Pneumatic machines—and their low maintenance costs, simple designs, and ease of use—are expected to overtake electric machines as the automation equipment of choice in years to come, according to a Frost & Sullivan research report. The integration of electronics and sensors with pneumatic motion control is driving the pneumatic market. But inaccuracy, price declines, and manufacturing facility relocation from Europe to emerging countries are considered to be limiting factors. Chances are, the report adds, manufacturers will see affordable pneumatic and electronic hybridized systems with better position control as well as information feedback.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicle’s parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but that’s just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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