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Electronic Design Update: October 15, 2008

Oct. 15, 2008
As Robots Get Smaller, Potential Applications Get Bigger
Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter | October 15, 2008 | FREEmagazine subscription digital or print!ADVERTISEMENT Simplify Remote Monitoring with NI LabVIEW 8.6
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scope |As Robots Get Smaller, Potential Applications Get Bigger By John Edwards, Contributing Editor
Step inside the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland. Here, in a country perhaps best known for its fine chocolates and wristwatches, engineers are building awesome robots with formidable powers. But you may have to squint a little to see them at work, because the Swiss bots can be kind of hard to see. Read the full article... commentary |RTI, DARPA Up The Ante In Energy Conversion Efficiency By Don Tuite, Analog/Power Editor
Ever drive by a power plant, gaze at its obtrusive cooling towers and think, “There goes a monument to wasted thermal energy?” Well, RTI International is heading a project to push the fold in thermo-electric power conversion and turning the ecosystem’s frown upside down. Read the full article... design hotspots | Analog · What's All This Analog Engineering Stuff, Anyhow? | By Bob Pease
Analog · Heart Monitor Uses Quickfilter Signal Converter

Power · Filter Trims Ultra-Precision Voltage Reference | By Alfredo Saab, Randall White, Maxim Integrated Products

Embedded · 3D Imaging: You've Just Got To See It | By Bill Wong

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engineer's resource | Vote For The Best IFD And Leapfrog We’re wondering which IFDs and Leapfrogs are your favorites. What articles do you consider to be the most innovative, or the most helpful to you from the past calendar year? Just take a look at the list of IFDs and Leapfrogs and pick the ones that you think are worthy of recognition. The ballot closes on October 17. The winning IFD and Leapfrog will be presented in our December 1st Best Electronic Design Issue, where our Technology Editors will offer added commentary on each article.

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Your Ideas For Design Can Win $500
Send us your Ideas for Design and we'll pay you $150 for every Idea for Design that we publish. In addition, the year's top design as selected by our readers will earn an additional $500, with two runners-up each receiving $250. You can submit your Ideas for Design via e-mail to [email protected], or you can mail your material to:
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Click here for our guidelines on Ideas for Design.

IFD of the week |Use Inexpensive Components To Create An Infrared Close-Object Alert Circuit By T.K. Hareendran, Betron Technical Services
Many robotic applications require a sensor to detect close or very close obstacles. Typically, reflective-type infrared sensors are used for this task. But the circuit in the figure shows an infrared close-object alert system built around two popular and less expensive integrated circuits: the LM555 timer and CD4060 CMOS, 14-stage, ripple carrying binary counter/divider and oscillator. Read the full article...
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video of the week | Agilent's N9912A FieldFox RF Analyzer
Henri Komrij, R&D Manager for Agilent Technologies' Component Test Division, shows off the N9912A FieldFox RF Analyzer. Watch it now...

Engineering TV | DARwIn IIIx Soccer Playing Robot DARwIn is a fully autonomous humanoid robot capable of bipedal walking and performing human-like motions. Developed at the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) at Virginia Tech, DARwIn is a research platform for studying robot locomotion and autonomous behaviors, and is also the base platform for Virginia Tech’s entry to the RoboCup competition.

news from the editors |
PCI Express Switch Gains DMA
PLX Technology’s ExpressLane PCI Express switches not only incorporate a four-channel DMA engine that can offload memory transfer chores from the host, they also eliminate the need for DMA support on the host or its support chips. Read the full article...
USB-IF Gets Ready To Ratify 3.0
It looks like the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) will issue the final ratification of the new USB 3.0 standard soon. It is an amazing advance from the current standard, which has near universal adoption as a PC peripheral interface. Read the full article...
Smart Camera Runs Graphical Applications
The National Instruments Smart Camera line now has three new family members— the NI 1744, NI 1762, and NI 1764. Read the full article...
Fanless PC/104+ SBC Uses 8 W
Versalogic’s Cheetah PC/104-Plus single-board computer (SBC) takes advantage of Intel’s Ultra Low Voltage 1-GHz Celeron M to come in under 8 W. Read the full article...
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quick poll | Laptops and smart phones are just the beginning. Mobile Internet devices, specifically designed for Web connectivity, are on their way. Will you be getting one?
  • Yes! I can't wait to surf anytime, anywhere.
  • If the right device comes along, I might get one.
  • No thanks. I don't need any more gadgets.
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DSP Integrates Three 1-GHz Cores
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Oct. 22
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