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Blogs
Latest Content tagged with Automation & Control
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Unforeseeable Failure of Logic in Washing Machine Manual
Made by Monkeys 
5/30/2014  21 comments
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
The Importance of UAVs
Guest Blogs 
5/28/2014  5 comments
Control is the defining enabler for UAV technologies.
Don’t Go Halfway to Closed-Loop Control
Guest Blogs 
5/27/2014  1 comment
Closed-loop control of a single servo-quality proportional valve based on position and pressure/force is not hard to do -- if you plan ahead.
A Few Minutes With Bosch Rexroth CEO Dr. Karl Tragl
Blog 
5/23/2014  1 comment
Design News brand director Rich Nass recently sat down with Bosch Rexroth CEO and chairman Dr. Karl Tragl for a discussion about the IIoT.
Why We Need More Women in Engineering
STEM Connection 
5/23/2014  24 comments
A large number of studies have shown that men and women have different approaches to solving complex problems. It is precisely because of the differences between men and women that the engineering profession would benefit from greater participation of women.
10 IIoT Milestones for 2014
Blog 
5/22/2014  4 comments
2014 has seen a flurry of activity in the development of the Industrial Internet of Things. Here are the top 10 developments.
Why Automotive Defect Numbers Are Soaring
Electronic News & Comment 
5/22/2014  24 comments
Recent reports of automotive defects and recalls are troubling, but they’re not unusual. They’re certainly not going to go away, no matter how hard engineers try.
20 Ways to Boost Fuel Efficiency
Electronic News & Comment 
5/21/2014  45 comments
From turbochargers and electric motors, to motor-generators and air conditioning compressors, we present some of the best fuel-sipping innovations.
Top 10 Influential Female Engineers
Blog 
5/20/2014  50 comments
Engineering is often criticized for being a male-dominated field, but that is definitely changing. There are many enormously successful female engineers that currently have leadership roles in business and research, making decisions that have a broad impact on global markets and people’s lives. Here are 10 of them.
Parts Commonality Can Make for Big Recall Headaches
Electronic News & Comment 
5/20/2014  12 comments
Economies of scale can cut manufacturing and development costs, but engineers who grow too fond of using common parts would do well to consider the recent recall numbers of General Motors.
Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary
Blog 
5/19/2014  47 comments
Here are the top 15 engineering schools, ranked by the average starting salaries of their graduates. The list also show each school's mid-career average salary.
Video: World's Fastest RC Racer
Blog 
5/16/2014  9 comments
Nic Case has beat his own land speed record with the world’s fastest RC car. This time he hit 188 MPH!
Battery Sales Show Tesla Has a Long Way to Go
Captain Hybrid 
5/15/2014  33 comments
If recent sales numbers are any indication, Tesla Motors' goal of 50,000 battery packs a year could be a long way off.
10 Cyber Attacks That Wreaked Havoc
Blog 
5/14/2014  24 comments
Most of the significant cyber attacks -- think Stuxnet -- have occurred in just the past eight years. Here are the highlights of attacks that have disrupted business, nabbed IP, or forced plants to go haywire.
TinkerBots Gives Tots a Robotic Building Kit
STEM Connection 
5/14/2014  21 comments
Two German engineers have created a kit that lets kids build robots from individual modules in much the same way they snap Legos together.
Congress Is Working on an Energy Bill… Again
Guest Blogs 
5/14/2014  6 comments
Congress is once again working on the bi-partisan Shaheen-Portman bill that will bring forth many energy efficiency measures to add as many as 190,000 jobs and save as much as 12 quads of energy by 2030.
Video: Connecticut Science Center Exhibit Gets Second Wind
Blog 
5/13/2014  11 comments
An exhibition that simulates what it’s like for people to use wind to steer sailboats at the Connecticut Science Center got some new wind in its sails, literally, courtesy of a technology facelift by ebm-papst.
Would You Pay $30K for an Electric Car?
Captain Hybrid 
5/12/2014  101 comments
Even if automakers cut the cost of the electric vehicle battery and reach the $30,000 target, big sales are hardly a foregone conclusion. There's still no guarantee that large percentages of mainstream buyers will bite.
Wearable Tech Meets the IoT Meets the Cloud
Blog 
5/12/2014  4 comments
A number of tech trends, including the IoT, cloud computing, and wearable technology, are converging as they expand.
Video: Carbon Dioxide-Powered Robo Fish Moves Like the Real Thing
Blog 
5/12/2014  7 comments
A new soft robot that moves like a fish represents a key breakthrough in the movements and safety of robots, according to the team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that designed the robot.
15 Cars That Like Visiting the Mechanic
Electronic News & Comment 
5/9/2014  52 comments
For most car owners, the most desirable feature isn’t torque, horsepower, or connectivity. It’s reliability.
Lithium Chemistries Head List of Next-Gen EV Batteries
Captain Hybrid 
5/9/2014  4 comments
New battery chemistries will reach the electric-car market over the next decade, but to be successful the new generation of products will need to have drop-in manufacturing capability.
Don't Leave Fluid Power Component Selection to Chance
Guest Blogs 
5/8/2014  6 comments
There’s a science to constructing optimally performing systems.
Can Tesla's $5 Billion Bet Pay Off?
Captain Hybrid 
5/7/2014  37 comments
Whether or not the much-publicized “Gigafactory” is successful, Elon Musk’s grand vision of a gargantuan battery plant may turn out to be one of the most ambitious manufacturing efforts in American business history.
