Continental expands advanced driver assistance systems business in Asia

Continental is expanding its advanced driver assistance systems business in Asia and expects sales to reach $2.2 billion a year by 2020.

The company says it is on course to achieve €1 billion in sales this year, and is aiming to capitalise on this growth by developing its Asian operations.

Continental says it will increase production capacity for radar sensors in the Philippines and China, and accelerate its knowledge transfer and staff expansion.

Continental is estimated to be the market leader in advanced driver assistance systems, which is in essence autonomous car technology.

Continue reading Continental expands advanced driver assistance systems business in Asia

Making sense of big data: Graph technology and machine learning

Machine learning and graph technology

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at EU Automation, looks at how graph technology and machine learning can be used to make sense of big data in the manufacturing industry

The theory of six degrees of separation, first proposed in 1929, suggested that every individual in the world was connected to anyone else in no more than five links. 

Today, social networking tools and graph technology can accurately map and extract valuable insights from the relationships between various entities in a network. 

Networks can also be analysed by machine learning, a technique in which a computer can adapt its own algorithms.  Continue reading Making sense of big data: Graph technology and machine learning

OR Lasertechnologie claims its additive manufacturing technique ‘extends life of sensors’

or lasertechnolgie

An additive manufacturing technique called DMD (direct metal deposition) developed by OR Lasertechnologie in Dieburg, Germany is claimed to enable reliable protection of sensor elements by means of a hard alloy.

OR claims it makes it possible to significantly extend the lifetimes sensors, for example in pipelines of the oil and gas industry.

Industrial sensors are very sensitive components. They are deployed to precisely and reliably monitor temperatures, flow rates, and pressure over long periods of time, for example in oil and gas pipelines.  Continue reading OR Lasertechnologie claims its additive manufacturing technique ‘extends life of sensors’

The role of humans in the testing of autonomous cars

autonomous car simulation

Ansible Motion develops driving simulators for autonomous car engineering, but with one important additional component — the human driver 

The interest in, and momentum assigned to, the introduction of autonomous cars may appear substantial to anyone catching articles in the media.

We can certainly find plenty of aspirational images of happy people reading books or watching films whilst travelling down the motorway.  Excellent.  But our lovely ‘digital living space’ will require substantial validation before we get down that road.

With hundreds of (computer) processors and sensors required to offer even simple driver assistance systems, signing off a fully autonomous car with any level of confidence is not going to be an easy assignment for vehicle manufacturers. And that sign off is going to need some human involvement. Continue reading The role of humans in the testing of autonomous cars

Pepperl+Fuchs launches new sensor for internet of things

pepperl+fuchs sensorik 4.0 sensor

Sensorik 4.0: Cloud-based sensor for the internet of things 

Sensors are valuable sources of information and can also be used outside of conventional machine and plant engineering to optimize processes and conserve resources.

The Internet of Things opens up new possibilities for networking even sensors spread over long distances. Sensor signals can be provided at exactly the right time in the place where the information contained in the signals can be used profitably.

For example, the detection of filling levels using modern sensor technology is possible in most cases with lesser or greater ease. Where containers are spread over long distances, however, greater cost is often involved with the transmission of sensor signals. Continue reading Pepperl+Fuchs launches new sensor for internet of things

Rapid growth of online orders welcomes robotics technology, says Axium

axium DP240-2

One click. Delivered right to your door. Guaranteed overnight delivery. The messages are alluring, says Axium Solutions

Convenience has spurred e-commerce’s growth, with more and more retailers stepping up big-time to promote their online wares.

E-commerce annual sales estimates range from $750 billion to $1.2 trillion for that huge digital partner and sometime nemesis of the bricks and mortar store.

Ever-shortening delivery times and an ever-widening range of choice have become goals on-line retailers all strive toward to attract shoppers.  Continue reading Rapid growth of online orders welcomes robotics technology, says Axium

Panasonic releases ‘improved’ Grid-Eye infrared array sensors

panasonic grideye_2nd_generation

New sensors have lower NETD, high accuracy and increased detection distance, says Panasonic

Panasonic  has released the much improved and accurate second generation of its Grid-EYE infrared array sensors.

The new high gain types (AMG8833 and AMG8834) and low gain types (AMG8853 and AMG8854) of Grid-Eye 2nd Generation now benefit from an improved Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) of 0.16°C at 10Hz and of 0.05°C at 1 Hz.

For all Grid-Eye 2nd Generation models the detection distance has improved from 5m up to 7m.  Continue reading Panasonic releases ‘improved’ Grid-Eye infrared array sensors

Liquid Robotics ocean robot swims 3,000 miles to protect fish in Hawaii

liquid robotics wave rider

Liquid Robotics says its Wave Glider ocean robot swam 2,808 nautical miles (5,200 km) to the Big Island of Hawaii after successfully completing a four-month patrol mission of the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary.

This achievement represents a fundamental enabling capability for unmanned systems as it proves the feasibility and flexibility of autonomous mission deployment.

Using the Wave Glider platform, Liquid Robotics’ customers are able to deploy sensors in the most remote marine locations without sending a large ship for recovery.  Continue reading Liquid Robotics ocean robot swims 3,000 miles to protect fish in Hawaii

Omron launches its first IO-Link-compliant factory automation devices

omron factory automation devices

Omron says its IO-Link-compliant factory automation devices will make production equipment smarter 

Omron is launching the IO-Link-compliant Photoelectric Sensors E3Z, Color Mark Photoelectric Sensors E3S-DC Series, Proximity Sensors E2E and E2EQ Series, and IO-Link Master Units GX and NX Series all at once as a first step of integrating sensors into the internet of things (IoT). 

