Friday, September 8, 2000Mount Prospect, IL--The mail box here at Design
News is often like a toy box with lots of goodies for engineers. Just
in today is news of an online rapid prototyping system for flat flexible
cables (FFCs) from Axon' Cable. While rapid prototyping of mechanical parts is common,
incorporation of cabling into a design is often an afterthought. Axon' is
now offering a solution on its website (http://www.axon-cable.com) for
incorporating FFCs into a design sooner. Here's how it works. An engineer goes to the site and
chooses the FFC-CAD tool on the home page. The software asks for
characteristics needed and offers help in formulating answers. At the end
of the questioning, a reference design is generated along with a
specification the designer can print out. The engineer can also download
the FFC design in an AutoCAD format. Finally the site offers searching and ordering for
applicable, in stock cables. Axon' has used the system in house and is
making it available for worldwide customers. As an incentive to use the site, the company is running a
contest, until December, with a computer as the prize.
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.