Mechatronics Zone Blog

Building the IIoT Nervous System – With Everything Connected

By Rob Spiegel | March 15, 2018

Smart manufacturing is connected manufacturing.

For EV Market to Grow, Investments in Battery Facilities Are Needed

By Charles Murray | March 15, 2018

Lithium-ion battery production will grow dramatically in the next seven years, but sales of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are likely to be constrained by manufacturing challenges, an expert told attendees at last week’s Cleveland Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo.

15 of the Best Examples of Stephen Hawking's Brilliance

By Chris Wiltz | March 14, 2018
ESC, Embedded Systems Conference

Time for a Reality Check to 5G Exuberance

By Patrick Mannion | March 14, 2018

The 5G connection numbers that came out of the recent Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC 2018) in Barcelona are startling, but do they reflect reality? A panel at DesignCon 2018 showed that behind the hype there is a need for more education on what 5G actually comprises, as well as a lot more research on how to actually implement it effectively with respect to power and cost.

MIT’s CSAIL Develops Color-Changing 3D Printable Ink

By Tracey Schelmetic | March 14, 2018

While new methods, designs, and options for 3D printing proliferate weekly, most of the breakthroughs apply to objects before they’re printed. Once an object is already printed, changes mandate reprinting. For color changes, at least, that may be about to change. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a process called ColorMod, a method for repeatedly changing the colors of 3-D printed objects after fabrication.

5 Trends to Watch from Embedded World 2018

By Jacob Beningo | March 13, 2018

I recently attended the 2018 Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, Germany (February 27 – March 1). As usual, companies from around the world descended on Nuremberg to show off their latest and greatest embedded technologies. While I was there giving several talks, networking with colleagues, and walking the conference floor, I noticed several trends that will assist developers working with microcontroller-based solutions. These trends include:

Adding Resilience to Fragile Power Systems

By Kevin Clemens | March 12, 2018

Recent intense and costly hurricanes have hit Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. Tropical cyclones have ravaged Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. And so-called “100-year floods” are becoming commonplace.

Electric power grids are proving to be highly vulnerable to increases in storm intensity and aging infrastructures are cracking under the strain. Natural disasters that destroy power systems, although potentially devastating, are providing an opportunity to demonstrate the viability of alternatives to traditional electricity grids.

If Trump Pulls Back on 54.5-MPG Mandate, EV Sales Could Stall

By Charles Murray | March 12, 2018

Government officials are expected to ease off the 54.5 mile-per-gallon federal fuel efficiency mandate in the coming weeks, raising concerns about the future of electric vehicle technology in the United States.

“The next two months will define the next six years,” Brett Smith of the Center for Automotive Research told attendees at this week’s Cleveland Advanced Design & Manufacturing Show. “This is the last chance before 2025 to get the law set.”

A New Wrinkle in Lithium Metal Battery Research

By Kevin Clemens | March 12, 2018

Lithium metal anodes promise to double the energy storage capacity compared to the carbon-based anodes used in today’s lithium ion batteries. But uncontrolled growth of dendrites on lithium metal anodes during charging has limited their use. Dendrites are spikey depositions of lithium metal that takes place during charging. Sharp dendrites can grow large enough to pierce battery separation layers, shorting the battery and causing fires.


Understanding Crosstalk for Signal Integrity Applications

March 9, 2018

This paper was provided by Rohde & Schwarz as part of a sponsored session at DesignCon 2018. To learn more about DesignCon, please visit