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27 March, 2017

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Robotic ‘cheerleaders’ perform synchronised dances

25 September, 2014

The Japanese electronics manufacturer Murata has developed a team of tiny robotic “cheerleaders” which perform synchronised “dances” using advanced sensing, communication and group control technologies.


Rare-earth-free motor for dual-clutch systems is ‘world’s first’

16 September, 2014

The South Korean components manufacturer, LG Innotek, claims to have developed the world's first motor for powering dual-clutch transmission (DCT) systems which contains no rare-earth materials. It is due to enter production next year in Mexico.


Robotic wiring centre will save up to 15 hours per panel

15 September, 2014

Following five years of development, a German company is about to launch what it describes as “the world’s first robotic wiring centre” for control and switchgear panels. By eliminating the need to wire mounting plates by hand, and by making connections between devices automatically, Kiesling Maschinentechnik says that its Averex machine will cut the time needed to produce a panel by up to 15 hours.


Electrostatic motor ‘out-performs standard designs’

15 September, 2014

An American start-up company is developing a novel motor technology that harnesses electrostatic forces instead of electromagnetism. Wisconsin-based C-Motive Technologies predicts that its technology could produce the lightest, most reliable, energy and cost-efficient electric motors, and non-contact power transfer devices, on the market. It adds that its C-Machine motors will produce high torque at a lower cost than any other motor available or under development.


Two-armed robot represents 'a new era in automation’

12 September, 2014

After several appearances of prototypes at trade shows, ABB’s two-armed collaborative robot has been given a name – YuMi – and a launch date – the Hannover Fair next April. ABB says that the robot represents a new era in automation.


Tough engineering plastics are ‘first for 3D printing’

11 September, 2014

The German engineering plastics specialist igus claims to have developed the world’s first tribo-filament materials for use in 3D printers. It says that the iglidur filaments are up to 50 times more resistant to wear and abrasion than products made from conventional 3D printer materials, such as ABS1 and PLA2.


Ball-shaped gripper adapts to objects with different shapes

05 September, 2014

A novel balloon-shaped gripper for robots will make its public debut at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago this month. Unlike conventional grippers, the Versaball, developed by Boston-based Empire Robotics, can grasp a wide variety of objects without reprogramming, and can pick-and-place objects ranging from heavy bricks to delicate light bulbs — all in the same cycle without any changes to the application.


US standards body plans a cyber-security test-bed

13 August, 2014

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing a cyber-security test-bed for industrial control systems. The aim is to measure the performance of industrial control systems when fitted with cyber-security protection in accordance with best practices prescribed by national and international standards and guidelines such as IEC-62443 and NIST-800-82.


Cloud service networks data securely in real time

12 August, 2014

A Canadian cloud computing specialist, Skkynet Cloud Systems, has launched a cloud-based service that provides remote access to industrial devices and systems without exposing the plants or devices to Internet security risks.


Fourth-gen DTC promises better speed and torque control

11 August, 2014

ABB has announced a fourth generation of its direct torque control (DTC) motor control platform, with the claim that it will bring more accuracte motor speed and torque control, as well as the ability to control more types of motor.


Stepper motor chip compensates for sudden load increases

11 August, 2014

The German motion control specialist Trinamic has announced a controller-driver chip for stepper motors that incorporates a new technology that adapts the motor velocity automatically to cope with sudden increases in load. The TMC5062 chip is a monolithic dual-axis motor controller that can deliver up to 1.5A, making it suitable for stepper motors up to Nema size 17, and covering most typical hybrid stepper applications.


Novel materials produce small motors with 90% efficiencies

15 July, 2014

UPDATED: Australian researchers have used novel magnetic materials to design and build small motors with energy efficiencies of up to 90%, compared to 60-70% for conventional designs. The new motors are also smaller in size for a given power output.


Cable-driven robots can move heavy loads over long distances

14 July, 2014

German researchers have developed a novel robotic system in which a platform carrying end-effectors is suspended from an array of eight ropes, which are driven by winches to position the platform precisely in three dimensions with six degrees of freedom.


PoE extensions ‘can damage non-PoE equipment’

02 July, 2014

A manufacturer of networking hardware is warning users of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) systems that non-PoE equipment can be damaged if connected to these networks, especially if the network is extended beyond the 100m data transmission limit of copper-based Ethernet connections.


Touch controls can be created on any surface

16 June, 2014

A Dutch company called Aito is offering a touch control technology that can be used to create a configurable user interface of up to 11 touch buttons that can replace conventional mechanical switches. It claims that the technology overcomes problems with other touch technologies that need a significant button travel or will not operate with gloved hands or through metal panel overlays.


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