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News Analysis
Content posted in April 2013
Festo Introduces New Safety-Enhanced Servo Drive
Product News 
4/23/2013  5 comments
Festo has enhanced its servo drive line with the new CMMP-AS..M3 drive that offers new safety features integrated directly into the product, as well as two Internet connectivity options.
Video: Robotic Ants Offer Transportation Design Tips
News 
4/23/2013  7 comments
A study of how robotic ants navigate via swarm behavior, and the design of their trail networks, may make human transportation networks more efficient.
Rockwell Introduces Tools to Simplify Design of Safe Machines
Product News 
4/19/2013  8 comments
Rockwell Automation's Safety Automation Builder configuration software and Safety Functions pre-engineered design documents are aimed at helping those building machines and equipments to more deftly navigate the arduous process of designing safety systems.
Maxon Introduces Mini-Servo Motor for Robot Design, Automation
Product News 
4/18/2013  5 comments
Maxon has added a new miniaturized OEM plug-in module to its ESCON servo controller family line that can control permanent-magnet activated brushed and brushless DC with Hall sensors up to approximately 250W.
New Energy-Efficient Microcontrollers Coming From Toshiba
Product News 
4/17/2013  8 comments
A new embedded microcontroller line from Toshiba will be designed to be energy efficient while enabling highly precise motor control in electronic equipment.
Slippery Material System Can Start, Stop Liquids
News 
4/17/2013  14 comments
A new material system invented by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering is continuously "tunable" for transparency and wettability: it repels water or oil to a greater or lesser degree as it becomes more or less transparent.
Can EV Batteries Last 20 Years?
News 
4/12/2013  45 comments
Lithium-ion batteries for electric cars may last far longer than we’ve been led to believe, a battery expert told the American Chemical Society in a speech this week.
Digi-Key Continuing Education Center Wins Marketing Award
News 
4/5/2013  9 comments
Design News magazine’s popular Continuing Education Center has been named a Gold Award Winner in one of the country’s most prestigious marketing contests.




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Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
If you're planning to develop a product that uses a microcontroller, you'll want to take note of next week's Design News Continuing Education course, "MCU Software Development – A Step-by-Step Guide."
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