New standard set for automotive-grade lidar
The Vista-X90 is the newest addition to Cepton's Vista-X automotive-grade sensor family. Priced at less than a thousand bucks for high-volume automotive applications, it sets a new benchmark for high performance at low power in a compact form factor. It is ideally suited for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles (AVs). Weighing less than 900 g, the Vista-X90 achieves up to 200 m range at 10% reflectivity with an outstanding angular resolution of 0.13 degrees and state-of-the-art power consumption.
Rotary sensors for auto racing and other demanding applications
Novotechnik U.S. announces the SP2800 Auto-Sport Series of rotary sensors for angle measurement. These sensors were developed for auto racing and other demanding applications. Key specs for SP2800 Auto Sport include 20 models covering measurement ranges of 0 to 100, 130, 308, 345, or 350 degrees. There is also a redundant version with a 100-degree range. These ranges were specifically selected for sequential gearbox, steering angle, throttle, and suspension measurement applications. Repeatability is 0.01%. Linearity is to 0.3%, depending on model. A rubberized strain-relief boot is available for auto racing and other applications where extreme conditions are present.
Industry first: Pneumatic valve with embedded wireless
Emerson has introduced a wireless automatic recovery module (ARM) for its AVENTICS G3 electronic fieldbus platform that makes it easy for technicians to perform pneumatic valve system commissioning and diagnostics from a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop computer. The platform is ideal for pneumatic valve system applications in the automotive, food and beverage, tire, packaging, and metalworking industries. The wireless ARM module with built-in Wi-Fi generates error notifications for alarms, voltage levels, short circuits, module errors, open load errors, and distribution errors -- even when the valve system is located inside a machine or on a ceiling. It offers the visual benefits of a hard-wired human machine interface (HMI) at lower cost and with higher flexibility.
Enclosure sensors, heaters, door switches, and LED lighting
New STEGO enclosure products available from Automation-Direct include a temperature/ humidity sensor, a unique form-factor heater, enclosure door switches, and new LED lights. The compact "Smart Sensor" electronically measures temperature and humidity and converts the measured data into a standardized analog 4- to 20-mA signal. The 8-mm flat heater provides an evenly distributed temperature within enclosures, and the ultra-thin design makes it particularly suitable for high-density electronic applications. Enclosure door switches can be used to switch a light when opening a door or to activate a fan when closing a door. STEGO Varioline magnetic and screw-mount enclosure lights are compact, powerful LED lamps capable of fully illuminating even very large enclosures. The glare-free 360-degree rotatable LED tube has a service life of 60,000 hours.
Miniature copper pad thermocouple
The new, easy-to-install CPTC series Copper Pad Surface Thermocouple Sensor from Harold G. Schaevitz Industries (HGSI) delivers high-performance surface temperature measurements reliably and consistently for metal, glass, or PCB board surfaces. Designed for R&D, testing applications, manufacturing engineering, and production environments, the 2.1-mm x 2.4-mm CPTC Copper Pad Surface Thermocouple Sensor can be bonded to a surface using an epoxy resin or cyanoacrylate-based glue.
Cool Tools: Hexagon RS6 high-speed laser scanner
The arm-mounted RS6 laser scanner available from Exact Metrology is designed for high-speed and high-accuracy scanning. When compared to other scanners, the RS6 has a 3x faster frame rate, a 30% wider laser stripe, and excellent scanning performance on difficult surfaces. Its unique SHINE technology allows you to scan 99% of parts without touching the scanner exposure -- even on glossy surfaces. It scans up to 1.2 million points/sec with a scan rate of 300 Hz.
Rugged CAN keypad and rotary cursor controller
EAO has just introduced its new Series 09 Rugged CAN Keypad and Rotary Cursor Controller aimed at construction equipment, emergency vehicles, agricultural equipment, and the like. The products offer functional safety compliance and CANbus integration for use in harsh environments. The Rugged CAN Keypads are available in multicolor RGB 4-segment halo-ring illumination. Colors can be set for specific functions, animated with chasing/running or flashing sequences, and are easily programmable. The Rugged CAN Rotary Cursor Controller features full rotary function with 22 maintained positions and a push function. It also features LED symbol illumination on the pushbuttons and LED halo illumination on both pushbuttons and the rotary cursor.
Cool Tools: New Bosch thermal camera for industry
The Bosch GTC400C 12V Max Connected Thermal Camera is easy to use, determining temperatures in seconds and documenting the results with convenience. Featuring a large, illuminated color display, it delivers a 160 x 120 thermal graphic image accurate to +/- 3 C. It features simple operation: Just squeeze the trigger to shoot an image, and use the click wheel for the functions. The thermal graphic image features more than 19,000 measurement points for precision to show hot and cold spots, with the temperature at the center and an adjustable temp scale. The integrated visual camera records actual images, so the user can document the work area visually as well as thermally. This allows side-by-side comparison, picture-in-picture, and overlay of picture and thermal graphic. Nice long battery life.
Self-service fever scanner uses fist or wrist
FeverWarn is a new, non-contact device that determines if a user has a fever instantly -- simply by scanning the wrist or fist. The technology's creators at MachineSense, along with some university studies, say these hand areas are consistently some of the most reliable on the body for accurate temperature scanning. The FDA-compliant FeverWarn unit can be installed in front lobbies, security checkpoints, manufacturing entrances, school entrances, and any other place where the initial entryway is your first line of defense. A red or green light indicates pass or fail. Provides outputs for triggering auxiliary doors or gates.
Learn more about this exciting technology.
Thermally conductive elastomer for electric cars developed
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed a material that combines seemingly contradictory properties: It conducts heat well, but it is also electrically insulating. The company is already testing initial applications for charging sockets, control units, and batteries in electric cars.
