2014年12月23日 星期二

The Future Blueprint for Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Bus application

Acrosser’s in-vehicle computer is capable of multitasking during the drive, enabling the realization of numerous advanced commercial applications. The advance in public transportation technology greatly benefits both passengers and carriers.

For example, the installed counter collects and sends passenger information to the data center, enabling carriers to determine suitable advertisements for passengers and increase potential revenue. In the safety aspect, the GPS can provide instant vehicle location, and remind drivers to stay cautious in certain traffic congestion areas. Surveillance centers may also monitor drivers and passengers instantly via the IP camera, ensuring a safer transportation environment. In addition, the connected Wi-Fi module receives signals coming from the bus stop to provide an accurate arrival information display to waiting passengers.

2014年12月15日 星期一

Team Up AR-B8172 with Your CNC Machine

ACROSSER Technology, a world-leading industrial computer manufacturer, introduces its ISA board,AR-B8172, which targets the value-based CNC machining and automation industry. As industrial automation techniques advance, the original manufacturing facilities are being phased out and be replaced with the new ones. But for factory owners with constrained budgets, finding a reliable ISA board supplier for their vintage CNC machines is a challenge. Acrosser’s fanless AR-B8172 ISA board offers accurate respond to your computer numeric control machine, and can overcome the heat dissipation difficulties encountered in factories. Customers can also purchase chassis, integrating theISA board to the machine all at once.
ISA boards are commonly used in industrial automation. They connect the CPU, motion controller cards, and other I/O interfaces. CNC machining and electrical discharge machining are perfect examples of ISA board applications.
Stability and cost-efficiency are two benefits of ISA boards. But Acrosser’s AR-B8172 offers even more features for your CNC machine, including:
1. Fanless design
2. Support for PC/104 interfaces
3. Support for multi-input devices
4. Durability, stability, and ease of integration
5. SRAM for data storage

And last but not least, Acrosser’s field application engineering team provides advanced services using their in-depth technical service and knowledge. It is Acrosser’s quality products and attentive service that makes your manufacturing goods unstoppable and profitable!

2014年12月8日 星期一

Flying Inventory Assistants Are a Good Use for Drones

It’s starting to seem like “throw a drone at it” is the solution that everyone wants to somehow solve every single problem everywhere, ever. And in most cases, it’s not going to work anytime soon, for reasons that we continue to belabor. This is not to say that drones aren’t valuable tools that can solve many network hardware problems: the key is to find a problem that needs a drone, as opposed to having a drone and then desperately looking for some problem for it to solve. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, in Dortmund, Germany, may have found one of these problems: taking inventory in a warehouse. To do this efficiently, you need a mobile antenna that can navigate in three dimensions, and autonomous flying robots certainly fit the bill. Inventory is awful. I say this from experience, having made the mistake of accepting a department store inventory job for a few weeks in high school. Taking inventory in a store or warehouse involves wandering around and recording the location of every single item, using an RFID antenna or optical scanner. Did I mention that doing this by hand is awful? Because it’s awful.

One option to make inventory less painful is to deploy an infrastructure of networking appliance with built-in RFID readers, such that the shelf can tell what’s being stored on it. (Another, even better option is doing what Kiva Systems, now owned by Amazon, does: its inventory system keeps track of both the networking appliance and contents of every bin in the warehouse, so when you need to retrieve or restock something, you just send robots do get those bins for you.) This can work very well, but it’s expensive and hard to scale. Fraunhofer’s idea is to forget about the fancy shelves and instead replace what is usually a small army of inventorying humans with a small fleet of autonomous, inventorying drones that use RFID antennas or cameras to identify the location of items.

Drones are a good idea for inventory management for several reasons. First, they’ll be operating in a semi-structured (or entirely structured) environment. If they’re in a retail store, the environment is probably considered semi-structured, since humans can be kept out of the area while the robots do their work and the environment is generally static and well-defined. A warehouse might be a structured environment, since it can be completely restricted and mapped in advance with very little risk of change.

