Panasonic in Japan has developed a low-power wireless communication technology for M2M (machine-to-machine) sensor networks, which will allow devices using different communications standards to communicate with each other without human intervention, and operate for 20 years on one battery.
The German engineering polymer specialist igus has replaced many of the conventional bearings in a small car with its own polymer-based plain bearings and is sending the vehicle on a global tour to demonstrate their capabilities.
The latest creature to join Festo’s mechatronic menagerie is a hopping kangaroo that will make its public debut at the Hannover Fair in April. The company has a tradition of unveiling a new mechatronic version of a living animal at the exhibition every year and the BionicKangaroo is the latest in a long line that has included swimming penguins, flying gulls and floating jellyfish.
GE claims that the mechanical relay has been reborn at its Global Research Center where researchers are using MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology to create tiny switches that could have a major impact on the future design of a wide range of industrial and consumer applications.
Siemens Industry has developed a Web-based tool that uses an online simulation of an island to show how and where drives can be used in the oil and gas, mining, cement, power generation, metals and marine industries.
A machine built from Lego Mindstorms components and controlled by a Samsung smartphone has set a new world record for solving a Rubik’s Cube. The Cubestormer 3, which took its British co-inventors David Gilday and Mike Dobson 18 months to build in their spare time, solved the Cube in 3.253 seconds, beating the previous record of 5.27s set two years ago by the same team.
Siemens has developed a device that allows two-wire cables, such as Profibus cables, to be used to carry Ethernet communications over distances of up to 1km without needing extra hardware, such as modems. The MM992-2VD media module can be used to convert existing cable infrastructures in machinery and plants quickly and economically to Ethernet networks.
A robot controlled by a mobile phone will attempt to break the world record for solving a Rubik’s Cube at science fair in the UK on March 15. The dedicated cube-solving robot, called CubeStormer 3, will attempt to break the current record of 5.27 seconds, which was set two years ago by its predecessor, CubeStormer II.
At next month’s Hannover Fair, the Brazilian motor manufacturer WEG is launching an “IE5” permanent-magnet (PM) motor with a rated efficiency of 96.6% and “significantly” lower losses than IE4 motors. This is one of several new ranges that WEG is premiering at the event, including IE4 explosion-proof motors.
A video of a highly-publicised table-tennis “match” between a human and an industrial robot has attracted more than a million YouTube viewings in its first two days online.
Moog has developed a closed-loop pitch-speed control system for wind turbine blades that is based on synchronous motors and is claimed to deliver up to three times more torque from standstill than systems based on induction or synchronous motors, thus ensuring that the blades move a safely to a feathered position.
The Danish sound and vibration measurement specialist Brüel & Kjær has developed a fibre-optic acceleration sensor that can be used for high-frequency measurement of small vibrations, making it suitable for condition monitoring of rotating machines such as motors, pumps, turbines and vehicles.
The Israeli motion specialist ACS Motion Control has developed a network failure detection and recovery technology that, it claims, will dramatically increase the uptime of machines that rely on the EtherCat network.
One of the world’s top table-tennis players is going to play a match against an industrial robot in China during March. Timo Boll, who has been ranked in the world’s top seven table-tennis players, will take on a specially programmed Agilus robot built by the German robot-maker, Kuka, and claimed to be the world’s fastest robot.
Mitsubishi Electric in Japan has developed a prototype 60kW electric vehicle (EV) motor-drive system with a built-in silicon-carbide (SiC) inverter. The system – claimed to be the smallest of its kind – will allow automotive manufacturers to develop EVs with more passenger space and higher energy efficiencies.