Dallas, TX —Do your kids sass you when asked to cut the grass? Now tell them to take a hike.
Friendly Robotics has developed the RL500 robotic lawnmower that uses a miniature electronic brain based on its proprietary Robo-Scan®technology to systematically cut grass. RoboScan uses an internal floating compass to find magnetic north for navigation. Odometers in the rear wheels count the number of "clicks" to account and adjust for turns. Guided by 18 AWG perimeter wires secured by plastic pegs, the robotic lawn mower uses an onboard computer, ultrasonic sensors, and sensitivity bumpers. The internal computer is a 16-bit Hitachi microprocessor with 256K of memory, and 512K of flash memory for adding software, music, and future upgrades. The mower uses four proximity, and four RF sensors to follow a specific signal from the insulated perimeter wire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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.