Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications
See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available. View the video.
M8 12-pin connectors with gold-plated contacts
Binder USA has added the M8 12-pin to their Series 718 & 768 lines of M8 Connectors. The 12 gold-plated contacts allow for more data connections in a small-form connector, making it easy to combine multiple connections into one connector to save panel space. The IP67-rated connectors are typically used with automation-related products including photoelectric, proximity, and temperature sensors. Available in male or female molded cable and panel-mount connectors with cable lengths of 2 m and 5 m and standard single-wire length of 200 mm. Click here to learn more.
Full line of industrial laser modules
BEA Lasers' full line of ruggedized Industrial Laser modules are now available for use in factories, machine shops, and other harsh environments for alignment and positioning of products, components, and machine parts. The laser diode modules (Series MIL, GPL, SEN, MIC, IND) each include a housing and cable apparatus to alleviate hard wiring for replacements. All are offered with a choice of green or red laser light and include laser dot and line patterns; many available with a crosshair pattern. Most Industrial Laser families are available with 1-, 3-, or 5-mW output power. In addition, BEA’s "Yellow Sub" and "Yellow Torpedo" lasers can be used for leveling. Other laser applications include drilling, event detection, edge detection, security, cutting, vision systems, metrology, bar code readers, education, robotic control, and laboratory or test operations. Click here to learn more.
Microcontroller for automotive and industrial radar systems
Mouser Electronics is now stocking the S32R274 radar microcontroller from NXP Semicon-ductors. Engineered to meet the high-performance computation demands required by modern beam-forming and fast chirp-modulation radar systems, the S32R274 combines signal-processing acceleration with a multicore architecture to provide up to four times the power performance in industrial and automotive applications, compared to previous generations of products. This device offers a multifaceted solution for general software tasks and car bus interfacing. Combined with radio frequency (RF) front-end technologies (RFCMOS or BiCMOS), the S32R274 provides designers a scalable solution that addresses ultra-short-range, short-range, mid-range, and long-range radar systems. Click here to learn more.
New option for flexible heater applications
Rogers Corp. has introduced ARLON raPId polyimide substrates, a new, innovative solution for streamlining manufacturing and improving performance of flexible heater applications. These substrates incorporate the benefits of polyimide heater dielectrics with the flexibility and usability of a silicone adhesive system. This makes a big difference during manufacturing, because the innovative thermosetting silicone adhesive system locks the foil-etched circuit in place, minimizing circuit "swimming" during capping, while minimizing delamination and voids. This solution is ideal for high-reliability applications as a replacement for acrylic or FEP adhesives in polyimide flexible heaters. Learn more.
Cool Tools: Rugged smartphone with built-in thermal imaging
The ruggedized Cat S61 is equipped with FLIR Lepton, the industry’s smallest, lightest, and lowest cost thermal imaging camera core. This smartphone enables users to see in total darkness and visualize heat that is invisible to the naked eye. The new model includes a variety of technical improvements, including an increased temperature range of -20 to 400 C (great for things like vehicle diagnostics and asphalt monitoring), upgraded visible HD camera and thermal image processing, and live thermal imagery streaming for sharing results in real time. Available 3Q 2018. Under $1,000. Click here to learn more.
Faster, cooler-running new Raspberry Pi unit -- still $35!
After a two-year wait since its last upgrade, Raspberry Pi released a new and improved version of its wildly popular single-board computer on March 14 -- Pi Day, of course. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ boasts a 200-MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods. Features include: a 1.4-GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2, faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0), Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT), improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting, and improved thermal management. Learn all about the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.
Cool Tools: World's fastest digital ultra-high-speed camera
Vision Research has introduced the Phantom v2640, the fastest 4-Megapixel (MPx) camera available. It features a new proprietary 4-Mpx CMOS image sensor (2048 x 1952) that delivers unprecedented image quality at up to 26 Gpx/sec, while reaching 6,600 frames per second (fps) at full 2048 x 1952 resolution, and 11,750 fps at 1920 x 1080. This is an excellent tool for researchers, scientists, and engineers who need to capture clean, high-resolution images at super high speeds. Go to the Videos tab on the product webpage to see it in action. Click here to learn more.
Alternatives to screws for compact electronics
Aluminum and stainless steel microPEM TackSert pins from Penn-Engineering provide cost-effective alternatives to micro screws for attaching top panels to base panels or chassis in compact electronic assemblies. They will attach top panels of any material to a base or chassis manufactured from common cast metals (such as magnesium and aluminum) or plastics (such as ABS and printed circuit boards). The pins ultimately eliminate many of the costs and issues associated with screws and integrate unique design features, promoting reliable and effective performance. Click here to learn more.
New series of tall board-to-board stacker connectors
AVX Corporation has released a new series of tall board-to-board stacker connectors. The new 00-9148 Series tall stacker connectors are cost-effective, reliable, and robust; exhibit excellent resistance to shock and vibration; and help reduce tolerance accumulation in a variety of demanding applications across the automotive, consumer, medical, and industrial markets. The single-piece connectors also reduce assembly time and shorten BOM lists, and feature a double-row design with an 8-mm (+/- 0.2-mm) board-stacking height, a 1-mm pitch, and eight positions, each rated for 1A continuous current. Rated for 125 V, 50 cycles, and temperatures spanning -40 C to 125 C. Click here to learn more.
