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comp.robotics.* Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) part 4/5

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 )
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Archive-name: robotics-faq/part4
Last Modified: Mon Sep 16 01:00:38 EDT 1996

This FAQ was compiled and written by Kevin Dowling with numerous
contributions by readers of comp.robotics. Acknowledgements are listed
at the end of the FAQ.

This post, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1995 Kevin
Dowling. Distribution through any means other than regular Usenet
channels must be by permission. The removal of this notice is

This FAQ may be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, or
BBS as long as it or the section is posted in its entirety and
includes this copyright statement. This FAQ may not be distributed for
financial gain. This FAQ may not be included in commercial collections
or compilations without express permission from the author.

Please send changes, additions, suggestions and questions to:
Kevin Dowling tel: 412.268.8830
Robotics Institute fax: 412.268.5895
Carnegie Mellon University net: [2]
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 url: [3]

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
    This FAQ may be referenced as:
   Dowling, Kevin (1995) "Robotics: comp.robotics Frequently Asked
   Questions" Available as a hypertext document at 90+ pages.
   Last-Modified: Thu Dec 7 16:40:11 1995
    [4]Kevin Dowling <>

                [10] What Robotics related products are there?
   [3][10.1] Sensors
          [4][10.1.1] Cameras
          [5][10.1.2] Inertial, Acceleration and Heading sensors
          [6][10.1.3] Rangefinding devices
          [7][10.1.4] Force/torque, accelerometers, tactile
          [8][10.1.5] Sonar sensors
          [9][10.1.6] Pan/tilt mechanisms
          [10][10.1.7] Measuring 3 or 6DOF position 
          [11][10.1.8] Measuring linear motion
          [12][10.1.9] Interfacing sensors
   [13][10.2] Actuators
          [14][10.2.1] RC-Servos
          [15][10.2.2] Shape Memory Materials
          [16][10.2.3] Other Actuators
          [17][10.2.4] Stepper Motors
          [18][10.2.5] Controllers
   [19][10.3] Imaging for Robotics
   [20][10.4] Wireless Communication
          [21][10.4.1] RF Modems
          [22][10.4.2] RF Video
          [23][10.4.3] RF Ethernet
   [24][10.5] Robot Parts: Suppliers and Sources
[10] What Robotics related products are there?

   Robots are amazingly interdisciplinary; systems are comprised of
   mechanics, electronics, hardware and software and issues germane to
   all these catagories. As a result, the design and constructions of
   such systems requires a corresponding variety of components and parts.
   This section provides information about products available for some of
   these areas.
   [10.1] Sensors This list covers only the most frequently requested
   types of robot sensors. These include point-range sensors, cameras,
   and acoustic devices. See Sensors magazine directory for a large and
   comprehensive list. This list covers the following:
   [25][10.1.1] Cameras
   [26][10.1.2] Inertial measurement devices and gyros
   [27][10.1.3] Rangefinding devices
   [28][10.1.4] Force/torque, accelerometers, tactile
   [29][10.1.5] Sonar sensors
   [30][10.1.6] Pan/tilt mechanisms
   [31][10.1.7] Measuring 3 or 6DOF position 
   [32][10.1.8] Measuring linear motion
   [33][10.1.9] Interfacing sensors
  [10.1.1] Cameras
   There are a large number of cameras on the market and even many
   consumer products such as the smaller camcorders are inexpensive and
   suitable for some imaging applications. I'll try to list some
   different and unusual ones here. Note that although some of these
   cameras are very small many of them are appended to a large box of
   electronics via a cable that supplies power and transmits video. For
   mobile applications DC power inputs may be an issue as well. I've also
   included servo-lens products as well in this section.
