Hobbyists, tinkers, and DIYers are the unsung heroes of our industry — "hackers" in the original sense of the word. But conflating "hobbyists" with "guns" causes fits of hysteria. And it’s entirely unwarranted. The handwringing over the imagined capability to print 3D guns and the associated moral implications is absolutely absurd and betrays a basic misunderstanding of firearms and physics.
Engineers responsible for mechatronics development have always known that it’s not just PCs that...
These words from a medical-alert pendant commercial became a humorous catchphrase in pop culture...
Wireless and wired technologies have advanced to the point where automated control systems are routinely networked together. Information can be shared and tasks performed across long distances, via the Internet, linking systems in large industrial spaces, or across remote or rugged areas. Networked control systems (NCS) offer many benefits such as far greater efficiency than manual controls....
We asked our industry experts and ECN readers to weigh in on our distributors question: What improvements would you like to see from distributors in the next 12 months? Here is what they had to say about the current state of the industry and hot it needs to be improved...
Commercial and military aircraft manufacturers are promoting the replacement of older hydraulic and pneumatic control systems by lighter and more efficient, electrically-driven systems through a trend known as MEA, or More Electric Aircraft.
An electrolytic capacitor has two electrodes, one with a dielectric, that relies on electrostatic charge storage. A battery has electrodes that store energy faradaically in electrochemical reactions involving the electrodes and electrolyte. A hybrid capacitor is the combination of two electrodes, one that stores charge electrostatically, and the other storing charge faradaically.
Smart electronics reduce energy consumption and improve performance of piezoelectric ultrasonic motorsMay 16, 2013 2:10 pm | by David Henderson, co-CEO, New Scale Technologies, Inc., www.newscaletech.com | Comments
Piezoelectric ultrasonic motors (piezo motors) are a distinct class of rotary and linear actuators requiring unique driving circuits to achieve practical, reliable, precise and efficient operation. A piezo motor uses the ultrasonic vibrations (greater than 20 kHz) of a “stator” structure that is frictionally coupled to a moving slide or rotating shaft. Piezo motors with operating frequencies from 40 to 700 kHz are commercially available.
From the small vibrating motors in cell phones to the more complex motors used in household washing machines and air conditioners, motors have become everyday fixtures in the consumer world. The energy consumed by all these motors is significant...
Field effect transistors (FETs) are important semiconductor devices because they are fundamental components of many devices and electronic instruments. Some of the countless applications for FETs include their use as amplifiers, memory devices, switches, logic devices, and sensors.
The advent of wireless connectivity in the home automation market has enabled developers to create many innovative products that make end users feel safer and more aware of their personal property. Remote tamper detection is one example of innovation made possible through wireless connectivity.
Forming a beam or multiple beams with an electronically scanned array antenna has found utility in a number of applications. These include radar, communication systems, radio astronomy and others. An array antenna consists of multiple antennas or radiating elements that each transmits a signal....
It’s hard to believe some 20 years after Internet became available to most Americans that many of our neighbors are still not only offline but computer illiterate as well. I was reminded of that fact in March when the Governor of New Jersey proposed that the unemployed in the state, as a condition to receive their benefits, use the state’s jobs listing web site each week.
Choosing the right power supply design is imperative for an overall successful product. With the ongoing goal of increased density, reliability, and efficiencies, power ratings need to be reviewed carefully. Product life, temperature, input voltage, load, and cooling are vital considerations,
The Qi standard is the only non-proprietary solution for wireless charging available in products today. It works by generating a safe electromagnetic field between a charger and a device through a well-established process called magnetic induction. Qi chargers have a built-in transmitting coil, so any Qi device will work with any Qi charger, now and in the future.
Wireless power is slowly evolving to help make charging second-nature to the consumer. In Japan, for instance, several portable devices are available that support wireless charging.As more portable devices that offer wireless charging capabilities enter the market, the need for standards naturally will follow.
Touchscreens are everywhere! While the means by which they detect a touch has evolved over the years, more recently you might say they have revolved as old technologies are reopened and rechristened anew. (I’m looking at you, optical touch.) Touchscreens are finding their way into our homes and our everyday consumer devices.
Sensors have been an important addition to smartphones ever since accelerometers were first used to determine screen orientation. Now a wide variety of sensors, including magnetometers, barometers, and gyroscopes, are found in many other devices, such as watches, glasses, headsets, and shoes.