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Driving a Car with an iPhone, Part 2 - How To (Video)

November 10, 2009 8:36 am | News | Comments

A group of engineers from National Instruments, called Waterloo Labs, created an iPhone app that can drive a car. In part 2, they give a detailed explanation of how they designed and implemented our control system. This video provides more details about the motor assembly, the wireless communication...

Driving a Car with an iPhone, Part 1 - Overview (Video)

November 10, 2009 6:26 am | News | Comments

A group of engineers from National Instruments, called Waterloo Labs, created an iPhone app that can drive a car. See below. Part 1 includes an overview of how NI turned an Oldsmobile Delta 88' into a remote control car in just a few weeks.  They built their control systems using a few motors, potentiometers, a CompactRIO embedded controller, and LabVIEW.

Design Talk: Automation

November 5, 2009 6:38 am | Articles | 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 | Articles | Comments

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

Russia to ban incandescent bulbs

October 16, 2009 10:31 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Russia has jumped on the CFL bandwagon, and decided to ban the incandescent bulb. As of January 1, 2014, the manufacture and sale of all incandescent bulbs will be prohibited in Russia.

What Automotive Engineers are Missing When it Comes to Power Sources

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

CEC holds hearing on TV regulations

October 15, 2009 8:55 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Back in March, we reported on the California Energy Commission’s proposal to set a cap on the maximum active mode power usage (watts) for TV’s. All units above the maximum would be banned for sale in California—this would preclude the vast majority of Plasma, DLP, and Rear-projection TV’s.

George Soros to invest $1 billion in “green tech”

October 13, 2009 6:00 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Earlier, we reported that global investments in renewable energy had dipped 40% from 2008-09—thus, the following comes as welcome news. George Soros has decided to invest $1 billion of his own money into “green technologies.” Soros issued a clear directive on how his money ought to be spent

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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 | Articles | 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

Testing Wind Turbines To Power Cell Phone Towers

October 12, 2009 4:32 am | Blogs | Comments

Helix Wind Corporation gave an update today on its efforts to provide cost-effective renewable energy solutions to telecommunications companies. Helix’s wind turbines can lower the costs of operating expenses associated with cell phone towers in remote locations.

Institute unveils efficient redox flow battery

October 9, 2009 10:09 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) has developed a redox flow battery that could become the gold standard in Advanced Technology Vehicles. If the claims hold up, this battery would be a true breakthrough. There’s nothing revolutionary about the concept of redox flow batteries.

Israelis bring green power to West Bank village

October 9, 2009 5:41 am | Blogs | Comments

Residents of a West Bank village with no electricity have been helped out of the darkness by unlikely benefactors - a group of Israelis who installed solar panels and wind turbines to illuminate the Palestinians' makeshift homes. The villagers of Susya live in tents and caves with power lines darting right above their dwellings

Climate watch: choosing Kyoto's successor

October 8, 2009 12:23 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Global investments in renewable energy technology dipped 40% from 2008-09—this according to United Nations Industrial Development Organization Director, General Kandeh Yumkella. “Due to the current economic crisis we have seen almost a 40 percent decline in 2009 alone in these investments,” said Yumkella at a global conference on green energy in central Mexico.

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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 | Articles | 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.

EPA’s Energy Star Label Now Available for Four Types of Glass and Food Processing Plants

October 7, 2009 7:31 am | Blogs | Comments

From strawberry jam jars to frozen french fries, the manufacturing plants that make several well-known container and food items in the United States can now earn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for superior energy efficiency. The new Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs) for flat and container glass manufacturing plants

OLED Display Technology and Capabilities

October 6, 2009 10:20 am | by Oliver Nachbaur, Systems Engineering Manager – Display Power, Texas Instruments | Blogs | Comments

The organic light emitting diode (OLED) display is becoming more and more popular, especially for mobile phones, media player and small entry level TVs. Contrary to a standard liquid crystal display, the OLED pixel is driven by a current source. To understand how and why the OLED power supply impacts the display picture quality, it is key to understand the OLED display technology and power supply requirements.

Toshiba to release highly-efficient LED bulbs

October 6, 2009 6:42 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Toshiba will become a big player in optoelectronics—if their lighting division has its druthers. The company will release high-output LED light bulbs with a total flux equivalent to that of a 60 W incandescent lamp. The “natural white” type and the warm white type feature total fluxes of 810 lm and 600 lm, respectively.

Driving 3-Phase Induction Motors

October 6, 2009 5:57 am | by Dr. Stephan Chmielus, Fairchild Semiconductor, Germany | Articles | Comments

Although an increasing interest and use of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM) can be observed during the last decade, the standard 3-phase Induction Motor (IM) is still the most widely used electrical motor. The simplest way to start an IM is to connect the motor directly to the 3-phase main supply.

RF Thin film Passive Devices

October 6, 2009 5:16 am | by Bharat Rawal and Chris Reynolds, AVX | Articles | Comments

An RF designer’s wish list for an ideal high frequency capacitor would include extremely high temperature stability, a sharp self resonance (high Q) free from harmonics, extremely tight capacitance tolerance, low ESR (equivalent S\series R\resistance), low ESL (equivalent series inductance), complete reproducibility

Dow to Sell Solar Roof Shingles

October 6, 2009 5:14 am | by Matt Daily | Blogs | Comments

Dow Chemical Co said on Monday it would begin selling a new rooftop shingle next year that converts sunlight into electricity -- and could generate $5 billion in revenue by 2015 for the company. The new solar shingles can be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingles, Dow said, and will be introduced in 2010 before a wider roll-out in 2011.

Kits for Kids, November 2009

October 5, 2009 11:17 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Young people with an interest in electronics still have a cornucopia of kits to start with. As a youngster I had a crystal radio that picked up several local stations I listened to with a small headphone. You can still buy crystal-radio kits and many cost under $20.

Real-LIfe Crook-Catching Web Game Launched

October 5, 2009 6:14 am | News | Comments

A new internet game is about to be launched which allows 'super snooper' players to plug into the nation's CCTV cameras and report on members of the public committing crimes.

North American pro sports leagues in a twitter over tweeting

October 5, 2009 5:52 am | by Steve Keating, Reuters | News | Comments

North America's professional sports leagues are all a twitter over tweeting and have pushed through guidelines to ban player access to social networking sites during games. Following the lead of the NFL and NBA, the NHL said it

PID Loops in Software applications

October 5, 2009 5:34 am | by M. Simon, retired Aerospace electronics consultant | Articles | Comments

I want to take a look at PID loops and how they are typically handled in software. I'm going to contrast how the motor control folks do things vs. how the chemical industry folks do things. Now there are all kinds of things you can control with such a loop (in a motor control context).

The Role of Pressure Sensors in Medical Devices

October 5, 2009 5:16 am | by Robert Guziak, Sr. Engineering Manager & Lori Appel-- Manager, Marketing Communications, Kavlico | Articles | Comments

The current state of healthcare today in the US is one which focuses upon cost containment, while at the same time, providing the advancements of modern technology to an aging population.  Finding effective treatment methods at affordable levels, while at the same time providing patients with high quality care is certainly a tightrope act many healthcare providers walk.

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