Robots A Go-Go!

Starship’s Intelligent Six Wheeled Autonomous Vehicles and NASA’s Robot Auction

by Amelia Dalton

Robotics is the name of the game in this week’s episode of Fish Fry. Allan Martinson (COO - Starship Technologies) introduces us to a new robotic delivery system coming to a city near you! Allan and I discuss the details of Starship’s autonomous 6-wheeled robotic vehicles, how embedded vision sets their autonomous vehicles apart from the rest of the robotic pack, and where he sees robotics headed in the next decade. Also this week, we check out a hydraulically-powered robot called PDAD (Power Driven Articulated Dummy) created for NASA in the early 1960s to test spacesuits. Looking for a curiosity for the office, or a date to your (not-so) favorite cousin’s wedding in a couple months? This robot and all of its creepy glory can be yours in an upcoming auction in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

Something in the Air

Ultrasonics Brings Touch to the Human Machine Interface

by Dick Selwood

When you are next in a hospital, watch the medical staff as they get into a lift. The odds are they will call out the floor they want and someone non-medical will press the button. This is not because they are lazy but because studies have shown that hospital lift buttons have more bacteria on them than toilet seats. Clearly a sensor that recognises a wave of the hand or a pushing gesture as a signal to choose a floor would be a good replacement for a physical button, but how do you know whether your gesture has been recognised? Imagine instead, that - as you made a pushing gesture, your hand could feel a "button"?

 

News Flash: Hell Still Not Frozen Over

The Intel/ARM Agreement is a Smaller Deal Than It Sounds

by Jim Turley

You don’t often see the names “Intel” and “ARM” used together in a sentence without words like “rival” or “competitor” in between them. They’re like oil and water, cats and dogs, Dodgers and Giants.

But, just this week, we saw the lion lie down with the lamb. What’s this? Intel and ARM are working together? Intel will be making ARM processors? It’s the end of the world as we know it!

 

Accuracy in Motion

Health, Fitness, and the Future of Wearable Technology

by Amelia Dalton

We all want to trust that our wearable device is measuring our health and fitness accurately, but what does that truly mean? In this week’s Fish Fry, Dr. Steven LeBoeuf (President - Valencell) and I discuss the forces driving the wearable market today, what the future holds for wearable technology, and why he thinks inaccuracy and “death by discharge” are two of the biggest design challenges facing wearable technology designers today. Also this week, we check out how you can enter the MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase at this year's MEMS Executive Congress and how Cadence Design Systems' new Virtuoso ADE Product Suite can address the different requirements and challenges for your team's analog design tools.

 

Dichotomy and Contradiction

Don’t Ever Tell Your Customers What Your Product Can Actually Do

by Jim Turley

“Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.” – Lt. Lenina Huxley, “Demolition Man”

Who remembers the one-word tag line, “Beatrice,” at the end of TV commercials?

That single word – was it a name? – a hidden command to action? – tacked onto the ends of seemingly unrelated TV commercials airing in the 1980s neatly summed up a different word: hubris.

 

A Four-Way Vehicular Radio Module

Redpine Bets on 802.11p Over LTE-V

by Bryon Moyer

Redpine Signals is placing a bet. It might have been less of a bet a year or two ago, but things change, and the future isn’t as obvious as it once might have seemed.

See, they’re betting that IEEE 802.11p will rule the roadways in the coming time when our cars will carry on intense conversations with each other and with the things around them. Folks have been working on that standard for a while, and it appeared to be the default nominee for the job. Then along came a less-expected candidate, and the odds have changed.

 

ARM: We’re Turning Japanese

SoftBank Acquisition of ARM Could be a Big Deal – Or Not

by Jim Turley

“Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger.” – The Vapors

You can stop reading now.

Really, there’s nothing to see here, folks. Go on about your business. Just another humdrum $32 billion acquisition of one of the industry’s most important players. Heck, that’s less than NFL players get paid right out of college, amiright?

 

Keeping the FCC and Open Source Happy

Prpl: Routers Can Be Secure and Open

by Bryon Moyer

The FCC is worried. You and they spend all this time and energy getting your radio certified, and then some bozo hacks in, changes how the radio works, and puts you out of spec.

And so, back in early 2015, the FCC issued some guidelines or questions regarding WiFi devices – particularly home routers – in an effort to ensure that your radio isn’t hackable.

 

Summer Sand Dollars

Being a Collection of News Tidbits from Across the Industry

by Jim Turley

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” – Sam Keen

It’s summertime, which means half of your cow-orkers have ambled out of the office, everyone in France is on vacation or on strike (or both; it’s hard to tell sometimes), and you’d probably rather be on some remote beach having someone fetch you another umbrella drink.

Let’s take a look at what your industrious colleagues have been doing while you were slathering on SPF50.

 

Precision Medicine and Public Health

Matching Treatment to Patient

by Dick Selwood

imec's Technology Forum in Brussels was strongly attended (by around a thousand people), despite the issues of international terrorism and national industrial disputes. The terrorism alert meant that just getting into the meeting halls required standing in long queues with bag checks and physical screening. The industrial disputes meant that many of the local delegates were delayed in traffic jams around Brussels.

Once in the hall, there was a lot of good stuff provided by senior people from around the semiconductor industry and the wider world. Just a reminder – imec is a Belgium-based research and development organisation that is pushing the boundaries of nano-electronics. It works in cooperation with every major semiconductor company, most foundries, and most equipment manufacturers. (Find out more on its website www.imec.be.) This meant that high-level people from the likes of Analog Devices, GlobalFoundries, Infineon, Intel, Mentor Graphics, Panasonic, and Samsung - to name just a few - shared their expertise with the attendees.

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