Nathan Loden’s Magnetic Levitation experiment started with the basic problem of stabilizing a frictionless position control loop with inherent metastability. A fast controller with phase-lead compensation took care of that. Then he discovered a strange phenomenon: The levitated object begins and continues oscillating in rotation about a vertical axis. Explanations have been proposed and discussed, but they remain theories. Can you reproduce his result and discover the cause? The apparatus consists of a wooden frame, a bolt with a coil, a power transistor, an infrared emitter and detector, a few op amps and passive components.
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.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
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.