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19 August, 2017

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Phone-driven robot aims to break Rubik’s Cube record

13 March, 2014

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.


IE5 permanent magnet motor will make Hannover debut

13 March, 2014

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.


Robot ping-pong match video draws viewers – and critics

12 March, 2014

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.


Synchronous motor pitch control shuts down turbines safely

10 March, 2014

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.


Fibre optic sensors check condition of rotating machines

25 February, 2014

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.


Technology finds and repairs EtherCat network faults

19 February, 2014

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.


Ping-pong match will pit human against 'world's fastest' robot

18 February, 2014

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.


EV motor-drive with SiC inverter is ‘smallest of its kind’

14 February, 2014

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.


Calculator simplifies housed bearing replacements

07 February, 2014

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.


‘Droop’ function improves winch control efficiency

05 February, 2014

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.


Servo actuator eliminates the need for encoders

04 February, 2014

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.


Chip ‘will speed move to the Industrial Internet of Things’

30 January, 2014

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.


Algorithm boosts servo performance in precision applications

29 January, 2014

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.


Will drones take off for end-of-line palletising?

28 January, 2014

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.


Sub-$500 electric cylinders challenge pneumatics

20 January, 2014

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.


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