Drives and Controls Magazine

Technology News In Brief

15 March, 2007

º  The robot-masker Kuka has developed a robot which can be controlled wirelessly using Bluetooth and a Wii game console controller. Last month, it demonstrated the robot at a trade show in California. A video of the robot wielding a sword and hitting a tennis ball under remote control can be seen on YouTube.

º  Lenze is offering a free software package that will configure up to five of its 9400 ServoSystem drives. The L-force StateLevel software configures the complete drive train, including the controller, motor and gearbox. It uses "intuitive" graphical screens and includes a two-channel software oscilloscope to record and view the performance of high-speed machinery. The software can be downloaded from Lenze’s UK Web site or supplied on a CD.

º  Allegro MicroSystems Europe has announced a microstepping motor driver chip that combines an output of ±1.5A at 50V, with built-in translator circuitry and over-current protection. The A3987 chip is designed to operate bipolar stepper motors in full, half, quarter and sixteenth step modes.

º  German-based Real Time Systems has developed a software package that allows real-time operating systems, such as Wind River VxWorks, to run simultaneously on the same hardware platform as general-purpose operating systems, such as Linux. The Real-Time Hypervisor software uses modern multi-core processors and assigns each core to a separate operating system.