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Next big thing: Electric buses

December 10, 2012 9:06 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Electric cars are a very hot topic, particularly with Motor Trend picking the Tesla S as its Car of the Year, but rarely do you hear anyone talk about electric buses. America is not a country of public transportation. We lack the infrastructure—mostly due to the logistical complications of trying to accommodate for such a large geographical area

Top 10 must-see posts for November

December 6, 2012 3:38 pm | by The ECN Editors | Articles | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

Robotcolypse: When the robots take over

December 6, 2012 2:08 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Well friends, it appears the end is almost upon us. I’m not even referring to the end of the world a la the Mayan Calendar but rather an entirely different kind of a not-so-hostile takeover: robots. We’ve touched on robots taking over before, but this time, it’s getting serious. This robot was designed to actually replace humans.


Driverless vehicles expected to navigate intersection of safety, speed

December 5, 2012 8:49 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

How do driverless vehicles navigate through intersections? Faster and safer than if humans were in charge, according to researchers with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Autonomous vehicles will turn themselves over to an automated intersection controller, which adjusts the trajectory

12-volt LED work light assists with automotive repairs

November 30, 2012 3:28 pm | Larson Electronics Llc | Product Releases | Comments

Larson Electronics’ introduces the MUL-15-4V portable LED automotive work light with included magnetic base and cigarette lighter plug. Producing 720 lumens and incorporating a rugged handle and magnetic mounting base, this portable unit is ideal for use during automotive repairs at the track or after dark.

Ultracapacitors ideal for high-efficiency energy management systems

November 29, 2012 3:45 pm | Maxwell Technologies | Product Releases | Comments

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. announced  that it is supplying ultracapacitors for a high-efficiency energy management system that powers multimedia entertainment, lighting and air ventilation systems in the Emirates Air Line, the UK’s first urban cable car, carrying passengers across London’s River Thames.

Japanese man's childhood dreams give birth to giant robot

November 29, 2012 9:07 am | by Reuters | News | Comments

Like many Japanese, Kogoro Kurata grew up watching futuristic robots in movies and animation, wishing that he could bring them to life and pilot one himself. Unlike most other Japanese, he has actually done it. His 4-tonne, 4-meter (13 feet) tall Kuratas robot is a grey behemoth with a built-in pilot's seat and .

Ah, that new car smell: NASA technology protects spacecraft from outgassed molecular contaminants

November 20, 2012 9:45 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Outgassing — the physical process that creates that oh-so-alluring new car smell — isn't healthy for humans and, as it turns out, not particularly wholesome for sensitive satellite instruments, either. But a team of NASA engineers has created a new way to protect those instruments from its ill effects.


Feedthrough capacitors rated at 200A

November 20, 2012 9:36 am | Product Releases | Comments

For high power EMI filtering applications, where high current ratings are required, Syfer Technology has announced the SLV range of DC and AC feedthrough capacitors rated at 200A. This complements the extension to the existing SLG range rated at 100A. Typical applications for both ranges are considered to be IT servers....

Through-hole dot matrix display offers high performance, easy to use

November 19, 2012 3:48 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd. announces the ELMM-457SURCB/A3, a high performance, easy to use through-hole dot matrix display driven by packaged IC. Each display can be directly interfaced with a microprocessor. The serial IC interface allows the display of 104 built-in characters and 24 custom

In defense of the Tesla Model S

November 19, 2012 9:10 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

When Motor Trend announced an electric car was their pick for Car of the Year, something tells me you could have heard a pin drop in the car world. An electric car? They must have rigged the vote.Well, my friends, I hate to break it to you, but Consumer Reports just agreed with Motor Trend,

Fundamentals of battery fuel-gauging

November 16, 2012 10:49 am | by Karthik Kadirvel, Texas Instruments, | Articles | Comments

The battery fuel gauging system is the component responsible for determining the energy remaining in the battery. In this article, a battery fuel gauging system used in single-cell applications is described. This is followed by a discussion of the various algorithms used by the fuel-gauging system to determine battery capacity along with the pros and cons of the algorithms.

This “smart” traffic light could cut commutes by 60 percent

November 14, 2012 11:08 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Were you aware of the fact that you waste one week per year sitting in traffic? One week per year. That is 7 days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, stuck in traffic.  Not only is it a huge waste of time, breathing in the exhaust fumes while you sit and mentally-fume can actually be dangerous to your health


Ultra-low noise mixed-signal chip improves performance in Siemens X-ray computed tomography scanner

November 14, 2012 10:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

ams announced that it is supplying a highly integrated ASIC which enables a new Siemens photo-detector module for computer tomography (CT) to deliver higher resolution images at lower X-ray dosages. The ams ASIC, which is part of Siemens’ new Stellar CT photo-detector module, captures and digitizes images of a patient’s body.