   _CCTV Corporation _
    280 Huyler St. South Hackensack, NJ 07606 tel: 201.489.9595 tel:
    800.221.2240 fax: 201.489.0111
   CCTV makes a number of small CCD surveillance cameras. Some as small
   as a pack of cigarettes that sell for less than $300. Small cameras --
   'Pincam' 1.5"x1.5"x.75" pinhole camera for $200. MOD-250 and MOD-275
   are all single PC board cameras with wide angle 3.6 mm lenses 514x491V
   resolution, and composite outputs. Other cameras come in unique
   enclosures for surveilance (e.g. cigarette packs, clocks, smoke
    P.O. Box 85623
    San Diego, CA 92186-5623
    tel: 619.277.6700 X225
    fax: 619.277.0221
   Cohu makes a number of solid state cameras including board level and
   remote head devices. The 1100 series is designed for OEM use. It
   outputs standard RS-170 with 768x494 CCD resolution. 10cmx4.5cmx1.6cm
   w/o lens. Other units include the 550 series Intensified Monochrome
   CCD Camera for low-light applications. The 4110 has digital output
   (eliminates pixel jitter), The 6X00 series are small monochrome remote
   head cameras and the 8000 series cameras are color remote head
   devices. A variety of ouputs are available includeing NTSC, RGB,
   PAL/Y-C. A high resolution unit, the 8410 series, provides 1134x486
   pixels (850 horz TV lines)
   _DAK Industries_
    8200 Remnet Ave
    Canoga Park, CA 91304
    tel: 800.325.0800 (ordering)
    tel: 800.888.9818 (technical)
    fax: 818.888.2837
   DAK sells all kinds of gadgets for the home and business. One device
   is a security camera that is smaller than a credit card (length and
   width) and 38mm deep. B/W 251,904 pixels, 60 degree lens and built-in
   microphone. Has built-in IR transmitters for seeing in total darkness.
   $199 for camera, 20m cable, AC adapter and stands. Other packages
   include monitors and two-camera switcher for $299 total. Extra cable
   is $29.90
   _Dalsa Inc_
    605 McMurray Rd.
    Waterloo, ON, Canada N2V 2E9
    tel: 519.886.6000
   Modular cameras -- you choose the entire configuration from the CCD
   device to the video output format. Known for their large selection of
   high speed, high sensitivity and high resolution CCD chips (up to 25
   million pixels on a single chip CCD).
   _Edmund Scientific _
    101 E. Gloucester Pike
    Barrington, NJ 08007-1380
    tel: 609.573.6250 order
    tel: 609.573.6260 customer service
   Edmund Scientific Catalog has some very nice looking minature CCD
   cameras. They have several models ranging from $230 to $495 list, b/w
   and color with 1/2" or 1/3" CCD's. All are board level and require
   external power supply.
   _Electrim Corp. _
    P.O. Box 2074
    Princeton, NJ. 08543
    tel: 609.683.5546
    fax: 609.683.5882
   Offers digitial cameras and acquisition cards in an integrated system
   for use with PC's. The EDC-1000C is a complete image acquisition
   system with a 751x488v resolution camera that supports 24 bit color
   for $950 (including the PC interface card). The EDC-1000HR is the
   monochrome version. A recently released system (11/94) offers a
   ADSP2101 DSP on board the acquisition card.
   _Elmo Mfg Corp _
    70 New Hyde Park Rd.
    New Hyde Park, NY 11040
    tel: 516.775.3200
    tel: 800.974.ELMO
    fax: 516.775.3297
   Micro-sized cameras including a 12mm color unit, the UN411E. The
   ME441E is a remote head B&W ccd camera for machine vision
   applications. 17mm, 14g. Wide variety of features including
   electronics shuttering, field/frame modes, interlace and non-interlace
    _Gateway Electronics, Inc._
    8123 Page Blvd
    St. Louis, MO 63130
    tel: 314.427.6116
   Ultra Minature Camera $149.50. 1.6" X 1.8" X 1" with a 3.6 mm wide
   angle lens a 1/3 CCD sensor 380 lines of resolution and electronic
   sutter time of 1/60 - 1/50,000 sec. 12 VDC Video Camera and monitor
   combination 9" solid state monitor. This is a closed circuit camera
   monitor system that runs on 115 VAC. There is also a microphone in the
   Camera. $125.00
    _Hamamatsu Corp. _
    360 Foothill Road
    Bridewater, NJ 08807-0910
    tel: 908.231.1116
    fax: 908.231.0852
   Offers a linup of general purpose single CCD cameras. The C4200 is a
   768x493V single CCD color camera. The C3967 is a 3 CCD remote head
   color camera with 786x493V resolution. They also offer off-the-shelf
   image improvement/enhancing hardware and CCD chips (1024x1024V)
    _Images Company _
    P.O. Box 140742
    Staten Island, NY 10314
    tel: 718.698.8305
   Microminature B/W video camera $200.00. TV Transmitter (KIT) $45.00
   _Marshall Electronics _
    Culver City, CA
    Contact: Steve Kraig
    tel: 310.390.6608
   World's smallest low-cost digital camera on a single chip; under $10
   for volume users. It is the first commercially available image sensor
   to have a built-in A/D converter. The Digital Video Camera Chip,
   VVL1070 delivers a digitized B&W image through processor-compatible
   serial and parallel ports. The IC uses a proprietary CMOS sensor
   technology developed by VLSI Vision Ltd., which also is developing a
   whole series of single-chip EIA cameras that will be shortly
   introduced to the American market.