Smart Valve Controllers Can Save Millions
Blog 
5/7/2014  5 comments
Intelligent valve controllers can reduce plant maintenance costs and avoid expensive shutdowns.
'Necessary & Sufficient' Cover the Safety Level
Guest Blogs 
5/7/2014  10 comments
There are many basic principles and maxims that engineers can use to solve simple problems. One trick is to ask at least two questions. First, what is necessary to satisfy the requirement? Second, what is sufficient to satisfy the requirement?
No Matter Your Expertise, You Belong on the Vehicle Design
Blog 
5/7/2014  6 comments
Design News recently published a Technology Roundup, which consists of a series of articles that help that multi-disciplined engineers get their jobs done. Regardless of which subsystem you’re responsible for, we all know that there’s a “need to know” on just about the entire vehicle. Hence, you’ll likely find this series of articles quite informative.
Slideshow: Robotic Renovation at International Space Station
Blog 
5/6/2014  22 comments
Last month, NASA launched the rocket carrying the SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Robots aided in its berthing on the ISS, and satellite-launching robots will be sent up later this year.
This Is Not Your Father’s Plant
Blog 
5/6/2014  6 comments
A revolution of technology has completely revamped the plant; a new generation of engineers is taking automation and control into the future.
Chip Could Bring Surround View to Mainstream Vehicles
Electronic News & Comment 
5/6/2014  11 comments
Freescale Semiconductor and Broadcom Corp. have partnered to create a chip that could lay the foundation for surround-view cameras in more vehicles.
21 Cars That Drove Into Movie History
Electronic News & Comment 
5/5/2014  34 comments
In some movies, the cars are the stars. American Graffiti and Fast and Furious, to name a couple, drew much of their audience appeal from their use of noisy internal combustion engines. But cars needn’t be racy to play prominent roles.
RoboClam Digs Deep to Monitor Ocean Floor
Engineering Materials 
5/5/2014  6 comments
A robotic razor clam -- actually a digging robot -- burrows into sand with high efficiency.
Manufacturing Jobs Keep Coming Back
Blog 
5/5/2014  25 comments
Using the term "reshoring" to describe the phenomenon, the Reshoring Initiative has been busy promoting a small but growing trend: the return of manufacturing to the US.
12 Engineering Toys for Your Youth
Blog 
5/1/2014  29 comments
A review of some of today's top engineering toys shows a wide range of possibilities for budding engineers.
Video: Robotic Rock Star Jam Session
Blog 
5/1/2014  5 comments
The talented swarming robots that danced to light and music at Cannes in 2012 have learned how to play Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Star Spangled Banner, and The Carol of the Bells.
Fluid Power Is Alive & Well in the Era of Energy Conservation
Guest Blogs 
5/1/2014  2 comments
Despite what some people think, fluid power systems are capable of very high-performance motion control. A well-designed, closed-loop hydraulic actuator can do things that motors can't do economically and reliably, such as positioning very heavy loads with a 10-micron resolution or better.
Slideshow: Top Cars From the 2014 NY International Auto Show
Blog 
4/30/2014  17 comments
This month's New York International Auto Show featured an exciting collection of 2015 releases, supercars, and EVs. More than 1 million car enthusiasts got a sneak peak at the latest trends in the auto industry.
Wind Power Is Getting Big
Blog 
4/30/2014  31 comments
National Instruments is helping Clemson University test a 15 MW wind turbine, the largest for the wind industry.
What Tech Is Next for Industrial Electric Motors?
Guest Blogs 
4/30/2014  10 comments
Three-phase squirrel-cage AC induction motors are the workhorses for the industrial market. However, their development is reaching the limits of physics for efficiency. A new technology must be adopted to reach the next levels.
Electric Vehicles Get Good Grades for Reliability
Captain Hybrid 
4/29/2014  50 comments
When it comes to designing for reliability, electric cars are proving that simpler is better, a recent Consumer Reports owner survey has concluded.
XP Is a Sitting Duck for Cyberattacks
Blog 
4/29/2014  27 comments
With Windows XP no longer supported by Microsoft, plants using the operating system are now vulnerable.
Backup Camera Mandate Will Lead to More Electronic Innovation
Electronic News & Comment 
4/24/2014  57 comments
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
A FIRST Cinderella Story
STEM Connection 
4/24/2014  15 comments
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
Simulation Identified & Solved Factory Noise Problem
Sherlock Ohms 
4/24/2014  7 comments
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
QNX Tech Powers VisLab's Autonomous Car
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/23/2014  8 comments
VisLab joins the autonomous car effort with the DEEVA prototype.
Composite Rocket Fuel Tank Will Explore Deep Space
Engineering Materials 
4/23/2014  8 comments
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
Robotics Launches Focus on Fundamentals
Blog 
4/23/2014  6 comments
Focus on Fundamentals -- a new Design News webinar series -- kicks off April 29 with How to Select Drives for Robotics Applications. Don't miss it!
10 Technologies That Make Us Super-Human
Blog 
4/22/2014  51 comments
Research and other advancements in the realms of robotics, diagnostic and treatment devices, nanotechnology, and medical implants may one day make humans superior versions of their natural selves.
World Demand for Service Robots Still Rising
Blog 
4/21/2014  18 comments
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
Video: BionicKangaroo Mimics the Real Thing
Blog 
4/18/2014  20 comments
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
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