MOTION CONTROL: Steinmeyer Inc. has announced a new product to its extensive line of miniature ball screws. These 5-mm diameter screws are the perfect solution in applications such as micromanipulators, miniature robotics and compact actuators. Available in four nut styles: series 1112 single nut with connecting thread without wipers; series 1412 is a single nut with double flange and wipers on both ends; series 1214 is a cylindrical nut without wipers; and series 2422 is the company’s “quiet line” series, with a single nut that uses end-cap ball returns manufactured from plastic rather than metal tubes, making the screw virtually noiseless. All are available with leads ranging from 0.5 3 mm and offer a maximum speed of 4500 RPM.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.