   The chip features a 160 x 160 pixel array. Pixel size is 10.5 x 10.5
   microns. All circuitry to drive and sense the array is packaged in a
   single Optical Quad Flatpak. The digital converter provides an 8-bit
   digital output for serial or parallel interface. Other features
   include an analog output with sync pulses, wide-range electronic
   exposure control for use with a variety of low-cost fixed-aperture
   lenses and automatic black level circuitry. Power consumption is less
   than 100mw.
   An Engineering Level Evaluation Kit is available to reduce development
   costs and allow designers to rapidly develop a prototype using their
   own defined interface circuitry. The kit includes a fully operational
   PCB using an LCC with glass lid mounted in an anodized aluminum
   enclosure with both a "C" mount 12mm lens and a wide-angle 4.3mm
   fixed-focus lens.
   Also offers both a 330 line and 510x492v resolution miniature color
   _Micro Video Products _
    16201 Osborne
    St. Westminster, CA 92683
    tel: 714.842.4648
    tel: 800.473.0538
   Mini B/W camera $179.00 2.5x2.5x5cm and 70g. 7-14 VCD and 80 milliamps
   Also carry underwater cameras, and transmitter/recievers for video.
   _NEC America _
    1555 Walnut Hill Lane
    Irving, TX 75038
    tel: 214.751.7000
    tel: 800.323.6656
   Offers many types of general purpose monochrome cameras as well as a
   811x508V resolution color camera with a variety of output formats
   (RGB, NTSC, Y/C). The TI-324A is a small high-res B/W CCD camera
   designed for machine vision and robotics applications. A variety of
   other B/W and Color CCD cameras are also made.
   _Panasonic _
    tel: 201.392.4576
   John Gregler - sales rep
   Sells a complete line of monochrome cameras and a high performance
   broadcast quality 3 CCD RGB color camera.
   _Patrick McGuire_
    tel: 800-335-9777
   A small company (4) making cameras, wireless video transmitters.
   _Pulnix America Inc. _
    1330 Orleans Dr.
    Sunnyvale, CA 94089
    tel: 408.747.0300
    tel: 800.445.5444 x127 Katie McVeigh - sales rep
   Offers gereral purpose, reasonably priced CCD cameras. The TMC-7RGB is
   a 768x494V resolution color camera with electronic shutter for $1100.
   Many monochrome cameras are available including a high resolution
   1024x1024V. The 'Card-Cam' line of cameras are small PC board cameras
   with simple C-mount remote heads.
   _Resources UN-LTD. _
    8030 South Willow Street, Bldg 2
    Manchester, NH 03109
    tel: 603.668.2499
   CCD Micro Camera From Chinon. $159.00 B/W 1/3" CCD with a full
   250,000+ pixels. 350 lines of resolution. Auto gain control and
   electronic shutter. 9 VDC at 80 milliamps. Adjustable focus 4mm, f 1.8
   lens (provides 78 degree FOV, 10mm to infinity). Standard Composite
   video out. Weighs 14g, IR Sensitive. Also reportedly sold by by
   Creative Micro Electronics in Colorado. tel: 303.770.8928, fax:
   _Sony Electronics Inc. _
    1200 N. Arlington Heights Road
    Itasca, IL 60143
    tel: 708.773.7604
   Sony XC/999/999P is a nice small color CCD camera the size of a
   microphone. CCD resolution is 768Hx493V. The 999 is NTSC and the 999P
   is the PAL format. XC-75 has small camera head and separate
   electronics. The XC711 is a nice general purpose single CCD color
   camera with 768x493V resolution, but not as expensive as to XC999. The
   XC-711 RR is the remote head version. An appreciable lineup of
   monochrome cameras are offered as well.
