with medical equipment for aiding first responders, monitoring and recording biometric health data about athletes, and commercial aircraft inspection.
Packaging Wants Industry 4.0 to Replace Retirees
Blog 
11/17/2014  2 comments
Advanced automation is solving a multitude of challenges in packaging, not the least of which is the retired-Boomer brain drain.
Video: German Kids Can Build Better LEGO Robots
STEM Connection 
11/17/2014  4 comments
Google has teamed up with the German research institute Fraunhofer IAIS to develop and offer OpenRoberta, which simplifies programming for LEGO Mindstorm robots for German kids and teachers and lets them control the robots from mobile devices.
Did You Know that Time Constants May Not Be Constant?
Guest Blogs 
11/17/2014  Post a comment
People usually think of a time constant as the time it takes a first order system to change 63% of the way to the steady state value in response to a step change in the input -- it’s basically a measure of the responsiveness of the system. This is true, but in reality, time constants are often not constant. They can change just like system gains change as the environment or the geometry of the system changes.
Do You Dream in CAD? You Might Be an Engineer
Blog 
11/14/2014  20 comments
You let us know through your comments on the last “You know you’re an engineer if ...” post that you agree and disagree with the notions of what makes an engineer tick. Here are a dozen more to consider.
The Sound Beneath the Floors
Guest Blogs 
11/13/2014  4 comments
At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
10 Programmable Robots for Kids
Blog 
11/12/2014  7 comments
Here's a variety of robots for kids that are all programmable. Some can be controlled with simple building blocks while others use programming language.
Do Good Engineers Make Good Engineering Managers?
Blog 
11/11/2014  20 comments
Being a good engineer is a prerequisite for being a good engineering manager. However, it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition: not every good engineer will make a good engineering manager, or even want to be one in the first place. This is why good engineering managers are few and far between.
Baxter the Robot Gets a Gig at Schneider
Blog 
11/10/2014  1 comment
Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot has taken a job on the assembly line of a major energy and automation company.
Gadget Freak of the Year Reader Vote: Round 1
Gadget Freak 
11/10/2014  2 comments
Last year you helped Design News and Allied Electronics crown its first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year, and we need your help again.
The Best & Worst of Engineering in Hollywood
Electronics News 
11/7/2014  41 comments
It’s time once again for the Annual Design News Science and Engineering Movie Contest, which names no winners, awards no prizes, isn’t really a contest, and appears every three years or so.
Gadget Freak Case # 265: Propane – Oxygen Cannon & Shock Tube Demonstrator
Gadget Freak 
11/7/2014  11 comments
This project is an experiment in generating supersonic shock waves called detonation waves.
Grabit Uses Static Electricity to Let Robots Grip Anything
Blog 
11/7/2014  6 comments
Designing a robot gripper that is flexible enough to grab a variety of objects -- even oddly shaped or heavy ones -- has always been challenging. A company called Grabit has found a solution with a robot that uses static electricity to pick up virtually anything and is well-suited for a range of industrial applications.
30 Seconds With Festo's AquaJelly
Electronics News 
11/7/2014  1 comment
Frank Langro of Festo Corp. describes how AquaJelly, the intelligent artificial jellyfish, works. Festo demonstrated AquaJelly at its booth at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago this week.
Did You Know the Lead Engineer on the Brooklyn Bridge was a Woman?
Blog 
11/6/2014  28 comments
It may come as a surprise to some people to know that it was a woman who was in charge of engineering of the Brooklyn Bridge; a woman who was the first computer programmer; and a woman who designed an important junction of Los Angeles’ complex highway system.
Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 
11/6/2014  27 comments
This is the article your manager doesn’t want you to read. Are you working on a tough engineering problem? Don’t keep plugging away at it. Take a break and do something else for a while. Your manager will thank you later.
Advanced Warfare: 4 Real-Life Military Exoskeletons
Blog 
11/6/2014  3 comments
This week sees the release of the latest edition of the wildly popular Call of Duty video game franchise, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Sledgehammer, the studio behind Advanced Warfare, consulted with military experts on the design of the game's exoskeletons. What they eventually came up with is certainly very sci-fi but not too far away from technologies being developed today.
Protect Your Hardware From Hacking
Blog 
11/6/2014  1 comment
Cyber security for hardware assets has become a major issue as more and more devices get connected. A whole slew of new protection technology is beginning to show up to confront the problem. While we’ve seeing plenty of attention paid to networks, securing hardware has received less attention. Yet there plenty of security advances available now for hardware protection.
Engineering Job Prospects 10 Years Out
Blog 
11/4/2014  19 comments
Job prospects for US engineers in the coming decade is a mixed bag, with some disciplines seeing a 27% growth rate (biomedical engineering), while others are flatlining (materials engineering).
