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Entries for the 'Manufacturing Automation & Intelligence' Category

Tips for CAN:  Dynamic Frame Definition with National Instruments NI-CAN

Back in the stone age (i.e. NI-CAN 1.2), us LabVIEW 6 programmers had to write our own parsing routines for dynamically-specified data inside a CAN frame. At the driver layer, we were locked-in to only one layer of arbitration. An oft-overlooked but ...


Recent press releases by NASA show how the agency is realizing the advantages of using Structured Light for 3D vision. A recent NASA Invention of the Year was a hand-held, battery-operated scanner that they use to create surface maps of shuttle ti...


Using FBVEL Gain for PID Servo motion tuning Acroloop

I have been using Acroloop 9000 controllers to control a number of machines where one axis is a high-speed rotary motor that drives a mechanical cam-driven process. During operation of the machine, the motor accelerates from a stop to a constant high...


Using LabVIEW with Windows XP Embedded (XPe)

I recently finished a project that checked for gas leaks on a mission critical system. Any leaks needed to be diagnosed and discovered as quickly as possible. Our solution also had to be mobile and easily carted around the facility. To develop a s...


State Transition to Ladder Diagram Translation

Ladder diagrams are an industrial programming language typically used on programmable logic controllers (PLC). This graphical language mimics a relay logic electrical schematic. For engineers that are not familiar with relay logic, though, ladder dia...


Robotic Vehicle Driver - Success!

Some time ago, the staff of the Advanced Powertrain Research Facility at Argonne National Laboratory asked me if we could create a robotic driver to control speed of a vehicle on their dynamometer. There are off-the-shelf solutions for this task but ...


Matrox Introduces 3D Scanning in MIL 9

Matrox has added 3D scanning tools to the Matrix Imaging Library (MIL), version 9.0. The concept is similar to that employed in single-purpose devices by Micro-Epsilon and SICK. (see Two 3D Scanner tools.) The camera images a laser line from an ou...


New 3D Measurement Tool from IFM

I saw an amazing new 3d vision tool at the Robot and Vision Show today. It is the IFM Defector PMD 3DD. This device is a 64X48 pixel distance sensor. It operates by the time of flight principle. A pulse of light infra-red light is emitted by ...


Spotlight: Two 3D Scanner tools

Purpose-built 3D scanning tools are an exciting new development in machine vision. People have been building their own 3D scanners for years with cameras and line lasers. Now, a couple of integrated and factory-calibrated units are on the market w...


Schneider Electric's Energy Management Seminar

Yesterday, I attended the 2009 Energy Management Seminar presented by Schneider Electric. The seminar focused on strategies and technologies to monitor and improve energy efficiency. The keynote speaker, Peter Garforth, made a compelling case for ...


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