NI’s CEO feels ease of use will help PAC take
Programmable Automation Control has become a hot topic in National
Instruments’ R&D labs. “PAC has the ruggedness of PLCs (programmable logic
controllers) and the software capabilities of PCs,” says NI CEO James Truchard.
PACs also have multi-function capabilities, such as logic, motion control and
many others, and they also employ as many industry standards as possible. NI’s
LabView software is “a superset of PAC,” supporting a range of hardware targets,
he adds. As part of the focus on this emerging field, Truchard is also
emphasizing a new thrust to make NI tools easier to use.
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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