Nidec to acquire SV Probe in sign that electronics manufacturing is heating up

Industrial technology company Nidec is to acquire SV Probe, which manufactures what are called “probe cards” and testing equipment for semiconductors. 

The deal would give Nidec subsidiary Nidec-Read 100 per cent of SV Probe’s shares.

Nidec-Read’s main business is the development, manufacturing and sales of inspection equipment for semiconductor package substrates and printed circuit boards, as well as inspection fixture.  Continue reading Nidec to acquire SV Probe in sign that electronics manufacturing is heating up

General Motors produces new fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles

Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at GM
Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)

Company claims to be the first company to use mass-production methods for autonomous and electric vehicles

General Motors says it has completed production of 130 Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles equipped with its next generation of self-driving technology at its Orion Assembly Plant located in Orion Township, Michigan.

The vehicles will join the more than 50 current-generation self-driving Bolt EVs already deployed in testing fleets in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and metro Detroit.

GM CEO Mary Barra says: “This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality.

“Expansion of our real-world test fleet will help ensure that our self-driving vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality that we build into all of our vehicles.”  Continue reading General Motors produces new fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles

US government set to change driverless vehicle regulations under pressure from automakers

Audi-Autonomous-Vehicle

US President Donald Trump is set to announce “within the next few months” new regulations that will eliminate the barriers to autonomous cars on the roads, according to a report on Reuters

The current transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, acknowledged that automakers have been calling for rule changes which will give them more freedom to test and develop autonomous cars.

Chao says: “The pressure is mounting for the federal government to do something. We don’t want rules that impede future technological advances.”  Continue reading US government set to change driverless vehicle regulations under pressure from automakers

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

UPS completes testing of drone delivery system developed by Workhorse

UPS says it has successfully tested a drone that launches from the top of a UPS package car, autonomously delivers a package to a home and then returns to the vehicle while the delivery driver continues along the route to make a separate delivery.

UPS conducted the test on Monday in Tampa, Florida with Workhorse Group, an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone developer. Workhorse built the drone and the electric UPS package car used in the test.

Mark Wallace, senior vice-president of global engineering and sustainability at UPS, says: “This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel kilometres to make a single delivery.

“Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are kilometres apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly kilometres driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.” Continue reading UPS completes testing of drone delivery system developed by Workhorse

Panasonic to test self-driving car tech in Colorado

panasonic gebhardt ces
Panasonic’s Gebhardt making the presentation at CES

lockElectronics and industrial components giant Panasonic is planning to test its autonomous car technology in the state of Colorado, in the US. 

The company has been making some significant moves in the automotive space, and this week revealed some of its ideas at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Tom Gebhardt, president of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, made a presentation at CES in which he said the company’s “smart mobility” plan starts with energy.  Continue reading Panasonic to test self-driving car tech in Colorado

TheConstructSim launches beta of its IDE for ROS

theconstructsim-ide

The Construct has launched a beta version of its integrated development environment. 

The company says users of the IDE don’t need to code, and can develop Robot Operating System programs “graphically”.

TheConstructSim.com is an online robot simulation environment in which users can develop and test their systems.

Audi to test new autonomous driving technology

Audi A7 piloted driving concept

German automaker calls its autonomous technology “piloted driving”

Twelve months after the launch of the “Digital Motorway Test Bed”, Audi has presented new technologies for what it calls “piloted driving” and connected cars at the German Federal Ministry of Transport. 

The connected car aspect of the presentation will deal with car-to-x technology, with the “x” denoting anything – other vehicles and infrastructure, for example.

Audi says it will concentrate on “online variable message” road signs and infrastructure measures. One of the more difficult problems for autonomous car developers is teaching machines how to tell the difference between traffic lights and other lights, for example.  Continue reading Audi to test new autonomous driving technology

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

National Instruments to launch ‘new, smarter’ design and test solutions

National Instruments HQ

Company says it has made advances in a number of areas 

National Instruments, a provider of automation test equipment, says it will demonstrate “new, smarter microwave design and test solutions that address the entire product lifecycle” at the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium next month.

NI says developing next-generation internet of things (IoT) wireless devices and 5G infrastructure challenges the way engineers develop smaller, faster and smarter products. Continue reading National Instruments to launch ‘new, smarter’ design and test solutions

Toyota to take personal mobility robot onto Tokyo streets

toyota winglet personal mobility robot
Toyota to take its Winglet mobility robot to Tokyo streets

Automaker plans to begin testing its Winglet personal mobility robot currently banned from public sidewalks

Tokyo Waterfront City will be the new location for the public sidewalk trials of the Winglet, a personal mobility robot developed by Toyota.

read it on apple news

Similar trials of the Winglet and other personal mobility assistance robots have previously been conducted in Tsukuba City and Toyota City, both of which are subject to special regulatory exemptions for testing new technologies.  Continue reading Toyota to take personal mobility robot onto Tokyo streets

National Instruments upgrades software for semiconductor testing

national instruments

National Instruments has released its TestStand Semiconductor Module, which provides test system engineers with the software tools to develop, deploy and maintain optimized semiconductor test systems.

With the TestStand Semiconductor Module, NI says engineers can now program lab characterization systems using the same programming paradigm they deploy on the factory floor with the Semiconductor Test System (STS), “reducing the time required to correlate measurements”.

Built on TestStand industry standard test management software, which is used by 10,000+ developers worldwide, the TestStand Semiconductor Module also empowers customers to build their own rack-and-stack systems for semiconductor production test using the capability of PXI and TestStand outside of the conventional “test head” architecture of the STS.  Continue reading National Instruments upgrades software for semiconductor testing