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.
ABB in the UK has produced a handheld device designed to simplify the identification of housed pillow block and flanged bearings. The rotating disc-shaped calculator, designed to fit in a toolbox, helps users to select the most appropriate replacement bearings.
Engineers working for Danfoss in Denmark have developed a function that allows a single frequency converter to control winches that are designed to be driven by two or more motors. They have also applied the development to marine steering and propulsion systems, and to container cranes.
A Californian motion control specialist has developed a servo actuator that integrates a position feedback sensor into a high pole-count AC motor. QuickSilver Controls says that its Mosolver actuator will eliminate the need for costly encoder and resolvers, as well as eliminating most of the sensing electronics and the power needed to operate them.
The US-based control networking specialist Echelon has announced a chip designed to provide flexible, cost-effective connections for communities of devices in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The IP-enabled, multi-protocol, multi-drop FT 6050 system-on-chip (SoC) is part of Echelon's IzoT platform for the IIoT, the next generation of the industrial control platform based on Echelon's ISO-standard Free Topology (FT) architecture.
The Israeli motion control specialist ACS has developed an algorithm that, it claims, will improve the performance of high-accuracy servo applications – reducing moving and settling times, eliminating cogging, and improving their ability to handle significant changes in load. This, in turn, will leads to higher accuracies and throughput. ACS reports that field trials of the ServoBoost algorithm have achieved performance improvements several times better than those of competing products.
A Dutch materials-handling specialist is investigating the possibility of using small drone aircraft to move products to end-of-line pallets in factories. Qimarox suggests that using the flying robots in this way could result in compact, flexible and scalable palletising systems.
A US specialist in moving coil actuators, SMAC, has announced a family of electrically-driven linear actuators that, it claims, take the technology into areas that were previously the domain of pneumatic cylinders. It says that the CBL cylinders, with prices starting at less than $500, overcome some of the limitations of pneumatic devices, particularly in packaging applications.
A Taiwanese company has developed a system for creating customised automation systems by assembling modular function blocks onto printed circuit boards.
Schneider Electric claims to have produced the first industrial controller with Ethernet built into its core. The Modicon 580 controller, developed in collaboration with the Swiss semiconductor specialist STMicrolectronics, is said to improve the transparency, consistency and throughput of industrial data.