Updated: 9/30/08; 6:04:04 AM.
Gary Mintchell's Feed Forward
Manufacturing and Leadership.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Internet Protocol (the "IP" of TCP/IP) is a proven technology of moving data packets on a network. A number of companies believe that IP should be used for small objects (e.g. sensors in wireless sensor networks). A group of the companies has formed a new organization--the IP for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance, whose goal is promoting the Internet Protocol (IP) as the networking technology best suited for connecting sensor- and actuator-equipped or "smart" objects and delivering information gathered by those objects.

Smart objects are objects in the physical world that--typically with the help of embedded devices--transmit information about their condition or environment (e.g., temperature, light, motion, health status) to locations where the information can be analyzed, correlated with other data and acted upon. Applications range from automated and energy-efficient homes and office buildings, factory equipment maintenance and asset tracking to hospital patient monitoring and safety and compliance assurance.

Intended to complement the efforts of entities such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which develop and ratify technical standards in the Internet community, the IPSO Alliance will perform interoperability tests, document the use of new IP-based technologies, conduct marketing activities and serve as an information repository for users seeking to understand the role of IP in networks of physical objects.  The Alliance seeks to advocate how networks of objects of all types have the potential to be converged onto IP.

Founding members of the IPSO Alliance are Arch Rock, Atmel, Cimetrics, Cisco, Duke Energy, Dust Networks, eka systems, Emerson, Freescale, IP Infusion, Jennic, Kinney Consulting, Nivis, PicosNet, Proto6, ROAM, SAP, Sensinode, SICS, Silver Spring Networks, Sun Microsystems, University of Tampere, Watteco and Zensys.

9:08:23 AM    comment []

National Instruments released a new instrument driver that gives users of the NI LabView graphical system design platform the ability to interface with environmental monitoring sensors that communicate via SDI-12, a serial-based communication protocol optimized for battery-powered intelligent sensors. With NI LabView SDI-12 Application Programming Interface (API) software, researchers, engineers and scientists can easily acquire measurements such as turbidity, dissolved oxygen, tank level, soil pH, conductivity and other critical environmental sensor measurements.

The SDI-12 protocol makes it possible to communicate with a wide variety of sensors and recorders that are most commonly used in environmental data acquisition applications such as climate change tracking, water quality and testing, ecological research, soil monitoring, agriculture and weather analysis.

9:00:04 AM    comment []

Further consolidation in the machine vision market. Microscan announced Sept. 15 that it will purchase Siemens' Machine Vision business, formerly Acuity CiMatrix, headquartered in Nashua, NH. Siemens Machine Vision will become integrated into Microscan.  The company plans to keep the Nashua location open and retain the majority of the workforce.  For customers and distribution partners the transition of ownership is expected to be seamless. 

8:56:09 AM    comment []

There are a couple of new product notes at my Automation Gear blog. Pro-face America HMI development and GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms new information intelligence application.

8:51:31 AM    comment []

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