Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new type of magnetically-actuated microrelay they say can be batch-produced using established micromachining techniques. The developer predicts that the devices could have applications in automotive electronics, test equipment, and other areas where low actuation voltages are needed. The devices, smaller than a dime, operate at less than 5V, which would allow them to be driven by digital logic circuits, making them attractive for use in equipment for which higher voltages could be undesirable. The patent-pending devices' contact resistance of less than 100 milliohms and their ability to switch currents of up to 1.2A set a new record for microrelays, says William P. Taylor, their developer. He adds that the devices offer cost advantages over traditional relays, "because they can be produced in groups of a hundred or more at a time." The Georgia Tech microrelays have been tested through more than 850,000 operating cycles without failure. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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.