MOTION CONTROL: In order to increase PC-based control performance with flexible, user-friendly hardware, Beckhoff Automation has announced the new C66xx series Industrial PCs (IPCs). This new series offers high processing power and compact device dimensions. It includes two versions with either the powerful Intel® CoreTM2 Duo or CoreTM2 Quad processors on a Beckhoff ATX motherboard. These control cabinet PCs are equipped with top-performance components and are available in two versions: the C6640, with a more compact design; and the C6650 with up to two hard drives built into removable frames, making the PC suitable for RAID applications. Measuring just 370 x 305 x 200 mm (14.6 x 12 x 7.9 inch), the C6640 is the more compact Industrial PC in the C66xx series. All connections face upwards, so that the connection cables can be fed directly into the cable channel. Adding only slightly to the width and height, the C6650 is equipped with two hard drives built into removable frames, which together with the onboard RAID controller, form a RAID 1 system with two mirrored hard drives. This ensures high data security. The hard disks can be exchanged easily during operation.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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