   _Supercircuits _
    13552 Research Blvd #B
    Austin, TX 78750
    tel: 512.335.9777
    fax: 512.335.1925
   Electronic timers and beepers, miniature cameras and transmitters.
   Super Circuits specializes in affordable microvideo products. One of
   the tiny cameras, the PC-9XS is about the size of a silver dollar, has
   380 lines resolution, 1 lux rating at a price of only $149. Some of
   the cameras go down to .2 lux. Other products include small color
   cameras, ATV UHF transmitter kits, Short range transmitter sets, and
   other specialty video products.
   _Texas Instruments _
   TI makes a full line of cameras and CCD chips includeing linear and 2D
   arrays. TI makes a $35 CCD Imager, the TC-211, with 192x165
   resolution. Newark Electronics sells the TC211-M for around US$50.00
   See TI's Array Image Sensor Products data manual for more details.
   Update: Unfortunately, Telescope Making Magazine went out of business
   with the issue mentioned above and may be hard to find. Hope to find
   copy and contact author wrt to posting it.
   _Toshiba America _
    Information and Imaging Technologies Group
    1010 Johnson Drive
    Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-6900
    tel: 800.253.5429
    fax: 708.541.1927
   Toshiba IK-M40A high resolution microminiature color camera. Camera
   head is 39mm long, 17mm diameter and weighs 16g. 1/2" CCD w/ 410,000
   pixels, high sensitivity (5 lux at F1.6) and electronic shutter. RGB
   output standard. uses cables up to 30m. Several lenses available.
   About $2K.
   Toshiba also makes a very small C-mount Lens color CCD camera, the
   IK-C40A. It is only slight larger than a 30mm cube.
   _Wintriss Engineering Corp _
    6342 Ferris Square
    San Diego, CA 92121
    tel: 619.550.7300
    tel: 800.733.8089
   Wintriss makes a 2048 pixel line scan camera that can be used for
   object imaging, velocity measurement and positioning with multiple
   cameras. Can be used to determine spped and trajectory of objects in
   flight. This has been used in archery applications. RS485 interface
   with 8Mb/sec serial data rate. Can be linked directly with Wintriss
   DSP boards for post-processing and communications. Price $1250.
   _Xillix Technologies Corporation _
    Suite 200
    2339 Colombia Street
    Vancouver B.C. V5Y 3Y3
    tel: 604.875.6161
    fax: 604.872.3356
   Specializing in High-res CCD cameras. Product line includes a 12-bit
   1317x1035 pixel resolution. Target market has been medical imaging.
   Full computer control and compatible with a number of image capture
   and display boards.
  [10.1.2] Inertial, Acceleration and Heading sensors
   An excellent summary technical report on this area can be found at:
   [34]CMU-RI-TR-94-15 (compressed)
   _Modern Inertial and Satellite Navigation_ by Alonzo Kelly, May 1994.
   Inertial measurement includes such devices as accelerometers, gyros,
   and devices for measuring orientation or acceleration of moving
   vehicles. Accelerometers are devices for measuring the rate of change
   in velocity and can provide estimations of distance or be used to
   detect high forces.
   Much of the initial research, development and marketing in this area
   were for military applications. However, markets and commercial units
   are now found in mass market and even consumer applications these
   days. This has brought the price of systems down significantly. There
   are several inexpensive gyros used in radio controlled helicopters.
   These are rate gyros, used to sense the rate of turn about a
   particular axis (usually vertical, for tail rotor control), and are
   designed to connect between an R/C receiver and a servo.
