Here’s every kid’s dream — a real robot vehicle that actually reads its terrain and makes adjustments in its movement accordingly. Jared Whelan, Matt Craft and Dave Richards created the “versatile robot” which has a sensor that scans the ground and makes adjustments with reverses and turns. The operator can also remotely select transportation modes. In one mode, the robot’s tracks are raised for steep climbs. It comes with an accelerometer that evaluates the robot’s position relative to gravity. When the robot detects a steep incline, it will accelerate and reconfigure to a lower center of gravity for maximum traction. Once it regains flat ground, the robot reconfigures to its original position.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
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.