Sensors Expo 2006 draws a crowd, offers new products


process control

Stanley used a variety of receptor and environmental sensors, artificial intelligence, and a dual GPS to help guide it through its 132-mile journey through the Mojave Desert.

Rosemont, IL —More than 3,000 attendees and nearly 200 exhibitors helped drive the 20th annual Sensors Expo and Conference to a successful conclusion. The event, held June 5-7 in a Chicago suburb, focused on sensors and sensor-integrated systems. It was marked by the introduction of a number of new products (for more, see “Products” below and Control Engineering’s Process Instrumentation and Sensors Monthly e-newsletter, coming June 22), three keynote sessions, and a comprehensive technical conference. Next year’s event will take place June 11-13, again at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

Noteworthy announcements included the partnering of Tendril , a system software developer, and Ember Corp. to promote easy and quick deployment of wireless sensor and control network (WSCN) applications. The companies will integrate Ember’s ZigBee-compliant networking platform with other environments, including IP networks, building automation networks, and PC/PDA-based applications. Tendril’s system software will be included in Ember development kits. The product is said to simplify OEM and system integrator projects, allowing OEMs to integrate wireless networking capabilities into products in less than a week and integrators to add WSCN to deployments in the field in hours instead of days.

In other news, austriamicrosystems released a free software development kit for its magnetic rotary encoder IC family. The kit is said to allow the creation of powerful demonstrators as well as application software tailored to specific test and product configuration requirements in the shortest possible timeframe. It is based on a Dynamic Link Library (DLL) that can be embedded in many software platforms, including Microsoft Visual Studio, Borland C++ Builder, or National Instruments’ LabView. Application examples and help files reportedly make the kit very user friendly. The kit supports the entire austriamicrosystems magnetic encoder IC family. Click here to download it.

The three keynote speakers included Gentry Lee of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who spoke on “The infinite possibilities of the 21 st century;” Dr. Robert M. Metcalfe, 3 Com founder credited with inventing Ethernet, who discussed “The future of embedded networking;” and Sebastian Thrun, associate professor of computer science and director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, who described “Winning the DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] grand challenge: A robot race through the Mojave desert.” All spoke to near-capacity audiences.

Drawing particular attention was Thrun’s blow-by-blow report of how his team coupled receptor and environmental sensors, artificial intelligence, computer technology, and a dual GPS system with hard work and persistence to create Stanley, the mobile ground vehicle. The robotic car outlasted 194 challengers (including those from other universities, contractors, and car enthusiasts), traversing 132 miles through the California and Nevada deserts to capture the $2 million prize. Thrun likened sending Stanley off at the outset of the race to “sending your child off to college and out into the world. You can’t see them anymore, but you hope they’ll come back—whole.”

Stanley made the journey in the best time 6 hr 53 min 58 sec and was the first of only five robots to finish the route. The Stanford team is already planning its participation in next year’s “Urban Challenge,” which will be held in an “abandoned city” filled with “traffic” and other urban hazards. That event is scheduled for Nov. 3, 2007. Click here to read more about Stanford’s involvement in this program.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk

Jeanine Katzel& /A>, senior editor

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.