Aimed at construction and other demanding off-road applications, the ITT Industries, Cannon MFGS3 multifunction control grip incorporates up to five momentary switches and twin optional rockers. A tough Nylon-based housing encloses connecting cables, within an internal protective tube, and a conformally coated printed circuit board. A rubber skirt membrane between the switch actuators and the handle body seals out dust and water to IP65 standards.
"The challenge in developing control grips is always ergonomics," says Product Manager Pete Leuty. "Specifically the head design and location of different buttons and their force/deflection characteristics. Also, mechanical strength must be high because operators use the fixed grips to pull themselves in and out of equipment and brace themselves during hard maneuvers."
Engineers also improved grip ergonomics by using soft-touch, over-molded rubber and designing in an adjustable palm rest. A lever on the back side of the handle opens internal "sawteeth" to allow operators to adjust the angle of the stem with respect to the flange of the palm rest. The lever then locks the position when it is closed. The designers also made the grip symmetrical so it can be easily used by both left- and right-handed operators. In addition, the grip can be mounted to a joystick base, allowing it to pivot for additional control functions.
ITT Cannon's K12 series momentary switches provide positive tactile feedback. Optional rockers can be momentary, maintained (positive on/off action), or analog types. The analog switches' Hall-effect position sensors provide a proportional output of 0.5-4.5V dc—useful for manipulating an implement, such as a bucket loader. ITT Industries, Cannon, www.ittcannon.com Enter 588
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.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.