T-Series PLCs from Toshiba now have low-cost operator interface stations (OIS) that need no wiring or programming. Available in two models--OIS 10 and OIS 15--the interfaces have cables that plug directly into the PLC's RS232 port, from which they draw their power. All messages and other actions are saved in the PLC or register memory, eliminating the need for programming. The OIS 10 displays two lines of up to 16 characters per line, while the OIS 15 displays four lines of up to 16 characters per line. With either, messages are limited in length only by the available PLC memory and can consist of flashing alphanumeric alarms, embedded register values, bar graphs, or other information. The OIS 10 has six user-definable keys and two user-definable LEDs; the OIS 15 offers eight keys and four LEDs. Toshiba International, Product Code 4302.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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