One way for suppliers to increase the value of mechanical motion control solutions is to design subassemblies that tightly integrate the positioning devices with the motor driving them. Instead of a family of products that act as "building blocks," the move is toward pre-engineered positioning packages that boost performance and lower total installed cost. A survey of recent new products shows suppliers offering packages concentrating in two areas. Some solutions address specific applications and the positioning needs of specific industries and markets. Others combine mechanical motion control solutions and an integral motor into an engineered solution with an eye to the total cost, performance and testing requirements of the system. Expect to see more of the same in the future, as suppliers use this approach and ongoing engineering investments to squeeze economy and performance from integrated motion control packages.
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.