Read the full article.
Cool Tools: Newly designed electronic digital micrometers
The L.S. Starrett Company has introduced more than 100 Electronic Digital Micrometers with new features for improved ergonomics, functionality, and productivity. They offer upgraded electronics, a longer battery life, an advanced locking mechanism, and a large, easy-to-read LCD display. The micrometers are available in a 0-1" (25-mm) model up to 24" (600 mm), and in 0-6" (152-mm) and 0-12" (304-mm) sets of individual micrometers. Some include IP67 protection. Industry 4.0 ready, these micrometers are equipped with an RS232 output, ideal for use with data-collection systems such as Starrett DataSure.
Why convert a tube-bending machine from hydraulic to electric?
Tube-bending machines have been driven by hydraulics for the past 80 years. Operators know how to get the best out of their machines, so why switch to electric cylinders? There are some disadvantages to going electric, but the fundamental reason to consider making the switch is simple: You can make better parts. By Brian Sondergeld
Read this informative Tolomatic blog.
Mini toggle switch features never-slip grip
Electro-mechanical switch manufacturer C&K has expanded its miniature 7000 Series locking toggle switch to include an optional knurled cap. The textured pattern provides a non-slip surface that enables customers to move from one position to another without the toggle lever slipping from their grip. Offering reliable and long-term operation up to 100K cycles, the 7000 Series locking toggle switch is available with and without the IP67 sealing to meet application requirements.
TDK brings redundancy to its TMR angle sensor portfolio
TDK has announced the expansion of its tunnel-magneto-resistance (TMR) angle sensor portfolio with the new digital TAD4140 sensor, designed for demanding automotive and industrial applications. Compared to TDK's existing digital angle sensor (the TAD2141), the new TAD4140 features full redundancy with two signal processor units and 2x2 TMR bridges in a single TSSOP16 package. Both angle sensors are capable of contactless sensing up to 360 degrees. The new sensor is able to simultaneously measure speed, direction, and motor position, making it suitable for motor-control applications such as Brushless DC (BLDC) motor commutation in electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) systems.
Thermal cameras for elevated skin-temp screening
FLIR Systems has just announced the availability of their modified thermal cameras for fast and safe non-contact elevated skin-temperature screening. The FLIR EST thermal screening solutions provide front-line screening at building entries and in high-traffic areas to improve safety and help curb the spread of COVID-19. The EST series cameras are designed to simplify the screening process, reducing the burden on screening operators and adhering to recommended social distancing guidelines. Handheld, fixed-mounted, and custom integrated solutions available.
New Caltech sensor detects COVID-19 infection in under 10 minutes and could be used at home
A crucial part of the global effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is the development of tests that can rapidly identify infections in people who are not yet symptomatic.
Caltech researchers have developed a new type of multiplexed test (a test that combines multiple kinds of data) with a low-cost sensor that may enable the at-home diagnosis of a COVID infection through rapid analysis of small volumes of saliva or blood, without the involvement of a medical professional, in less than 10 minutes.
When attached to supporting electronics, the sensor can wirelessly transmit data to the user's cell phone through Bluetooth. [Credit: Caltech]
The research was conducted in the lab of Wei Gao, assistant professor in the Andrew and Peggy Cherng department of medical engineering. Previously, Gao and his team have developed wireless sensors that can monitor conditions such as gout, as well as stress levels, through the detection of extremely low levels of specific compounds in blood, saliva, or sweat.
Gao's sensors are made of graphene, a sheet-like form of carbon. A plastic sheet etched with a laser generates a 3D graphene structure with tiny pores. Those pores create a large amount of surface area on the sensor, which makes it sensitive enough to detect, with high accuracy, compounds that are only present in very small amounts. In this sensor, the graphene structures are coupled with antibodies, immune system molecules that are sensitive to specific proteins, like those on the surface of a COVID virus, for example.
Previous versions of the sensor were impregnated with antibodies for the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress, and uric acid, which at high concentrations causes gout. The new version of the sensor, which Gao has named SARS-CoV-2 RapidPlex, contains antibodies and proteins that allow it to detect the presence of the virus itself; antibodies created by the body to fight the virus; and chemical markers of inflammation, which indicate the severity of the COVID-19 infection.
"This is the only telemedicine platform I've seen that can give information about the infection in three types of data with a single sensor," Gao says. "In as little as a few minutes, we can simultaneously check these levels, so we get a full picture about the infection, including early infection, immunity, and severity."
The sensor element is created from thin plastic etched with a laser. [Credit: Caltech]
Established COVID-testing technologies usually take hours or even days to produce results. Those technologies also require expensive, complicated equipment, whereas Gao's system is simple and compact.
So far, the device has been tested only in the lab with a small number of blood and saliva samples obtained for medical research purposes from individuals who have tested positive or negative for COVID-19. Though preliminary results indicate that the sensor is highly accurate, a larger-scale test with real-world patients rather than laboratory samples must be performed, Gao cautions, to definitively determine its accuracy.
With the pilot study now completed, Gao next plans to test how long the sensors last with regular use, and to begin testing them with hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Following in-hospital testing, he would like to study the suitability of the tests for in-home use. Following testing, the device will need to receive regulatory approval before it is available for widespread use at home.
"Our ultimate aim really is home use," he says. "In the following year, we plan to mail them to high-risk individuals for at-home testing. And in the future, this platform could be modified for other types of infectious disease testing at home."
The paper describing the research, "SARS-CoV-2 RapidPlex: A Graphene-based Multiplexed Telemedicine Platform for Rapid and Low-Cost COVID-19 Diagnosis and Monitoring," has been published online and will appear in the December issue of the journal Matter.
Published October 2020
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