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Category: Electrical Engineering

Giving soft robots feeling

Professor Ted Adelson’s team created a soft robotic finger that uses embedded cameras and deep learning to enable high-resolution tactile sensing and “proprioception” (awareness of positions and movements of the body). Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology One of the hottest topics in robotics is the field of soft robots, which utilizes squishy and flexible materials rather than traditional rigid materials. But soft robots have been limited due to their lack of good sensing. A good robotic gripper needs to feel…

The coronavirus could mark the rise of automation

Credit: Hendrik Schmidt/DPA The coronavirus pandemic has caused a massive surge in global unemployment. It has also highlighted the increasingly valuable role of automation in today’s world. Although there are some jobs machines just can’t do, COVID-19 has left us wondering about the future of work and with this, the capacity of automation to step in where humans must step back. Automation and jobs Discussions about the “rise of the machines” first picked up significantly in 2013, after University of…

Computer vision and uncertainty in AI for robotic prosthetics — ScienceDaily

Researchers have developed new software that can be integrated with existing hardware to enable people using robotic prosthetics or exoskeletons to walk in a safer, more natural manner on different types of terrain. The new framework incorporates computer vision into prosthetic leg control, and includes robust artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that allow the software to better account for uncertainty. “Lower-limb robotic prosthetics need to execute different behaviors based on the terrain users are walking on,” says Edgar Lobaton, co-author of…

Sensor Strategies to Optimize Automated Processes

One of the backbones to the success of any automated process is the accuracy to which one can detect and measure the various elements involved. Whether the process requires precise measurement and accuracy involving a liquid, solid, or empty space, understanding every part of the process is critical. Strategic implementation of various sensors makes it possible to optimize a process from the start and equips an operator with the information needed to constantly be aware of everything happening in a…

Electrical Safety on the Factory Floor

Until about 10 years ago, the force test and measurement industry had been fairly unimaginative. It had developed a standard way of building analog load cells, torque transducers and other devices, and it worked for many years. However, as most of the rest of the technological world advanced and big data changed the way engineers and manufacturers work, this age-old force measurement analog technology stood out with no way to improve data collection or make it more efficient. The digital…

Self-healing devices gain or regain function after being cut

Devices made from a self-healing material developed at CMU could regain their functionality — or gain new functionality — after they’ve been cut. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University A “smart” polymer cast that automatically seals itself around a broken arm, a membrane that can sense where it has been cut, and pneumatic actuators that can be cut and reconfigured into different shapes are some possible applications for a new self-healing material developed at Carnegie Mellon University. The composite material has unique…

Tips for Selecting and Positioning Industrial HMIs and Control Panels

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, organizations have been compelled to take reactive steps to mitigate crippling losses. As they prepare for the “new normal,” they may be rethinking existing infrastructure as a way to produce different products or offer new types of services. But where to start? The pandemic acts as a catalyst for extending technologies and digital twin simulation can be a critical tool in a proactive, strategic response, according to Karen Panetta, dean of graduate engineering at Tufts…

Why Voltage-Reference Noise Matters | Electronic Design

Download this article in PDF format. There’s increasing demand for ultra-high precision measurements that can achieve greater than 24-bit resolution in industries from aerospace and defense and gas exploration to pharmaceutical and medical-device manufacturers. For example, the pharmaceutical industry uses high-precision lab balances that offer 0.0001-mg resolution over a 2.1-g full-scale range that would require an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with greater than 24-bit resolution. Calibration and testing of these high-precision systems challenges the instrumentation industry to offer test equipment that…

IR Laser Mixing, Optical “Magic” Yields THz Waves with Relative Efficiency

Series: The JESD204 Story JESD204B is a recently approved JEDEC standard for serial data interfacing between converters and digital processing devices. As a third-generation standard, it addresses some of the limitations of the earlier versions. Among the benefits of this interface are reductions in required board area for data-interface routing, reductions in setup-and-hold timing requirements, and the enablement of smaller packages for converter and logic devices. New analog/digital converters from various vendors, such as the AD9250 from Analog Devices, use…

How the wings of owls and hummingbirds inspire drones, wind turbines and other technology

Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly sideways and backwards, thanks to an evolutionary feature of their musculoskeletal structure. Credit: Shutterstock Is evolution the best inventor? With hundreds of millions of years of work and the natural world as its canvas, it would seem so. From the water-retaining camels of the desert to the long-flying albatrosses of the sea, evolution has shaped the abilities of animals to best help them survive and thrive. My graduate research explores some of…