Development kit for IoT applications
ON Semiconductor is helping engineers address a broader range of high-growth Internet of Things (IoT) applications through the release of a new multi-sensor shield and expansion of software support for its IoT Development Kit (IDK). The IDK gives access to a wide variety of sensing, processing, connectivity, and actuation possibilities through a range of shields/daughter cards that attach to the Arm SoC motherboard. The multi-sensor shield adds a variety of inertial and environmental sensors. These coupled with, for example, the recently announced Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity shield, enable the rapid prototyping of a wide range of ultra-low power smart home, industrial IoT, and wearable solutions. Click here to learn more.
AC and DC motorized impellers designed for demanding environments
Orion Fans has expanded its AC motorized impeller product offering with 14 new IP55-rated models and has added a new line of 24-V and 48-V DC motorized impellers with 13 models. The AC motorized impellers provide high airflow for a wide range of harsh and demanding applications. The DC motorized impellers deliver a low-power solution with standard control and monitoring features. The new motorized impeller models are available in popular 133-mm, 175-mm, 182-mm, 220-mm, and 225-mm sizes, expanding the existing range from 133 mm to 400 mm. They feature backward curved plastic or all-metal blades, sealed dual ball bearings, and rugged die-cast aluminum frames. All AC motorized impellers ship with the required capacitor. All DC motorized impeller models include a PWM and Tachometer function. Learn about AC motorized impellers. Learn about DC motorized impellers.
Smallest capacitive touch LED sensor display
Visual Communi-cations Company (VCC) recently launched the CSM Series surface-mount capacitive touch LED sensor, which boasts the smallest footprint in the industry. These displays are unique because they measure only 15.0 mm x 15.0 mm x 3.2 mm and can be surface mounted or even reverse mounted to save additional space. The compact, high-output LED sensor displays can be used in a wide range of applications, including: medical devices, home automation and mobile communication devices, as well as portable instruments. Available in green, yellow, red, blue, and white, these touch sensor displays provide streamlined manufacturing and enhanced product life cycle over a mechanical on/off switch because there are no mechanical components to wear down or break. See these touch LED sensors in action.
High-current connector for high-end battery systems
Amphenol Industrial Products Group has enhanced its SurLok Plus high-current connector and cabling system. The quick connect and locking system includes a high-voltage interlock loop (HVIL) safety feature, as well as electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI) for noise immunity. These features are a requirement of high-end battery systems to ensure safety and proper operation. Ideal for use in electric vehicles, materials handling, hybrid electric vehicles, and in energy storage for commercial and residential battery storage systems, SurLok Plus is a reliable alternative to common compression lugs. Click here to learn more.
Selection tips for rodless electromechanical and electric rod actuators
When you specify a linear actuator, some basic decisions come first. Do you go with electric or fluid-powered? Do you need the push/pull of an electric rod actuator or the load-carrying action of a rodless electromechanical actuator? Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic may have your answer. Dietrich has compiled some very good tips for selecting these actuator types. Learn about selecting linear actuators.
Army developing system to allow Soldiers to see buried bombs for route clearance
By Sean Kimmons, U.S. Army
The U.S. Army is developing technology that visually alerts Soldiers to hidden explosives in the ground rather than just providing them an audible notification during use of mine detector equipment.
Called real-time spatial location tracking, the technology can show sensor images of buried bombs on either a heads-up display or tablet attached to a handheld detector.
As a Soldier sweeps with the device, a colored representation of the area -- where orange means the user is close to a metallic object -- appears on the screen.
The goal is to keep Soldiers safe when clearing routes by being able to better identify potential threats.
"You can immediately see the shape of the object and roughly its size," said Christopher Marshall, a scientist in the Countermine Division of the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. "By providing this information to the Soldier, it makes it easier to operate and it means a faster response."
A video still image of real-time spatial location tracking, a piece of technology the Army is developing to visually alert a Soldier to hidden explosives in the ground rather than just a sound while sweeping with a mine detector. NOTE: The visual colored sweep is what the user sees on a screen or in a headset viewfinder. [Photo Credit: Courtesy of CERDEC]
The directorate falls under the Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, which held a media day at Fort Belvoir, VA, at the end of February to highlight its emerging technology.
With the device's position location capabilities, information about where a Soldier has swept, and what was found there, can be easily passed on, in real time, to observers in other locations. Current handheld minesweeping technology requires users to mark potential threats with sticks or other markers.
The system also monitors how a Soldier swings the mine detector as he or she uses it, to ensure they are not fatigued in such a way that it may cause them to miss a hidden object.
"If the Soldier is starting to swing erratically, that could be an early warning sign, so operationally that can help," Marshall said. "Then someone could come up to take the place of the Soldier."
VIDEO: Visual minesweeper: Real-time spatial location tracking visually alerts a Soldier to hidden explosives in the ground rather than just a sound while sweeping with a mine detector.
Other advanced technology to better discriminate between metal objects that the device finds is also being worked on. That way, a Soldier can more quickly differentiate between harmless objects and would-be threats.
With its displays, Sgt. 1st Class Jared Huffstickler, a combat engineer assigned to the Countermine Division, said the technology would help Soldiers be more aware of their surroundings as they clear dangerous routes.
"This is giving us an opportunity to actually see signatures in the ground without taking away our situational awareness on the battlefield," he said.
Since the device tracks sweeping patterns, it could even serve as a training tool for Soldiers like him who are taught to sweep at certain speeds and distances with metal detectors, he added.
Mine detection robots could also be equipped with the technology to capture and send back imagery to Soldiers in a nearby vehicle.
"The idea is that we take these exact same technologies that we're maturing for the handheld dismounted operation and we put it there," Marshall said of the robots. "Now the Soldier isn't even in the picture, and it's much safer."