Sensors Expo photo gallery: Olympic torch, power harvesting, wireless demo

See how accelerometer and software make images in the air; harvest power with a device smaller than a cellphone; many wireless demos, including application hosting.


See how accelerometer and software make images in the air; harvest power with a device smaller than a cellphone; examine many wireless demos, including application hosting.

Scroll down for a photo gallery from Sensors Expo 2009.

Wireless sensors resolve industrial, economic, societal challenges, says Honeywell
Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell Sensing and Control, says sensors and networking technologies are creating pervasive sensing, producing a world of interconnected sensors, along with many benefits.

Show organizers said thousands of engineers, scientists and industry professionals representing 47 countries gathered at the Rosemont Convention Center June 8-10 for the Sensors Expo & Conference.

They found technologies and knowledge related to sensors and sensor-integrated systems.

Dr. Kevin Grazier, investigation scientist & science planning engineer,

Cassini/Huygens Missions

to Saturn & Titan for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, opened the show with a keynote address about the ongoing Saturn mission.

Tanner EDA wrote the software for this Olympic torch.

Tanner EDA created the software used in the waving torches used in the Bird's Nest at the Beijing Olympics. An accelerometer measures torch movement and provides input for "firing" the linear array of LEDs in proper sequence in one of several patterns when waved rapidly in the air. Tanner tools helped design the algorithm and accelerometer, said Debra Knight, account manager, showing how the wand works with a rapid back and forth movement. Tanner EDA provides electronic design automation (EDA) software used by companies in a wide variety of industries. Its solutions enable designers to move rapidly from concept to silicon by enabling the design, layout, and verification of analog/mixed-signal ICs, ASICs, and MEMS.

Following his speech, Dr. Grazier went onto the show floor and spoke in the Application Showcase Theater about his work as a science advisor on the TV series Battlestar Galactica and the importance of putting science in science fiction.

More than 150 exhibiting companies were at the event, including 46 new exhibitors, organizers said.

Tank monitoring

Next to the tank in the photo, right, a wireless switch shuts the pump off when the tank is full. Digi International offers an industry specific Internet service to organize wireless information and relay it as needed to customers and suppliers. The iDigi Tank bundle helps with tank monitoring and management.

Digi also showed how wireless signals can orient solar cells to get maximum light, below right.

Learn more at .

Competitors in the FIRST Robotics Competition brought machines for demonstrations. Visitors often stayed off of the dark carpet where the balls were gathered. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Among FIRST goals is to transform our society into one that values science and technology. Also read: Swarm robotics: Debugged naturally for 120 million years .
Replacing ISA boards and PC/104
StackableUSB is an electrical specification that ruggedizes USB, I2C, and SPI into a compact form factor, right, enabling the technology to move into harsh environments such as industrial control systems, mobile, hand-held, military, medical, and remote communications applications—all perfect for sensor technology, say those involved.
StackableUSB provides a board-to-board I/O channel for sensors. The accommodating I/O boards are as small as 1.85 x 1.78-in.
The I/O boards interface to powerful Microsoft WindowXP machines for complex embedded systems or small host microcontrollers for simple control applications. Those involved say stackableUSB provides a cost effective replacement for ISA and PC/104 boards.

Energy harvesting was a major theme at Sensors Expo. This unit from Micropelt uses heat from this motor to send a wireless signal once per second. A thin film process produces thermogenerators with nearly a hundred leg pairs per mm Read about Micropelt power generation .

National Instruments (above) discussed advances in measurements and monitoring with smarter, faster, and better measurements. The demonstrations often integrated NI LabView, showing benefits for emerging applications including green engineering, structural health monitoring, wireless remote monitoring and wireless testing. National Instruments showed how LabView software has advanced analysis capabilities, measuring strain gauge sensor outputs on this model bridge (above left).

National Instruments wireless modules are available to measure almost anything, including parameters relating to this wind-power generator demonstration (above right).

RemoTI CC2530DK Development Kit for ZigBee RF4CE is one of many TI RF transceivers, software, development tools/kits and reference designs that comply with the ZigBee specification and regulations , TI says.

Sensors Expo offered an expanded conference program with 18 tracks. Highlights included a full day pre-conference MEMS Symposia organized by Roger Grace, president of Roger Grace Associates. The all-day symposium drew a few hundred attendees and addressed current and future applications and major issues associated with the creation of a MEMS-based system and its design and manufacturing/testing.
“Sensors are everywhere and the Sensors Expo & Conference brought together many global industries that are impacted by this technology,” commented Debra Brown, event director, Sensors Expo & Conference.
“We had a very successful event with energy harvesting, MEMS-based system solutions and wireless networking taking center stage in the conference sessions and throughout the hall,” Brown said. Next show is June 7-10, 2010, also in Rosemont, IL.
Also see: Microchip wireless: embedded Wi-Fi, ZigBee, ISM band .
This year Sensors Expo was co-located with the International Robots, Vision and Motion Control Show. Among exhibitors there, Motoman

At most shows, the free Control Engineering bin of magazines "sells out" quickly.

Building from Motoman patented multiple robot control technology, the Gen-7 DX100 controller easily handles multiple tasks, including control of up to eight robots (72 axes), company says.
The energy-saving DX100 features faster processing speeds, advanced robot arm control, built-in collision avoidance and quicker I/O response. The DX100 conserves power during robot idle time, providing up to 25% energy savings, Motoman says.
- Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering , with information from exhibitors and show organizers.

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