Drives and Controls Magazine
Home
Menu
Joystick device is ‘the easiest way to program a robot’

A Texas company claims to have come up with simplest and possibly the quickest way to program almost any industrial robot. Sisu, which describes itself as an “innovator of electromechanical machines and robotic automation”, says that its patent-pending Vudu programming system does not need robot programming expertise, and can be programmed by machinists, welders and other non-programming professionals.

Rare-earth magnets from hard drives are re-used in motors

US researchers have succeeded in recovering rare-earth magnets from old computer hard drives and re-using them, without alteration, in motors. A second group of researchers has developed an acid-free technique for recycling rare-earth magnets and recovering more than 99% pure rare-earth elements.

Tool helps to pinpoint causes of machine failures

Itris Automation, the French software firm that specialises in tools for verifying and troubleshooting PLC codes, has released a real-time diagnostics tool that helps to pinpoint the causes of breakdowns in PLC-controlled machines. Called ICS Monitoring, the tool helps users to find the origin of problems faster, thus reducing downtime.

New Power-over-Ethernet spec triples power ratings

A new version of the IEEE’s Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) standard has added three new classes of operation and tripled the maximum amount of power that can be transmitted via Ethernet cables from 30W to 90W. According to the Ethernet Alliance, the ratification of IEEE 802.3bt - Amendment 2: Power over Ethernet (PoE) over 4 Pairs, “heralds a new era of robust market opportunity for PoE-enabled technologies”.

Microsoft releases Robot Operating System for Windows

Microsoft has announced an experimental release of the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) for Windows. ROS is a set of libraries and tools that help to build complex robots, and is used in many robot projects around the world. Microsoft says that the development will bring the manageability and security of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to ROS.

Hydrogen-electric plane could carry 4 passengers 5,000km

A French-Singaporean specialist in hydrogen-based propulsion systems for drones has announced plans to develop world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft designed to serve regional routes. HES Energy Systems says that its Element One aircraft will be able to carry up to four passengers for distances of 500–5,000km, depending on whether it stores hydrogen in a gaseous or liquid form.

Smart TV operating system will be applied to robots

The webOS operating system developed by South Korea's LG Electronics and used in more than 60 million of its smart TVs and digital displays, is going to be applied to other fields, including robotics, under a new partnership that LG has formed with the IT service provider, Luxoft.

AGV transports robot arm from one task to the next

Mitsubishi Electric and the British AGV (automatically guided vehicle) specialist Mirage have released more details of the mobile robot system that they demonstrated at the Smart Industry Expo in Birmingham, UK, earlier this year.

QA vision system can be set up in 'minutes’ without needing SIs

An Israeli-German company has developed a machine-vision-based QA (quality assurance) technology which, it claims, can be installed within minutes without needing systems integrators or the lengthy processes usually associated with setting up QA systems.

Researchers say they can cut rare-earth use in motors by 80%

German researchers say that they have found ways of reducing the amount of critical rare-earth materials needed to build electric motors by up to 80%. In a five-year project that has just ended, the researchers from eight Fraunhofer Institutes pooled their expertise to find ways of reducing the need for rare-earth materials by a combination of optimising manufacturing processes, developing new approaches to recycling, and looking for new materials that could replace rare-earths.

Technology sends data from PLCs to mobile devices

The German controls manufacturer Beckhoff has announced a software technology that makes it easy for PLCs to communicate with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and to portray process data on them remotely. The TwinCat 3 IoT Communicator connects the controller directly and securely to a messaging service, and can transmit data to multiple end-devices, as well as monitoring status changes and sending information back to the controller.

Multi-axis controllers offer ‘world-beating’ output speeds

Omron has announced a programmable multi-axis controller that, it claims, delivers “world-beating” output speeds of 16.6µs per axis (or 50µs for five axes). The CK3M controller is designed to achieve nanoscale motion control to meet the future manufacturing needs of the semiconductor and automotive industries.

Free online tool helps to prepare for Industry 4.0

Festo has developed an free online tool that helps companies to assess their readiness for adopting Industry 4.0. Called Industry 4.0 Quick Check, it enables them to identify their current “maturity level” and what their next development and training priorities should be.

Group plans ‘first mass-market Wi-Fi IIoT technology’

Four companies – Microsoft, Advantech, Behr Technologies (BTI) and Hitachi Solutions America – have joined forces to develop what, they claim, will be “the first mass-market, end-to-end wireless gateway solution to ensure connectivity with sensors for production-level industrial and commercial applications”.

Rolls-Royce plans electric planes that will take off vertically

Rolls-Royce has unveiled plans for an electric plane that would take off and land vertically, at the at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. The hybrid Evtol (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft will have tilting wings and will be able to carry four or five passengers at speeds of up to 250mph (400km/h) for about 500 miles (800km). Rolls-Royce says it could take to the skies in the early 2020s.