   These gyros work by modifying the PWM signal that the rx produces,
   before it gets to the servo. The sensing is usually done by a linear
   hall effect device, which senses the position of a magnet on the
   bottom of the flywheel assembly. The gyros have both sensitivity and
   gain controls, and some can be switched on and off remotely. They have
   been used for sensing rotation about an axis for a VR headset, with
   some success. The big advantage is they are relatively cheap, the big
   disadvantage is high drift rate.
   _Analog Devices_
    One Technology Way
    P.O. Box 9106,
    Norwood, MA 02062-9106
    tel: 617.329.4700
    fax: 617.326.8703
     Analog Devices ADXL50 accelerometer.

Power Supply........................... +5V (+/- 5%)
Measurement Range...................... +/- 50g
Pre-Amp Zero-g output level............ +1.8V
Pre-Amp output span.................... +1.8V (+/-1.2V) at +/-50g
Uncommitted amp output range........... +0.25V to +4.75V
Overall Accuracy....................... 5% of Full Scale
Linearity.............................. 0.5% of Full Scale
Bandwidth.............................. DC to 1kHz
Voltage Noise (p-p)
    at BW = 0.3kHz..................... +/-0.24% of Full Scale
    at BW = 1.0kHz..................... +/-0.48% of Full Scale
Transverse Sensitivity................. 2%
Unpowered Shock Survival............... 2000g

   Distributed by Newark, Hamilton-Hallmark and Active.
   _Andrew Corporation_
    10500 W. 153rd Street
    Orland Park, IL 60462
    tel: 708.349.5957
    fax: 708.349.5294
    fax: 800.349.5444
   Fiber-optic gyro. 77mm diameter by 88mm high. Analog out porportional
   to rotation rate. Also digital version available. Rate +/- 100
   degrees/sec. Stable over -40C to +85C. Power 8-13.5VDC at 250mA. Bias
   drift 0.005 deg/sec (18 deg/hr). 0.63kg $1100.00 for digital version,
   $950 for analog.
    P.O. Box 799
    Valley Forge, PA 19482
    tel: 610.666.3500
    fax: 610.666.3509
   Piezo Film Accelerometer Sensors
   AHC-04-08 accelerometer/shock sensor contains three sensing elements
   oriented to measure acceleration in two linear axes and one angular
   axis. Each sensor has a dedicated channel with adjustable gain, an
   adjustable comparator, and selectable output control to provide either
   a digital or analog signal. It is a low profile surface mount chip
   with 14 pins. It has internal eeprom for programming the adjustable
   gains, and output modes.
   Lower limit on the frequency response is typically about 7-13 Hz. This
   means if it were subjected to a steady 10 G acceleration for example,
   the output would rise to 10 G's then decay down to zero even though it
   were still at 10 G's. This is good for measuring shocks but not steady
   accelerations. About $30 for a single unit.
   _BEI - Systron Donner_
    2700 Systron Drive,
    Concord, CA 94518-1399
    tel: 510.682.6161
    fax: 510.671.6590
   GyroChip - a very small solid state angular rate sensor. Based a
   quartz tuning fork device - all support electronics are included. Max
   range available: +/-10 deg/sec to +/-1000 deg/sec. Input +/- 5VDC
   Output scale +/- 2.5VDC. Systron Donner also makes a variety of linear
   accelerometers and inertial measurement products. Solid state six axis
   inertial sensor. It provides analog signals for 3 axis acceleration
   and 3 axis rate. The package is 7.5cmx7.5cmx8cm, weighs ~600grams and
   takes +-15V unreg in (7W). Bias drift is on the order of 0.005 deg/sec
   short term (0.1deg/sec long term). Cost is $12,000 for one or $10,000
   for 2-9 (a good single axis rate gyro usually costs $6K+). Various
   acceleration and rate range combinations are available (up to +- 20g).
   Delivery is about 6wks. A new Gyrochip two is available as well. Specs
   aren't quite as good but it is cheaper.
   _Endevco Corporation_
    30700 Rancho Viejo Road
    San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
    tel: 714.493.8181
    fax: 714.661.7231
   Variable Capacitance and Piezoresistive Accelerometers. Many models,
   contact Endevco for literature.
