The PROFIBUS Trade Organization (PTO) now offers a PROFInet real-time extension for general automation applications. Based on Ethernet, PROFInet is a modern standard for distributed automation standards that integrates existing fieldbus systems, specifically PROFIBUS. The new extension is called Soft Real Time, which features cycle times of 5 to 10 msec. It is compatible with the TCP/IP Ethernet protocol. In addition, a second PROFInet real-time extension is being developed, and is scheduled to be available in 2005 for high-performance motion control applications. For more information, visit the PTO website at www.us.profibus.com.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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