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Robotic Hand can 'feel'

November 17, 2009 7:00 am | Comments

In a key scene in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker has his hand chopped off, and before the movie’s over, he has a fresh, robotic one in its place. This is no longer the stuff of fantasy—researchers at Tel Aviv University, in conjunction with a team of EU scientists, have created an artificial hand that can “feel.”

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Brushless DC motor control techniques

November 16, 2009 9:51 am | Comments

Motor designs tend to evolve slowly, and engineers are generally cautious when it comes to changing time-honored approaches. Lately though, there has been a plethora of activity around the use of advanced control techniques for Brushless DC motors (also called synchronous AC motors).

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Design Talk: Software

November 16, 2009 6:09 am | Comments

Today's mobile phones boast computing capabilities once found in mainframe computers and workstations. Mobile CPU clocks run hundreds of MHz, and mobile 32 bit processors access gigabytes of memory.

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Thin-Film Piezoelectric Film Technology in Medical Device Applications

November 16, 2009 5:27 am | by Jon Dent, Product Manager, Digi-Key Corporation & Pete Smith, Senior Application Specialist, Measurement Specialties, Inc. | Comments

A growing need for sensors within the medical device market has illustrated renewed OEM focus on design efficiencies, patient comfort and enhanced quality of life. The application environment itself is uniquely stringent, with regulatory compliance standards, such as FDA approvals on Class III implantable medical devices...

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Coffee chain adopts LED lighting

November 12, 2009 11:32 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

A certain eco-conscious purveyor of roasted beans (rhymes with dar-nucks) has announced plans to adopt solid state lighting in more than 8,000 stores by the end of next year. Utilizing GE lighting solutions, Starbucks has already “converted” more than 1,000 U.S. locations, with plans to address the international market in March 2010.

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Instrument Calibrates Two Temperature Sensors Simultaneously

November 12, 2009 10:38 am | Comments

E Instruments’ HC-DB35 calibrator can calibrate two temperature sensors simultaneously or at two different temperatures in quick time. The HC-DB35 dual dry block calibrator is appropriate with fast heating and cooling times. Features include a cold range of -35°C to 123°C, hot 50°C to 350°C; accuracy: cold ±0.5°C, hot ±0.1 percent FS + one digit; stability:

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PCB Software Boasts New Miniaturization Capabilities

November 12, 2009 10:35 am | Comments

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced the latest release of its Cadence Allegro and OrCAD printed circuit board (PCB) software. The Allegro and OrCAD PCB Design Release 16.3 brings PCB engineers the ability to

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Micro Push-Pull Connectors Suit Medical Apps

November 12, 2009 10:32 am | Comments

Binder-USA introduced its Series 420 micro push-pull connectors. This style of connector is commonly used for small applications in the medical and commercial industries. The push-pull cable connectors have a maximum diameter of 9.5 mm and accept cables with diameters ranging from

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Design Talk: Automation

November 5, 2009 6:38 am | Comments

Your job as a test engineer is to automate test equipment to verify your company’s products.  Many of you spend way too much time learning how to program that test equipment.  Have you ever quickly and successfully configured an instrument from its front panel or Web interface and then spent hours or days trying to do that same task programmatically?

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Brainstorm- Advanced Technology Vehicles

November 5, 2009 6:35 am | Comments

Apart from MPG, what’s a fair way to measure the efficiency of advanced technology vehicles?

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ECN Media Kit

October 23, 2009 3:28 pm | Comments

X-Files fans, conspiracy theorists, and the tinfoil hat crowd were right all along! Sorta… In the 1950s, the US government really was building a flying saucer. But it didn’t involve little green men, human-alien hybrids, or David Duchovny; this isn’t what you’d call a "smoking gun."

What Automotive Engineers are Missing When it Comes to Power Sources

October 16, 2009 7:41 am | by Chad Hall, COO of Ioxus | Comments

The demand for better and more efficient power sources in the automotive industry has been a driving force behind research in battery technology, capacitor technology, and electronic power supply design. In order to utilize energy as efficiently as possible, automotive engineers began by reducing the gross weight of an automobile

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Comparing motor-control techniques

October 13, 2009 7:10 am | by Daniel Torres, Applications Engineer, Microchip | Comments

The majority of motor-control designers are consistently and continuously looking for methods to improve efficiency while reducing system cost. These are the two main factors that are driving the efforts to improve existing motor designs and motor-control techniques. A good example of this trend is the Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM).

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Designing an EMC-Compliant Automotive Switching Buck Regulator

October 12, 2009 6:31 am | by John Rice and Sanmukh Patel, Texas Instruments | Comments

The automobile is changing and so, too, are the electronics that make them run. The most radical example is the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) where a 300-400V Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery replaces the gas tank

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Tech Advances Impact Motion Control

October 8, 2009 6:09 am | by Chuck Lewin, Founder & VP of Engineering, Performance Motion Devices | Comments

There are a number of technology trends that are profoundly changing how engineers are designing machines with motion control. Two among these stand out for their potential impact on cost, ease of assembly, and serviceability. These are the continual reduction of the size of the motion amplifier, and the advent of low cost, high-speed digital networks.

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