The Humanoid Future of Robotics

The Terminator. I, Robot. Ex Machina. These are just a few of the multitude of popular movies that explore the relationship between humans and robots. It is clear that we are all fascinated by (and in some cases, fearful of) the idea that Artificial Intelligence could advance enough to allow robots to emulate human emotions, motivations, and responses. With resources such as NI’s LabView software driving engineering education forward, it seems as though each year brings us new and groundbreaking advancements. In 2022, exactly how close are we to achieving the intelligent humanoid robots of the future?

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System Maintenance with Apex Waves

System maintenance is an integral part of test engineering. Whether you are designing a new test program set or working within an established one, it’s important to keep resources for both preventative and corrective maintenance in mind. By having plans for both addressing equipment issues as they come up and preventing issues from occurring in the first place, your system will be spared from expensive delays in the future. With a specialized focus on National Instruments parts, Apex Waves is able to provide the repairs you need to maximize the performance of your equipment and system.

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Engineering Fundamentals: Kirchhoff’s Laws

Closeup of working on a circuit board

Kirchhoff’s Current and Voltage Laws are at the center of circuit analysis. With them, we have the fundamental tool set we need to start studying circuits and the formulas for individual components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors. Named after German physicist Gustav Kirchhoff (1824-1887), Kirchhoff’s Laws are electromagnetic approximations derived from Maxwell’s Equations. Simply put, they are applicable when the size of the components in a circuit are substantially smaller than the wavelength of the signals traveling through the circuit.

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Engineering Fundamentals: Ohm’s Law

Closeup of dark circuit board

Ohm’s Law, discovered by Georg Simon Ohm and first published in 1827, is the earliest and arguably most important connection between current, voltage, and resistance. A straightforward and practical technique for studying electric circuits, Ohm’s Law is very commonly used and has been documented on a broad range of scales. For aspiring electrical engineers studying the basics or for seasoned professionals looking to refresh their knowledge, this scientific law is worth having a deep understanding of.

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Software and Test Standardization

Closeup of computer screen with code on it

It’s no secret that software is key to creating the foundation of modern technology. With the rate at which new products and features are introduced into today’s market, the test software industry must prioritize expedient production and flexible customer delivery. How can this be accomplished? Through the standardization of test equipment! For years, the goal of testing organizations has been to achieve standardization- yet many businesses struggle to apply test standards because they can’t agree on how. However, test standardization does not have to entail a major revamp of your engineering and production testing processes. Smaller, more manageable standards, such as code or data management standards, can be implemented to address and resolve inefficiency issues.

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NI and the Digital Future of Mobility

Timelapse photo of road at night with streaking of white and red from headlights

The automotive industry is rapidly expanding, with new advancements being presented every year. Breakthrough technological advances have forever transformed the industry- and brought new challenges. As a result, manufacturers are adopting technology solutions that rely on cutting-edge work ranging from cloud computing to autonomous driving. However, many businesses are still in the design and deployment stages of smart manufacturing systems.

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PXI and PXIe Compatibility

Closeup side view of PXI-5105

The PXI and PXI Express chassis portfolio from National Instruments includes a wide range of size and performance options, as well as additional features to ease system interface and usage. The variety of options to fit specific needs is one of the reasons that the NI PXI and PXIe are industry leaders for automated testing and measurement. However, understanding the compatibility differences between the two can often lead to some confusion.

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The “Why” and “When” of Test Equipment Calibration

Closeup of red digital multimeter

As every test engineer planning out their Test Program Sets has probably heard at some point, keeping up with calibration is crucial. But how do you know when to get your test equipment hardware calibrated, and why exactly is it so important? Not only is it mandated by government agencies, required by quality regulations, and monitored by international standards groups- it directly impacts the efficacy of your equipment over time. While regular calibration may seem like a tedious extra step, it is clear that the benefits are well worth it. Here at Apex Waves, our stock of NI parts is fully calibrated, so each part is ready to ship to you right when you need it- at the highest quality condition available on the market.

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Understanding the Semiconductor Industry

The semiconductor industry is vital to technological innovation. However, the complexities of the supply chain and the nuances of different computer chips can leave one with more questions than answers. With this broad overview, it is easy to gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole. The first thing to note is the distinction between digital chips and analog chips. The common belief is that digital is an upgraded, more technologically advanced version of analog- but this isn’t the case. In fact, the worlds of analog and digital chips are complementary.

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Planning for Test Equipment Obsolescence in 2022

SpaceX Rocket Launching

With each new year comes new technological advances. Technology is developing at a rapid pace, which can spell out problems for test engineers facing challenges of obsolescence within their Test Program Sets (TPSs). For test engineers in the aerospace or defense industries, where parts and products are manufactured and supported for decades, obsolescence creates unique challenges. In many cases, the TPSs the engineers work with were created in archaic software languages with little to no documentation. At Apex Waves, we understand that many of our clients have a system they’ve been using for years and don’t have the resources, budget, or time necessary to replace it. We provide the calibrated, warrantied NI parts that you need now, with a tested stock of ready-to-ship parts to help you plan for the future.

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