I've got another whine about naming processes, this one more general. I don't know the specifics that resulted in the EtherNet/IP name we've been complaining about. But on the surface, it looks just like what I've seen far too many times: people who should know better coming up with a) a product/technology/protocol name that closely resembles a well-known generic term, chosen with the assumption that the resulting confusion will bring more business, b) a product or company name chosen by the founder's family members who know nothing about the business or industry, so it fails to attract potential customers, and c) a company logo only the founder--or a very small industry in-group--understands that takes 15 minutes to explain to anyone else.
TJ, Good insight on Ethernet and safety. Networked safety solutions are a definite trend over the next few years. Another way to leverage the network and reduce the need for separate hardware controllers for specific functions.
Ann, thank you for validating my EtherNet/IP naming opinion! It gets my award for the most confusing/misleading protocol name.
As an interesting aside, when I first learned about EtherNet/IP, was when I was working for a company that made stationary, industrial barcode readers. The common term for these devices are "barcode scanners", or just "scanners". Well, in EtherNet/IP, a "scanner" is a specific type of network device. Enter confusion, since our scanner can't be called a scanner anymore if using Ethernet/IP.... :)
Al, yet another aspect where designers have begun to rely on Ethernet is Machine Safety. Safety circuits are now able to communicate back to a dedicated safety controller over Ethernet. Traditional safety used dedicated, hard-wired circuits.
Ethernet safety relies on hardware that is safety rated at each end (safety inputs and outputs on a distributed I/O rack) and safety controller using them. The safety hardware constantly monitors that Ethernet connection and initiates safe shutdown if it is ever lost.
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.