How GM Failed Me
Blog 
11/4/2014  31 comments
I’m willing to believe that Mary Barra is sincere in her desire to fix GM’s mistakes. I’m even willing to forgive GM for the defective ignition switch. However, after the abysmal service my daughter and I received, it’s hard for me to imagine ever buying another GM product.
Does it Still Make Sense to Go Offshore?
Guest Blogs 
11/3/2014  5 comments
It has been common wisdom of late that anything you needed to manufacture could be made more cost-effectively on foreign shores. Following World War II, the label “Made in Japan” was as ubiquitous as is the “Made in China” version today and often had very similar -- not always positive -- connotations. Along the way, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Pacific-rim nations have each had their turn at being the preferred low-cost alternative to manufacturing here in the US.
9 Inventions Provide Frightful Fun for Halloween
Blog 
10/31/2014  8 comments
Halloween isn’t just a time for creative costumes. Thanks to the element14 online design community, the holiday this year also brings us a number of creative electronic device design ideas aimed at making your Halloween party a unique experience.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission: Innovative or a Waste of Time?
Blog 
10/31/2014  11 comments
On April 15, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a major speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announcing that the US would send astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s. But in order to do so, NASA would first need to ramp up its capabilities through missions directed toward "a series of increasingly demanding targets," i.e. asteroids.
Head-Turning Trends in Industrial Automation
Pamela Moore 
10/31/2014  7 comments
Robots are getting less expensive, more nimble, and smart than ever. The following examples exemplify new trends in industrial automation.
10 Robots That Play Well With Others
Blog 
10/30/2014  Post a comment
Here are 10 robots that are designed to work effectively and safely with humans.
30 Seconds on Time-of-Flight Sensors in Autos
Electronics News 
10/30/2014  7 comments
Peter Riendeau of Melexis shows how a time-of-flight sensor can be used for gesture recognition in a vehicle.
You Know You're An Engineer If …
Blog 
10/28/2014  71 comments
If these statements are close to your heart and your daily way of life, you're probably an engineer.
Windowless Planes: The Future of Flight or Fright?
Blog 
10/28/2014  76 comments
Would you fly in a plane that had no windows? British developers at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) believe that taking out the tiny porthole windows in planes and replacing them with giant flexible OLED screens is the future of flight, and posit it could even become a reality in less than 10 years.
10 Talented Robot Arms & Hands
Engineering Materials 
10/27/2014  13 comments
We've found an amazing variety of robot hands & arms in medicine, space, and service robots, as well as R&D and assembly. Some are based on industrial designs modified for speed or dexterity, while others more closely emulate human movements, as well as human size and shape.
30 Seconds With Formlabs
Electronics News 
10/23/2014  Post a comment
Kevin Gautier of Formlabs describes the making of a carbon fiber mold for an intake manifold, using a $3,300 3D printer, during Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest.
Let Isaac Asimov Lead Your Brainstorming Session
Blog 
10/23/2014  7 comments
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
30 Seconds With Optimal Design
Electronics News 
10/21/2014  1 comment
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
12 Robots That Play Sports
Blog 
10/20/2014  26 comments
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Gadget Freak Case #264: Drink Delivery Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum
Gadget Freak 
10/17/2014  22 comments
The DDV-IP is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on hot summer days. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the user.
Automation Market Set for Extended Boom Times
Blog 
10/17/2014  5 comments
Automation technology advances matched with expanded fracking and the growing urbanization of Asia, South America, and the Middle East, are fueling a boom in the automation industry.
Engineering Disasters: Deadly Zaps from the Therac-25
Blog 
10/16/2014  34 comments
In this engineering disaster, the Therac-25 radiation machine would go haywire, sending massive, sometimes fatal, radiation overdoses to patients.
Get Your Gadget Freak On
Gadget Freak 
10/16/2014  1 comment
Design News and Allied Electronics have raised the stakes for our second-annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest. The top three gadgeteers will be awarded a total of $10,000. Don't delay, enter today!
Corvette Z06: 0 to 60 in 2.95 Seconds
Electronics News 
10/15/2014  43 comments
Time was when a talented driver with a manual transmission could beat any car with an automatic transmission in a straight-line race. No more, though. In tests at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds near Detroit, the 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 equipped with an automatic has turned 0-60 mph times of 2.95 seconds, making it about a quarter of a second faster than the same vehicle with a manual trans.
London's Floating Bike Path Would Harvest Energy from Sun, Wind, Tides
Blog 
10/15/2014  22 comments
The Thames Deckway would run for eight miles close to the river’s edge, rising and falling slightly with the tidal cycle. It will generate its own energy from a series of devices that will line the pathway and use a combination of sources to make the path self-sustaining.
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Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
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