December 11, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 46

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Smallest Smart Motor Module for DC fan applications

Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Limited has introduced an extension to its compact Smart Motor Module (SMM) family. Available in an ultra-compact, thermally enhanced 3-mm x 3-mm QFN-18L package, the highly integrated AOZ9530QV SMM is a half-bridge power stage with a slew of features and protections that simplify motor drive designs. It is suitable for use in a large number of BLDC fan applications ranging from PC and server fans to seat cooling and home appliances.
Learn more.


Application Note: Wireless -- Decoupling high-frequency signals from a DC supply

From 5G systems to radio and antenna applications, wireless communication accompanies us throughout our daily lives, so the demand for universal high-frequency amplifiers is correspondingly high. By selecting the optimal passive components, the transmission characteristics of the amplifier can be improved during development. A well-designed layout further improves RF performance. The aim is to transmit both RF signals and the DC supply on a single line without interference or cross-talk. A key component is the inductor for decoupling the RF and DC supplies.
Read this in-depth W├╝rth Elektronik application note.


Smallest all-in-one LIN driver propels relay window lifters

Melexis' new LIN pre-driver IC for relay DC motors offers a combination of high power, compactness, and attractive pricing. The MLX81160 is the latest addition to the company's Gen3 family of compatible embedded motor drivers. Its 48-KB of memory (16 KB ROM for the included LIN protocol and 32 KB Flash for the application software) is suitable for applications like window regulators.
Learn more.


Pull-type solenoids in a range to meet tons of applications

Magnetic Sensor Systems (MSS) has released their S-20-100X model of high-efficiency, low-cost Pull Type Tubular Solenoids (1 in. diameter x 2 in. long). Their S-20-100X series features 18 different solenoids to select from based on the voltage, duty cycle, force, and stroke requirement of the user. MSS solenoid coils typically use Class F 23- to 40-AWG windings with Class A insulation for better protection of the solenoid during longer duty cycles. Applications include: vending machines, medical dispensing, mixing, valve control, farm machinery, disconnects, transmission shifting, fire suppression systems, cabinet locks, door controls, and sorting equipment.
Learn more.


Industrial imaging at warp speed

When fast-moving scenes need to be captured in all their details, a high-performance transmission interface is essential in addition to the right sensor. With uEye Warp10, IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH is launching a new camera family that, thanks to 10GigE, transmits data in the Gigabit Ethernet-based network at a very high frame rate and virtually without delay. The first models with the IMX250 (5 MP), IMX253 (12 MP), and IMX255 (8.9 MP) sensors from the Sony Pregius series are now available.
Learn more.


Top Tech Tips: How to specify electric rod-style actuators for optimal performance, reliability, and efficiency

Andy Zaske, Vice President, Tolomatic, provides his Top 10 Tips for specifying electric rod-style actuators, which have a higher initial cost, more advanced design, and more predictable performance compared to fluid power cylinders. This is a really thorough presentation filled with useful information.
Read the full article.


Standard IP65 slip rings with short lead times

The Orbex Group, a leading manufacturer of high-performance electric motors and slip rings, introduces standard slip rings with an IP65 protection rating, providing washdown tolerance in many food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing applications. These washdown-ready slip rings feature stainless steel or aluminum housings. They offer flexible mounting options with through-hole diameters ranging from 25 to 100 mm, or capsule style when a through-hole is not required.
Learn more.


New polymers engineered for e-motor applications

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has expanded the use of its Thermally Conductive, Electrically Insulating (TCEI) materials to produce walled slot liners for electric motor applications. The company's TCEI material grades demonstrate superior thermal conductivity and better electrical insulation when tested against other thermoplastic materials currently available.
Read the full article.


Heatsink solutions for electronic housings

Phoenix Contact has increased the breadth and depth of its popular Industrial Case System (ICS) housing family to include both customizable passive heatsinks and heatsink fillers. New heatsink solutions allow design engineers to choose from a wide range of thermal management solutions to keep their components from overheating. To support the new heatsink solutions, a web-based, intuitive platform for thermal assessment has been incorporated into the Electronic Housing Online Configurator tool on Phoenix Contact's website.
Learn more.


Mini-FAKRA cable assemblies for automotive and industrial applications requiring high data transfer rates

Amphenol RF has expanded its AUTOMATE Type A Mini-FAKRA product series with pre-configured cable assemblies. These assemblies feature a straight quad port mini-FAKRA jack on both ends and are designed on low-loss TFC-302LL. AUTOMATE assemblies support data transmission rates up to 20 Gbps, which makes them ideal for automotive and industrial applications that require high data transfer rates to communicate information for safety, performance, and entertainment without lag.
Learn more.


