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Beta LAYOUT recently announced it is introducing 3D-MID prototypes. Molded Interconnect Device (MID) is the production of moldings with integrated conductive structures. In the near future, Beta LAYOUT will offer the ability to manufacture MID components in prototype and small batch quantities, including the production of formed components by 3-D printing, metallic coating, laser patterning, selective metallization, and mounting. ... Continue reading



Multiphysics 5.0 and the Application Builder

COMSOL recently announced the availability of Multiphysics 5.0 and Application Builder, with which "the power and accuracy of COMSOL Multiphysics is now accessible to everyone through the use of applications." According tom COMSOL, Version 5.0 includes severral numerous enhancements to the existing Multiphysics software. You get "25 application-specific modules for simulating any physics in the electrical, mechanical, fluid, and chemical disciplines." ...  Continue reading




New AFEs for Single-Phase Smart Meters & Power Monitoring 

Microchip Technology has announced the completion of its MCP391X energy-measurement Analog Front End (AFE) family.  The MCP3919 and MCP3912 integrate three and four channels of 24-bit, delta-sigma ADC, respectively. They have an accuracy of 93.5 dB SINAD, -107-dB THD, and 112-dB SFDR for precise signal acquisition and higher-perforce end products. ...  Continue reading



Small, Sixth-Generation Silicon TV Tuner ICs 

Silicon Labs recently announced the sixth generation of its high-performance, field-proven TV tuner ICs. The Si2151 and Si2141 TV tuners address the global hybrid TV and digital TV markets, support both digital and analog video broadcasts, and comply with all worldwide terrestrial/cable TV standards. Developers can use the Si2151/41 TV tuners to enhance their TV and set-top box designs. ...  Continue reading




An Interview with Alessandro Giacomel 

Giacomel's Dadaist robot poetry box design

When Alessandro Giacomel discovered Arduino in 2009, he quickly became hooked. Since then, he's been designing "little robots" around Arduino and blogging about his work and findings. In this interview, Giacomel tells us about his most interesting projects and shares his thoughts on the future of robotics, 3-D printing, and more. 




Initially, I built robots to understand how the driver for the motors works, the sensors, and the problems related to the logic of the robot. Afterward, the first branch of research was the issue of control, how to set the proportional, integral, derivative (PID) control to follow a line or make a robot that is in balance. This has enabled me to address the management of complex sensors, such as the inertial measurement unit (IMU).


To have a robot balance on two wheels it is important to measure how much the robot is tilting from the vertical. To do this, typically a cluster of sensors is used, called IMU, which are based on multi-axes combinations of precision gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometers, and pressure sensors. In a more simple version, the IMU uses an accelerometer and a gyroscope, and it is mandatory to use both signals to obtain a correct value of the tilt angle from the vertical (it is called fusion of signals) ... 

Giacomel's portrait-drawing robot


In the last year, I have followed the trend of art and interaction (i.e., the possibility of building something that can somehow marry art with technology). It was the theme of the stall I had at Maker Faire Europe in Rome, Italy, in October 2013. Arduino is an electronic circuit without a heart and without a soul. Can an Arduino be an artist? I'm trying to do something with Arduino that could be "art." The arts include painting, poetry, music, sculpture, and so on. I'm trying to do something in different fields of art.


My first experiment is the Dadaist Poetry Box, which is a box capable of composing and printing Dadaist poems. It's made with an Arduino and uses a printer for receipts to write poems. The box uses an algorithm to compose the poems in autonomy. You push the button and here is your Dadaist poem. Continue Reading



When it comes to robotics, the future is now! Hanno Sander's book, 

Advanced Control Robotics, is intended to help roboticists of various skill levels take their designs to the next level with microcontrollers and the know-how to implement them effectively.

Offer Expires 11/09/2014


Circuit Cellar Launches New College Program

Circuit Cellar is relaunching its FREE college program! That's right. The Circuit Cellar College Digital Program provides professors, instructors, administrators, and students with free digital subscriptions to Circuit Cellar magazine! The full details are now available on Circuit Cellar's College Digital Program webpage

  • It's Free - Students receive a free digital subscription to Circuit Cellar.
  • It's Educational - Each month, students are reading articles and tutorials from the world's best engineers and academics.
  • It's Inspirational - Circuit Cellar's articles inspire students to submit articles and get published.
  • It's Current - Each month, students will learn about the newest technologies, as well as what's going on in the professional electrical engineering community.
  • It's Special - As subscribers, students will be eligible for special subscriber-only promotions and discounts on products from Circuit Cellar and its partners.

C. J. Abate
Editor in Chief
Circuit Cellar #292, November 2014

MCU-Based Control Display Component | Build an Ultrasonic Wayfinder | 
DIY Blood Pressure Monitoring System | Budgeting Power in Data Centers |
Inductors 101 | Universal Motor Control Vs. Transistor SOA | Embedded Voice: Add Sound Files | The World Is Analog | And More 

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