The VersaMax™ Nano Controller from GE Fanuc Automation, http://gefanuc.com/products/controllers,
targets high-volume applications with cost, space, and fast-processing-speed
constraints. "Its $180 list price makes it a more flexible option for engineers
designing counter-, timer-, and relay-based control systems," says Product
Manager Bill Black. With only 10 I/O points, Nano targets applications that need
powerful control, but not high I/O counts. The compact (75- x 80- x 47-mm) PLC
includes 2K words of memory, PID, floating-point math, subroutines, and serial
read/write commands. It supports up to two high-speed counters (10 kHz) and has
three PWM/pulse train outputs (5 kHz). Standard RS-232 communication can be used
for SNP Slave, Modbus RTU Slave, or Serial In/Out commands. Plus, the new
VersaMax SE Module connects Micro and Nano controllers to Ethernet so users can
solicit and send information, upload/download programs, and monitor and control
devices over Ethernet.
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.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
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.
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.