New compact touchless linear position sensors

The TFD Series of touchless linear position sensors from Novotechnik provides wear-free operation in tight spaces. The TFD-4000 Series uses a magnetic position marker to provide a touchless measurement range of 0 to 14, 24, or 50 mm -- depending on model. These sensors make measurements through air and non-magnetic materials. Sensing direction can be either parallel or perpendicular to mounting holes. Applications include textile, packaging, and sheet metal machinery; medical applications; marine; mobile engine management; and construction, agricultural, and forestry machinery.
Learn more.


Top Tech Tip:
2D, 3D, or 2.5D? Choosing a vision system for your automation project

If you're looking at machine vision systems for automation, you will need to decide whether to invest in a 2D, 3D, or 2.5D camera system. That choice will have a major impact on the deployment's cost, complexity, capabilities, and functionality. OnRobot's Kristian Hulgard, General Manager - Americas, explains the differences, benefits, and shortcomings of each system type.
Read this informative OnRobot article.


Next-generation electronic digital comparators

The Millimess 2000 W(i) and 2001 W(i) Digital Comparators from Mahr set new standards in metrology with unique and innovative features such as touch display, inductive measurement system, and integrated wireless connectivity. The systems combine practical and reliable operation with maximum precision using a unique inductive measuring system.
Learn more.


All about slip rings: How they work and their uses

Rotary Systems has put together a really nice basic primer on slip rings -- electrical collectors that carry a current from a stationary wire into a rotating device. Common uses are for power, proximity switches, strain gauges, video, and Ethernet signal transmission. This introduction also covers how to specify, assembly types, and interface requirements. Rotary Systems also manufactures rotary unions for fluid applications.
Read the overview.


Customizable encoders for white goods, automation, controls, more

Elma Electronic now offers the E18 family of price-competitive, robust mechanical incremental encoders that offer a high-quality alternative to system designers struggling to find a drop-in, rugged encoder for harsh environments with a footprint that matches their current PCB design. E18 encoders are available in a variety of configurations, including with or without push buttons and threaded bushings. Their "Swiss Click Indexing System" epitomizes quality turning feel.
Learn more.


Inspired by squirrel behavior, deceptive robots aim to psych out the enemy

Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed robots that are able to deceive each other. The research is funded by the Office of Naval Research and is led by Professor Ronald Arkin, who suggests the applications could be implemented by the military in the future. The research is highlighted in the November/December 2012 edition of IEEE Intelligent Systems.

Arkin and his team learned by reviewing biological research results that squirrels gather acorns and store them in specific locations. The animal then patrols the hidden caches, routinely going back and forth to check on them. When another squirrel shows up, hoping to raid the hiding spots, the hoarding squirrel changes its behavior. Instead of checking on the true locations, it visits empty cache sites, trying to deceive the predator.

Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed robots that are able to deceive each other. [Georgia Institute of Technology]

 

 

 

 

Arkin and his Ph.D. student Jaeeun Shim implemented the same strategy into a robotic model and demonstration. The deceptive behaviors worked. The deceiving robot lured the "predator" robot to the false locations, delaying the discovery of the protected resources.

"This application could be used by robots guarding ammunition or supplies on the battlefield," said Arkin, a Regents Professor in Georgia Tech's School of Interactive Computing. "If an enemy were present, the robot could change its patrolling strategies to deceive humans or another intelligent machine, buying time until reinforcements are able to arrive."

Click here to see a lab video of the demonstration.

Arkin and his student, Justin Davis, have also created a simulation and demo based on birds that might bluff their way to safety. In Israel, Arabian babblers in danger of being attacked will sometimes join other birds and harass their predator. This mobbing process causes such a commotion that the predator will eventually give up the attack and leave.

Arkin's team investigated whether a simulated babbler is more likely to survive if it fakes or feigns strength when it doesn't exist. The team's simulations, based on biological models of dishonesty and the handicap principle, show that deception is the best strategy when the addition of deceitful agents pushes the size of the group to the minimum level required to frustrate the predator enough for it to flee. He says the reward for deceit in a few of the agents sometimes outweighs the risk of being caught.

"In military operations, a robot that is threatened might feign the ability to combat adversaries without actually being able to effectively protect itself," said Arkin. "Being honest about the robot's abilities risks capture or destruction. Deception, if used at the right time in the right way, could possibly eliminate or minimize the threat."

From the Trojan Horse to D-Day, deception has always played a role during wartime. In fact, there is an entire Army field manual on its use and value in the battlefield. But Arkin is the first to admit that there are serious ethical questions regarding robot deception behavior with humans.

"When these research ideas and results leak outside the military domain, significant ethical concerns can arise," said Arkin. "We strongly encourage further discussion regarding the pursuit and application of research on deception for robots and intelligent machines."

This isn't the first time Arkin has worked in this field. In 2010, he and Georgia Tech Research Institute Research Engineer Alan Wagner studied how robots could use deceptive behavior to hide from humans or other intelligent machines.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology/IEEE Intelligent Systems (Nov/Dec 2012)

Published December 2012

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