If you ever wanted to fine tune your operating system to make it do exactly what you wanted, Integrated Chipware (Reston, VA) has a product for you. At the Embedded Systems Conference East in March, the company introduced icWorkshop. "This is the best thing to come along in this industry since pockets on shirts," says Dick Peterson of Integrated Chipware. The icWorkshop offers engineers the option of using and customizing pre-configured software components to build real-time operating systems. This is the first time engineers have had such an option, says Peterson. Developers can also customize the kernel on a component basis. Like an engine on a car, you are usually stuck with the capabilities of whatever operating system you have. "What we do is allow you to change individual components, such as the fuel injection system, without affecting the entire engine. If a new process is developed, it usually takes operating system developers at least a year to adapt," Peterson adds. Integrated Chipware can adapt icWorkshop in 90 days. Industries such as telecommunications, automobile, oil, and aerospace are clamoring for this flexibility because the operating system now can be be tailored to fit the exact requirements of an industy sector, says Peterson. FAX (703) 736-3556.
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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