   _Gyration Inc._
    Saratoga CA
    tel: 408.255.3016
    fax: 408.255.9075
   Sells small vertical and directional gyros for ~$500. These are
   standard gimballed gyros, but the drift specs probaly aren't as good
   as aircraft-quality gyros. Now also sell innovative computer pointers
   and devices termed 'Gyroengines' that provide quadrature outputs from
   heading devices. Gyroengines are $3.5K
    11601 Roosevelt Blvd
    St. Petersburg, FL 33716
    tel: 813.579.6604
    fax: 813.579.6696
   Honeywll manufactures the modular azimuth and postioning system (MAPS)
   and utilizes ring-laser gyros. (RLG). The RLG uses two beams of laser
   light rotating in opposite directions along a path within a sealed and
   enclosed cavity. As the unit changes heading, the distances the beams
   travel differ. This difference is can be measured and is directly
   related to heading. When combined with linear accelerometers the unit
   provides position and orientation. MAPS has an RS-422 interface, is
   approx 22x27x38cm and is 20kg. 100W power draw. [Rad hard and rated
   for howitzer gunfire!]
    9212 Balboa Avenue
    San Diego, CA 92123
    tel: 619.565.6631
    fax: 619.565.6873
   Wide variety of gyros, north seekers, vertical indicators, position
   transducers, pendulums, magnetometers, dynamic stabilization systems,
   and accelerometer devices.
    1701 McCarthy Blvd.
    Milpitas, CA 95035-7416
    tel: 800.767.1888
    tel: 408.432.1800
    fax: 408.434.6687
   Model 3145. Signal Conditioned Temperature Compensated 0.5 to 4.5 Vdc
   Output. 2g, 5g, 10g, 20g, 50g, 100g, 200g ranges. $230 for 1.
   Model 3140: Instrumentation grade Signal Conditioned Temperature
   Compensated 0.5 to 4.5 Vdc Output. 2g, 5g, 10g, 20g, 50g, 100g, 200g
   ranges. $295 for 1.
   Model 3031: OEM Accelerometer Piezoresistive low cost Surface mount
   package. 2g, 5g, 10g, 20g, 50g, 100g, 200g, 500g ranges. $74 for 1.
   Model 3021 and 3026: OEM Accelerometer Piezoresistive low cost. 2g,
   5g, 10g, 20g, 50g, 100g, 200g, 500g ranges. Price ranges from $98-141
   for 1, depending on g range.
   _KVH Industries _
    110 Enterprise Center
    Middletown, RI 02840
    tel: 401.847.3327
    fax: 401.849.0045
   also in Europe:
    KVH Europe A/S
    Ved Klaedebo 12
    2970 Hoersholm
    tel: +45(42)86 82 89
    fax: +45(42)86 70 77
   Nice small well-designed units that provide heading data. About $1K w/
   RS232 adapter.
   _Lucas Control Systems Products_
    1000 Lucas Way
    Hampton, VA 23666
    tel: 800.745.8008
    fax: 800.745.8004
   Schaevitz Sensors, a division of Lucas, makes a variety of
   inclinometers and accelerometers. the S05E is a compact, lightweight,
   solid state accelerometer. NEMA 4 housing. DC -1KHz freq response,
   +/-5vdc output, vibration to 20grms, less than 500mW power.
   Other linear servo inclinometers and accelerometers: acceleration
   ranges: +/-0.5g to +/-20g, inclinometer ranges +/-1 deg to +/- 90 deg.
   Operating temperatures -55C to 95C.
   _Lucas NovaSensor_
    1055 Mission Court
    Fremont, CA 94539
    tel: 510.490.9100
   Lucas makes a 1"x1"x0.5" accelerometer for about $200. Good noise
   immunity but fragile.
   _Murata Erie North America_
    2200 Lake Park Drive
    Smyrna, GA 30080
    tel: 800.831.9172
    fax: 404.436.3030
   Gyrostar piezoelectric vibrating gyroscope. Uses equilateral
   triangular prism with PE elements attached to faces of prism. High
   precision compared to other vibration gyroscopes. Measures augular
   velocity with good linearity. Max augular vel +/- 90 deg/sec, No
   hysteresis, 58x25x25mm, 45g, output is DC voltage porportional to
   angular rate. 22.2mV/deg/sec scale factor.
