Saelig Company Inc.'s USB DrDAQ is a combination scope/data-logger/IO board with 15 I/O
channels. Software provided with the unit provides 100kHz-bandwidth
oscilloscope and datalogger, with extra input and output capabilities straight
out of the box. Built
into the USB DrDAQ are a microphone, light sensor, RGB LED, oscilloscope and
resistance inputs, 4 digital I/O ports, 3 sensor ports, a pH/redox sensor input
and a signal generator output. The unit is powered from the USB port so there
is no need for an external power supply. USB DrDAQ samples at 1MSa/s and can be
used as a single-channel 8-bit 100kHz oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer with
the ability to measure voltages up to Â±10V.
USB DrDAQ's 10-bit D/A output
features a 10-bit signal generator - a standard function generator, but also an
arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), so customized waveforms can be created. An
RGB LED can be used to display any color for a variety of indicator purposes.
Two of the I/O ports can be used as pulse counting inputs, or PWM (pulse-width
modulation) outputs. The sensor ports can be used with a range of temperature,
humidity and oxygen sensors, or with custom sensors built by the user.
USB DrDAQ will find its way into
a wide variety of applications from education to research for signals at audio
frequencies and beyond. It is supplied with a free Windows Software Development
Kit (SDK) with fully documented function calls to control all aspects of the
device, so it can be integrated into other programs in C, C++, Microsoft Excel
and National Instruments LabVIEW.
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.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
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.
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.