Omron release two new barometric sensors for mobile devices

Two new MEMS-based barometric pressure sensors from Omron Electronic Components Europe are specifically designed to support height and pressure measurement in drones, smartphones, pedometers and other battery powered mobile systems.

The new Omron 2SMPB-02B and 2SMPB-02E sensors provide stable and reliable height and pressure measurements, says the company, allowing changes in elevation of as little as 2 metres to be reliably recorded.

Developed as an evolution of the successful blood pressure gauge, the new sensors have been specifically remodelled for mobile applications and are smaller at just 2.0 x 2.5 x 0.85mm in size.  Continue reading Omron release two new barometric sensors for mobile devices

Framos and Pyxalis expand partnership on custom image sensors

Framos, an image sensor distributor, and Pyxalis, a advanced custom image sensor supplier, have extended their collaboration.

Framos has been working with Pyxalis for several years and, after a very productive relationship, have entered into a formal agreement.

This partnership provides Framos partners with fully customized, high performance sensors, including sensor specification elaboration support, sensor architecture, design, prototyping, validation, industrialization and manufacturing.  Continue reading Framos and Pyxalis expand partnership on custom image sensors

Smartphones have created a whole new world of opportunities, says Hillcrest Labs boss

Even for Apple, selling 60 million units of anything would be a big deal. For most small and medium sized companies, just six units might be the start of a wonderful voyage in the world of enterprise. 

For Hillcrest Labs, the journey started more than a decade ago, and over that time, the company has reached the milestone of having sold 60 million units.

Having started out selling software, the company moved into bundling that software into chips, which have become more elaborate over time and found an increasing number of applications.

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Chad Lucien, senior vice president of business development at Hillcrest Labs, tells the company’s story.  Continue reading Smartphones have created a whole new world of opportunities, says Hillcrest Labs boss

Researchers create ‘extremely small’ sensor using ‘white graphene’

Researchers from TU Delft in the Netherlands, in collaboration with a team at the University of Cambridge, have found a way to create and clean tiny mechanical sensors in a scalable manner.

They created these sensors by suspending a two-dimensional sheet of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), or “white graphene” over small holes in a silicon substrate. This innovation could lead to extremely small gas and pressure sensors for future electronics.

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is an interesting material, since it has a honeycomb lattice structure similar to that of graphite. But while graphite conducts electricity, h-BN acts as an insulator.  Continue reading Researchers create ‘extremely small’ sensor using ‘white graphene’

Neousys launches ARM-based IoT gateway

neousys igt-20

Neousys Technology has launched an industrial grade ARM-based gateway, which it calls IGT-20.

The company says unlike System on Module (SoM) that’s commonly provided as a barebone component, IGT-20 is based on AM3352 from Texas Instrument’s Sitara AM335x family and will be shipped as a ready system pre-installed with Debian.

The industrial nature of IGT-20 means it is in compliance with common industrial certifications such as CE/FCC, shock and vibration.  Continue reading Neousys launches ARM-based IoT gateway

Leuze launches new capacitive sensors for ‘reliable detection’ of objects and fill levels

leuze electronic capacitive sensors
The new capacitive sensors from Leuze

Leuze Electronic is expanding its portfolio of optoelectronic and inductive sensors with capacitive proximity switches, making it possible for users to obtain complete solutions for all detection requirements from a single source.

With its new range of capacitive products, Leuze electronic is introducing contactless, wear-free switches which are resistant to electromagnetic influences, interference and contaminants in the air such as dust.

The capacitive switches are available in cylindrical or cubic designs with flush and non-flush mounting options to suit the widest range of applications.  Continue reading Leuze launches new capacitive sensors for ‘reliable detection’ of objects and fill levels

Growing market for advanced driver assistance systems brings big bucks for Bosch

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Dirk Hoheisel, Bosch board member responsible for mobility solutions, making his presentation

The demand for advanced driver assistance systems is surging, according to Bosch, which says it pocketed almost $4 billion last year from supplying the technology. 

The company is developing a range of hardware and software solutions for what it calls automated driving, and one of them is an onboard artificial intelligence-driven computer, which will go into production within the next few years.

ADAS is often seen as autonomous – or driverless – car technology, except it’s integrated into cars already being purchased in large numbers today.  Continue reading Growing market for advanced driver assistance systems brings big bucks for Bosch

Innovative sensors are empowering the smart factory robot, says AMS

ams Industrial-Robotics

By Mark Donovan

The next industrial revolution is arriving on a shore near you. It’s called Industry 4.0, and like its three predecessors, it’s about to bring sweeping changes to manufacturing that will globally affect everyone.