Also, an network hardware inventory drone can have an immediate and significant benefit on the inventory task in a way that would be hard to do otherwise. The reason a drone is so potentially useful is that warehouses maximize space utilization by stacking inventory as high as possible. A human would need a ladder just to read any identifying information, but for a drone, the height above the ground doesn’t matter all that much, especially if it’s equipped with a long-range RFID reader.

Fraunhofer’s InventAIRy Project (nice, right?) is developing “autonomous flying robots that are capable of independently navigating and conducting inventory.” The drones won’t be relying on an external navigations systems: it’ll all be onboard, using ultrasound sensors, 3D cameras, and laser scanners to perform continuous  simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). By mid-2015, Fraunhofer’s prototype system should be operating with partial autonomy, navigation around shelving and avoiding other obstacles. The next step will be to add RFID antennas, database integration, and (most challenging) an effective path-planning algorithm that allows the robot to reliably and efficiently catalog the objects in an arbitrary space.

We’re more optimistic about the networking appliance useful potential of InventAIRy than we are about most of the drone-related ideas that we come across, but as with anything related to robots, there’s a huge step between good idea and good execution. We’ll keep you updated.

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2014年12月2日 星期二

The Internet of Things Gets a New OS

British processor powerhouse ARM Holdings, said last week that it intends to launch a new, low-power operating networking appliance system that will manage web-connected devices and appliances using chips based on the company’s 32-bit Cortex-M microcontrollers.

The operating system, called mbed OS, is meant to resolve productivity problems that arise from fragmentation—where different devices in the so-called “Internet of things” (IoT) market run on a hodgepodge of different protocols. ARM is looking to consolidate those devices under a single software layer that's simple, secure, and free for all manufacturers to use.

“Instead of having large teams spending years designing a product,” rackmount vice president of research and development Kriztian Flautner told the BBC, “we'd like to turn that into months, so that you can take the [hardware] components, assemble the right ones, connect the device and focus on the problem you are solving and not the means to getting there."

In the last few years, rackmount has made a push networking appliance to develop more technologies designed for firewall IoT products. In a Pew survey this past spring, 83 percent of respondents thought the future of IoT would help improve their lives. Gartner, a tech research firm, recently predicted that by 2020 there will be 26 billion Internet-connected devices, an almost 30-fold increase from 2009.

However, this is the first operating system ARM has ever developed.

The mbed OS supports several standards of connectivity, including Wi-Fi, Bluethooth Smart, Thread, and a sub-6-gigahertz version of 6LoWPAN. It also supports many cellular standards, including 3G and LTE. At the same time, ARM is launching mbed server software, which the company says will allow users to gather and analyze data collected from IoT devices.

The OS was designed with power efficiency and battery life in mind. ARM claims it will only take up 256 kilobytes of memory, compared to the several gigabytes worth of storage needed for a smartphone OS. The company hopes developers will use mbed to create devices with battery lives measured in years.

Parts of the OS will be open source, though ARM says it wants to retain control of other parts to ensure mbed remains unfragmented. A recent EETimes study reports that in-house and custom designed systems for IoT devices are on the decline. Open source code already runs in 36 percent of embedded operating systems and is projected to keep rising, with Android and FreeRTOS leading networking appliance the pack. ARM seems to be trying to balance the advantages of development flexibility with proprietary control, but it remains to be seen how well that rackmount plays out.

Chris Rommel from the VDC Research group also told the BBC that while firewall believed most companies would welcome this news, it was unlikely the mbed OS would find its way into all IoT devices. "There will likely never be any one operating system—or even two or three—that can satisfy the broad ranges of needs of all the various devices that compose the Internet of things. They are just too different."

Already there are some big networking appliance appliance makers who are sure to resist the mbed OS. GE employs the software Predix in almost all its IoT products, and Samsung is heavily invested into using firewall Tizen for its family of IoT devices. Nest Labs's products run on a proprietary software based on Linux, though that's likely to shift to Android soon due to company's acquisition by Google.

However, that hasn't squelched enthusiasm from other companies yet. ARM will release the OS to hardware manufacturers and other developers before the end of the year, and says 25 companies have already signed up, including Ericsson, Freescale, IBM, NXP, and Zebra. The first networking appliance devices to use mbed OS are expected to arrive in 2015.

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