Embedded multimedia card solutions designed for the automotive industry

November 13, 2012 4:46 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Micron Technology, Inc. announced embedded multimedia card (e•MMC™) solutions optimized for the automotive segment.  Earlier this year Micron announced the expansion of its e•MMC portfolio for a wide range of industrial applications and other key embedded markets.

Magnetic position sensors excel in safety-critical automotive applications

November 13, 2012 4:18 pm | Product Releases | Comments

ams has introduced a new family of magnetic rotary position sensors with advanced safety features for automotive applications requiring ISO26262 compliance. Highly integrated systems-on-chip, all magnetic rotary position sensors from ams incorporate Hall magnetic sensing elements, an analog front end and digital signal processing to produce accurate and precise angle measurements.

Automotive radar transmitter designed for active safety applications

November 13, 2012 11:55 am | Analog Devices, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Freescale Semiconductor introduced the new Xtrinsic PRDTX11101 automotive radar transmitter for active safety applications, such as adaptive cruise control. The industry’s first 77 GHz silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS transmitter features an integrated voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and power amplifier for greater control,

Pressure sensor designed for automotive engine management, efficiency applications

November 13, 2012 11:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Freescale Semiconductor is adding three new pin-for-pin compatible pressure sensor replacements for the MPXHZ6000 family to its portfolio of Xtrinsic pressure sensors for automotive engine management and efficiency applications. The MPXHZ9000 absolute temperature compensated....

DC/DC converter meets industrial rail standards

November 12, 2012 9:41 am | Product Releases | Comments

Schaefer announces the PRC-240 Series of DC/DC converters that provide 240W  of power in a compact, chassis mount package.    The PRP-240 Series has versions that meet industrial (EN60950) or rail (EN50155) standards.  Standard nominal input voltages are 24VDC, 48VDC, 72VDC, and 110VDC.

Do you have what it takes to be a Roundtable expert?

November 8, 2012 11:11 am | Articles | Comments

In October, we asked you for your words of wisdom for a brand-new design engineer and boy, did you guys have advice in spades. The responses we received were so good in fact, we’ve decided to open up our December Roundtable to our faithful readers in hopes that you can offer more words of wisdom. 

Engineering Newswire 10: Amphibious ATV rides on water, for $40K

November 7, 2012 9:32 am | Videos | Comments

Today on Engineering Newswire, brought to you by Memory Protection Devices, we're building nanoscale structures with metal, solving the iPhone's picture problems, manufacturing 40 custom coupés, engineering Porsche's greatest model yet, and designing an amphibious ATV.

DC/DC converter developed for transportation, industrial applications

November 6, 2012 2:38 pm | Murata Power Solutions Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

The Murata Power Solutions RUW15 series of 15 W ultra-wide single output isolated DC-DC converters has been developed for transportation and industrial applications where the input voltage may vary widely and a hold-up capability is required. Accommodating an extremely wide input range from 16 to 160 VDC,

Custom gear boxes designed for high torque, low speed applications

November 5, 2012 10:34 am | Product Releases | Comments

Applimotion introduces custom gear motors for your high torque low speed and low profile applications. The assemblies combine precision gearing and direct drive frameless motor kits to form a new high torque alternative to coupling a servo motor to a traditional gear box.

Multiple Code Reading Applications Made Easy

November 2, 2012 11:32 am | by Cognex | White Papers

Reading more than one barcode at a time is a challenging application for many manufacturing and material handling engineers. In these applications there is a need to read multiple codes of the same symbology as well as multiple codes of mixed symbologies within one field of view (FOV). Even more difficult is reading one or more codes on multiple sides of a package to verify that the codes match or to output both sides’ read results as one piece of data. Laser scanners have difficulty reading codes that are poorly printed, damaged or defective, are at extreme perspectives and that are omnidirectional. They cannot manage when variations occur in part and package positioning. And they cannot read 2-D codes at all, which means that they have no way to compete in two of the four types of multiple code reading applications we commonly see. Image-based code reading technology can handle much more variation in barcode printing than traditional laser scanners and can also read codes presented at any angle or omnidirectionally. Additionally, the life of an image-based scanner, with no moving parts, is longer and more reliable than a mechanical based laser scanner. With this information, image-based barcode reading solutions make a great replacement for laser scanners even when reading single barcodes and are especially exceptional with multiple barcodes of the same or different symbology types

Top 10 must-see posts from October

November 1, 2012 1:49 pm | by The ECN Editors | Articles | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

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