Industry 4.0, and the resulting manufacturing changes that are coming with it, have spawned a new type of production plant called the smart factory.

Central to the smart factory is the prolific use of autonomous and collaborative robots that work symbiotically with each other and alongside human beings to yield a more productive and efficient manufacturing plant.  Continue reading Innovative sensors are empowering the smart factory robot, says AMS

Automation Direct launches new CPU for its programmable logic controllers

Automation Direct’s new CPU
Automation Direct’s new CPU 

Automation Direct has added two new “feature-enhanced” CPUs to its DirectLogic DL405 programmable logic controller product line.

The D4-454 and D4-454DC-1 provide all the capabilities of the D4-430, D4-440 and D4-450 CPUs, using updated microprocessor technology allowing the D4-454 to be the CPU of choice for the DL405 family.

Both D4-454 CPUs include a built-in power supply and four communication ports.  Continue reading Automation Direct launches new CPU for its programmable logic controllers

Energised by smartphones, sensors are driving the automotive industry

dsp concepts auto-measure

One of the main reasons why highly-sophisticated sensors have come down in price to affordable levels in the past few years is smartphones. 

The economies of scale achieved through having to produce literally billions of sensors for smartphones has established a strong manufacturing base for sensing technology.

And from that base, sensors are now driving many different markets, perhaps most interesting of which is the automotive market.  Continue reading Energised by smartphones, sensors are driving the automotive industry

Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

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German industrial giant Bosch is building a massive semiconductor production plant which would represent the single largest investment in the company’s 130-year history. 

The high-tech facility, to be located in Dresden, would employ around 700 staff working on 300-millimeter semiconductor chips which Bosch says has growing applications in the automotive market, smart cities and on the industrial internet, all strong markets for Bosch.

The construction of the high-tech factory is to be completed by the end of 2019, says Bosch, and production is expected to begin at the end of 2021 after a start-up phase. Overall, the investment volume for the site is estimated to be around $1.1 billion.  Continue reading Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Audi has demonstrated its autonomous car – which it calls “Jack” – in a road test featuring a humanoid robot called Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics.

Audi’s head of concept development, automated driving, Klaus Verweyen, was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, while Sophia was in the passenger seat.

Verweyen chatted away to Sophia as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Meanwhile, Jack drove itself from Audi’s facility onto a main highway and back again.  Continue reading Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Collaborative robotic system makes ‘monotonous and physically demanding tasks’ at BMW easier

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A worker at BMW Dingolfing, with the Kuka collaborative robot

The employees at BMW Group’s Dingolfing Plant have a new, highly responsive assistant: an LBR iiwa lightweight robot from Kuka, which they say takes over “monotonous and physically demanding tasks”. 

Previously, BMW employees had to lift a differential case which weighed up to 5.5 kg, and had to manoeuvre it with millimeter-precision, in the assembly of the front axle.

Now the robot is taking over this “ergonomically demanding work”.  Continue reading Collaborative robotic system makes ‘monotonous and physically demanding tasks’ at BMW easier

Quality control of rubber seals on the basis of height measurements

poscon hm

The measurement of object height is an important aspect in quality control applications. With the PosCon HM light-section sensor, Baumer says it offers a unique, compact measuring device for this kind of task.

The smart, pre-configured profile sensor offers five measurement modes for different measurement tasks. An exact positioning of the measured objects is not required.

The PosCon HM provides reliable measurements even on shiny and very dark surfaces. In conjunction with its high measuring accuracy of up to 2 μm, it is suitable for a large number of applications in at-line, off-line and in-line control.  Continue reading Quality control of rubber seals on the basis of height measurements

ATI Industrial Automation to hold technology fair in Michigan

ati industrial automation

ATI Industrial Automation will hold its Annual Technology Fair on August 10, 2017 at its Orion Township, Michigan facility.

The one-day educational event will focus on “Applications Advancing Automation”, providing attendees the opportunity to learn more about ATI’s products and hear from the industry-leading experts that use them every day.

The event will feature educational seminars hosted by ATI’s distinguished customers, as well as live robotic demonstrations of ATI’s tool changers, multi-axis force/torque sensors, robotic collision sensors and robotic deburring tools.  Continue reading ATI Industrial Automation to hold technology fair in Michigan