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.
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.