Foxconn plans to acquire Sharp for $6.24 billion, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, marking the rare case of a Japanese company being sold to a foreign company. The Journal has a slideshow of Sharp products over the years, including a mechanical pencil (“Ever-Sharp Pencil) in 1915 and a crystal radio set from 1925. Eva Dou lists five reasons why Foxconn wants Sharp. (Update: The Wall Street Journal is reporting at 9:47 a.m. ET that the deal is in question.)
Last year, ABB introduced YuMi, which the company called “…the world’s first truly collaborative [you and me] dual-arm industrial robot….” Now, Steve Bush at Electronics Weekly is reporting that Sony UK is using one to perform pick-and-place operations on a camera production line. YuMi limits torque to 25 Nm. Bush quotes Mike Wilson, marketing manager at ABB, as saying, “The robot is UL-approved as safe, but if you put a knife in the gripper, you have to protect against the knife.”
The New York Times has some suggestions on how to extend your cellphone’s battery life. There’s not much new or that isn’t obvious (minimize the screen brightness). Perhaps most interesting is what doesn’t help much (closing unused apps) or that may be counterproductive (shutting off Wi-Fi). The article describes a support technician who wandered around Disneyland for four hours looking for her family after her phone went dead. As many commenters suggested, couldn’t she have borrowed a phone or charger?
TDK has introduced two new series of EPCOS SMT current sense transformers for power electronics applications. The various types in the B78417A Series are based on EP7 ferrite cores, have dimensions of 10.6 mm x 12.2 mm x 11.0 mm, and are designed to measure pulse currents of up to 20 A. The maximum DC resistance on the primary winding is 1.9 mΩ. The SMT current sense transformers in the B78419A Series are designed with EP10 ferrite cores. These components have dimensions of 12.8 mm x 13.6 mm x 14.4 mm, and their measurement range extends up to 30 A. The DC resistance is 0.5 mΩ.
Undercover robot animals are helping wildlife law enforcement personnel capture poachers, according to The Washington Post. A robotic deer costs $2,000; a black bear costs up to $5,000. Officers report that they can make as much as $30,000 in fines off each fake animal. The Post offers a quiz that lets you see whether you can spot the fakes.
Keysight is offering a new application note, Solutions for 802.11p Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE) Measurements, which provides insight into automotive safety. The company reports that automotive companies understand how the advantages and benefits of advanced wireless communication will enable increased safety for car drivers and their passengers. One such automotive application that will benefit from advanced wireless technology is the connected car, with its vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) access point communication.