Mechatronics Zone Blog

Stretchy Optical Fiber Captures Body Motion to Replace Sensors

By Elizabeth Montalbano | November 2, 2017

Researchers in China have become the first to develop optical fiber that can sense a wide range of motion, paving the way for a strain-sensing fabric for sensing that can replace individual sensors in wearable, robotic, and other types of technology.

Detecting the Cyber Enemy Within

By Rob Spiegel | November 1, 2017

“There are two kinds of companies: those that know they’ve been hacked and those that don’t know they’ve been hacked.”

I heard these chilling words a couple years ago at an IoT conference. The implication is there may be bugs inside a company’s network that are laying low, collecting vital information and waiting for an opportune time to attack.

The Varied Power of the Industrial IoT

By Array | November 1, 2017

With Intel projecting IoT products growing to 2000 billion devices by 2020 – just three years from now – the talk of IoT-everything is running high. We’re hearing about connected watches and a multitude of medical devices. But the quickest way to a clear return-on-investment in IoT, according to analyst groups such as ARC Advisory, is in industrial settings.

Many of the technologies that make up Industrial IoT are actually well-established in their own right. The diagram below shows six layers that make up what most people consider to be the Industrial IoT.


How Blockchain is the Key to a Secure IoT

By Chris Wiltz | October 31, 2017
Blockchain, the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is looking like the best bet to creating a secure IoT. 

Expanding Polymer Creates Printable, ‘Peel and Go’ Self-Folding Structures

By Elizabeth Montalbano | October 31, 2017

Researchers have developed a new method that produces a printable polymer structure that begins to fold itself up as soon as it’s peeled off the printing platform, opening the door for new designs in printed electronics and other applications.

Global Robot Sensor Market to Expand 50% by 2022

By Rob Spiegel | October 30, 2017

Sensors on robots are becoming increasingly important as robotics applications expand across a wide range of industries, from automotive and agriculture through manufacturing, entertainment, logistics, military, and healthcare. With the total number of robots increasing and cost of sensors going down, there’s a robust market for sensors on robots. The overall dollars spent on sensors for robotics is expanding even while the cost-per-sensor is decreasing.

Using Customer IoT Data to Improve Products

By Rob Spiegel | October 30, 2017

As companies figure out how to manage IoT data, how to store it, and how to analyze it, it’s becoming clear that data coming back from customer usage can have a considerable impact on the next iteration of the product. There’s plenty of promise for connecting cloud-based PLM systems to IoT management systems. As a result, engineers could get data that reveals exactly how the product acts in the hands of the customer.

Is Anyone Listening When We Talk About Cybersecurity?

By Chris Wiltz | October 27, 2017

Cybersecurity is frustrating. It's frustrating not just to practice and implement, but also frustrating to talk about, write about, and discuss. Talking about cybersecurity with designers, engineers, and even IT professionals – particularly those excited about IoT – can feel akin to trying to tell a lifelong friend to quit smoking. The larger engineering community takes a view on cybersecurity not unlike how a patient with a chronic illness might look at a doctor's appointment.

The Anatomy of a Giant Robot Duel: US vs. Japan

By Chris Wiltz | October 27, 2017

Warning: this article contains images of both violent robot and human combat.

Congratulations to the Arm TechCon Innovation Award Winners

By Naomi Price | October 26, 2017

Arm TechCon Innovation Award logoArm announced the winners of their Innovation Awards this week during Arm TechCon (October 24-26 in Santa Clara, CA).