The company says its new technologies are “ideal for use at manufacturing sites”.

Omron says the launch of the IO-Link-compliant sensors is a “big step” in making production equipment smarter to add various information and communication functions to over 100,000 specifications of control components for factory automation devices and achieve integration of factory automation and information and communications technology.  Continue reading Omron launches its first IO-Link-compliant factory automation devices

LeddarTech on a mission to master the auto electronics and software components markets

leddartech

LeddarTech unveils its masterplan for ending automakers’ domination of the electronics and software components markets 

LeddarTech has unveiled key insights about its LeddarCore integrated circuits roadmap, which the company says is set to enable low-cost, high-performance solid-state LiDARs  for multiple automotive safety applications – from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to autonomous driving.

During the Sensors Expo held in San Jose, LeddarTech’s management confirmed that two LeddarCore IC programs are in the works: the LC-A2, targeting the automation layers 1 to 3, with the first samples scheduled for the second half of 2017, and the LC-A3, which will meet the specifications for automation layers 2 to 4, with an expected sample availability in 2018.  Continue reading LeddarTech on a mission to master the auto electronics and software components markets

This sensor enables cameras to see in cinematic vision even in total darkness, says its maker

InVisage Spark4K sample structured light image
InVisage Spark4K sample structured light image

InVisage says its Spark4K near-infrared sensor brings cinematic resolution, high dynamic range, and low power Consumption to cameras and other devices 

InVisage claims its Spark4K is the world’s highest resolution IR sensor with 35 per cent quantum efficiency at 940 nm, dynamic pixel sizing, global shutter, and up to “50 times less system power consumption” – less than what the company left us in the dark about.   

InVisage Technologies, the pioneering developer of QuantumFilm camera sensors, launched the Spark4K near-infrared (NIR) camera sensor.

A 1.1-micron pixel, 13-megapixel sensor in a 1/3-inch module, Spark4K features the world’s highest NIR resolution packing 4K video at 30 frames per second, making it ideal for augmented reality, autonomous, and authentication systems that require high-resolution, high dynamic range NIR imaging with global shutter capability.  Continue reading This sensor enables cameras to see in cinematic vision even in total darkness, says its maker

Clever idea to place eyes on robot hand helps machine to map surroundings and location

carnegie mellon uni Ada Mico hand

Before a robot arm can reach into a tight space or pick up a delicate object, the robot needs to know precisely where its hand is.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have shown that a camera attached to the robot’s hand can rapidly create a 3-D model of its environment and also locate the hand within that 3-D world.

Doing so with imprecise cameras and wobbly arms in real-time is tough, but the CMU team found they could improve the accuracy of the map by incorporating the arm itself as a sensor, using the angle of its joints to better determine the pose of the camera.

This would be important for a number of applications, including inspection tasks, said Matthew Klingensmith, a PhD student in robotics.  Continue reading Clever idea to place eyes on robot hand helps machine to map surroundings and location

Infineon supplies CERN with sensors to detect dark matter

The giant atom-smashing machine at CERN
The giant atom-smashing machine at CERN

Dark matter is the mysterious and elusive target for the world’s scientists now

Ninety-five percent of the universe is still considered unexplored. Scientists at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics research center, located in Geneva, are working on solving these mysteries.

In May 2012, researchers there discovered the so-called Higgs Boson, whose prediction won Peter Higgs and François Englert the Nobel prize in physics.

One of the things CERN scientists are researching at the moment is dark matter: Although it may well have five times the mass of visible matter in the universe, this extent can only be indirectly proved. With a bit of luck, CERN will also succeed in generating dark matter.  Continue reading Infineon supplies CERN with sensors to detect dark matter

Reinventing the shopping trolley wheel

shopping trolleys

Sony used to be regarded as one of the very best technology companies in the world, but in the past few years the electronics giant has claimed that it’s had to deal with a few setbacks. Its mobile phone business is not as successful as it would like it to be, and the market it was hoping would lift its fortunes – sensors – is also said to be going through a less profitable phase.

It’s difficult to know what mind games these large, multinational corporations like Sony are playing, because even as it gives the impression of having to deal with struggles and challenges, its profits from smartphones are up 133 per cent, according to a report CNBC.com. Up 133 per cent? There’s probably plenty of companies who’d welcome having to struggle with 133 per cent increases in profits. Unless Sony staff are having to take all the money in rather large and heavy coins, one wonders what the struggle is.

However, Sony’s sensor business is reportedly not doing as well, with lower sales and fewer orders. Sony had previously said it would concentrate more on the sensor market, suggesting that it believed the technology was its way out of the current “struggle”.  Continue reading Reinventing the shopping trolley wheel

Driverless tech likely to trickle into consumer industry, says ASI Robots

asi robots

At the end of last year, ten of the world’s largest consumer vehicle manufacturers combined to announce that automated emergency braking systems would be a standard feature in all new vehicle models produced by the companies. The move is designed to reduce the number of rear end collisions which make up about a third of all accidents.

While each manufacturer’s system would work differently, the fundamental concept is the same: if forward facing sensors detect a slower moving or stopped vehicle ahead, the brakes automatically engage without driver intervention.

“We are entering an era of vehicle safety, focused on preventing crashes from ever occurring, rather than just protecting occupants when crashes happen,” said Anthony Foxx, US Transportation Secretary in the Los Angeles Times article. Continue reading Driverless tech likely to trickle into consumer industry, says ASI Robots