Vibration management is a key consideration in the design of any equipment. For high-magnification optic devices, it is critical to isolate the optic heads from external vibrations, such as typing on a workstation keyboard. Engineers at Design Continuum Inc., a product design and development firm, devised an inexpensive way to isolate the sensitive optics in a single molecule analyzer it developed for U.S. Genomics.
The goal? To develop a suspension system for the optic head with a natural frequency in the horizontal direction (the main mode of vibration for the analyzer chassis) of less than 1 Hz. Engineers initially considered a spring-based system, but Principal Engineer Mark West says the length of the spring required would have been excessive (see chart). Similarly, engineers could not achieve the desired frequency level with rubber bushings.
Engineers opted for a mechanical suspension system consisting of a parallel tie-rod pendulum that locates the center of mass at the point of straight-line motion. This economical alternative to air suspension is tuned to a natural frequency of 5.3 Hz in the vertical axis and less than 0.8 Hz in the horizontal axis. A pneumatically actuated pin locks the head in place when it is not in use.
Engineers tested the suspension system in their offices, which are near a commuter railway. Vibrations caused by trains rumbling by were not transmitted to the assembly.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.