Foldable cars from POLITICO Magazine’s ‘What Works’

Designing everything from driverless Uber-like systems to folding cars Scientist Kent Larson the fusion of computers, engineering, and robotics to get more living out of less space. His…

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robot bartender

Robots Everywhere

The International Federation of Robotics reports another record year of robot sales in 2014.  225,000 robots were sold worldwide.  26% over the previous year.  The estimated inventory of…

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Take care of your machines and people with safety switches

by Andrew Waugh, Product Manager for Sensors and Safety at AutomationDirect.com Operator safety is a top priority for machine and robot installations, and safety switches help implement the…

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connected manufacturing

Complexity and Control

Complexity in the controls world is expanding exponentially.  The amount of data necessary to describe the real world is staggering when fully considered.  Sensors and feedback devices of…

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sara connor

Interoperability, Complexity, Big Data

“The unknown future rolls toward us…” as Sarah Conner put it in the Terminator sequel, and so it is with the Internet of Things.   The future of…

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Manufacturing Trends

tesla quote

Electric Motors – the Workhorse of Industry

Saturday, August 1, 2015

OK, so Tesla won.  The AC motor became much more popular because it turned without the need for complex and expensive speed controls.  With mass production, the AC…


Electric Motors in Context

Sunday, July 26, 2015

It seems odd that after over 100 years of electric motor manufacturing, we have very few people in the industry that can really ‘boil it down’ to the…

Lego machine

Buy or Build

Sunday, July 19, 2015

When is it appropriate to build something custom or buy the next best thing that will get the job done?  Manufacturers are constantly faced with this problem in…

How Big is Big Data?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Another component of the “Big Data” conversation is what “big” really means.  In the early days of the PLC an I/O map of 1024 inputs and 1024 outputs…