   Gerhard Weiss has provided some results of experiments with the unit
   at []: [35]
   _Pewatron AG_
    Hertistr. 27
    CH-8304 Wallisellen, Switzerland
    Tel: +41 1 830 29 44
    Fax: +41 1 830 51 57
   Two-axis Inclinometer. Weight: 2.3gr, voltage: 5V, current: 20mA,
   dimension: 12 x 12 x 7 mm, Output: 2 analog output. Sine and cosine
   for 360 degree, voltage swing: +/- 0.4V, Price: about $100. Rumored to
   have a US distributor: Dinsmore. _Dinsmore Instrument Company_
    1814 Remell Street
    Flint MI 45806
    tel: 810.744.1330
    fax: 810.744.1790
   _Precision Navigation_
    1235 Pear Avenue
    Suite 111
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    tel: 415.962.8777
    fax: 415.962.8776
   TCM2 Electronic Compass Sensor Module. Digital compass - incorporates
   2-axis tilt sensor. NOT A FLUXGATE COMPASS - Magneto-inductive
   magnetometer technology. Electronic gimbaling, full 3-axis
   information, low power consumption 5vdc @ 6-12mA. Accuracy +/- 1
   degree up to 20 degrees tilt. Approx. 6x5x3 cm. -20to70C operating
   temperature. RS232 interface or analog. 0-2.5V linear. 16Hz output
   rate. $700.
   Precision's Vector-2X electronic compass module is about $50 and
   provides 2 deg accuracy, 1 deg resolution, 10Hz smapling, serial
   ouput. Another product the Wayfinder is targeted for VR tracking
   _Silicon Designs, Inc._
    1445-NW Mall Street
    Issaquah, WA. 98027-5344
    tel: 206.391.8329
    fax: 206.391.0446
   Capacitive Accelerometers
   Model 1010, Digital output:
   Produces Digital pulse train in which the density of pulses (number of
   pulses a second) is proprtional to applied acceleration. It operates
   with a single +5 volt power supply and requires a clock of 100kHz -
   1MHz. The output is ratiometric to the clock frequency and independent
   of the power supply voltage. Two forms of digital signals are provided
   for direct interfacing to a microprocessor or counter. This devices
   comes in a PLCC package that is smaller than a penny.
   Model 1210, Analog output:
   Provides two analog outputs, 1-4 volts, or 4-1 volt, with O g's at 2.5
   volts. The outputs can be used either differentially or single ended
   referenced to 2.5 volts. Two reference voltages, +5.0 and +2.5 volts
   (nominal), are required; the output scale factor is ratiometric to the
   +5 volt reference voltage.
   _Silicon Microstructures_
    46725 Fremont Boulevard
    Fremont CA. 94538
    tel: 510.490.5010
    fax: 510.490.1119
   Model 7170 series and 7130 series capacitive accelerometers. These are
   relatively large devices with built in ASIC signal processing.They
   have very good accuracy specs and are pre-calibrated. They also make
   pressure sensors.
   _Summitt Instruments _
    tel: 216.659.3312
   Three-axis accelerometer. A tiny cube just under 2.5cm on a side.
   Approx $1K
   _Sundance Model Products _
    2427 W. Adrian St.
    Newbury Park, CA 91320
    tel: 805.498.8857
   Lists a solid state gyro for model helicopters. The SSG/1 is 38mm x
   38mm x 13mm and weighs 43g. Completely solid state with no motor or
   moving parts. Claims to draw 10% of the power of a gyro with moving
   parts. No drift specs.
   _Inclination and Tilt Sensing_ There are Electrolytic tilt sensors or
   clinometers that use a a conductive fluid, not mercury, whose
   resistance across various electrodes provides an analog signal
   proportional to tilt angle. They're not too expensive, although they
   do tend to have long settling times (up to a few seconds). A couple of
   US sources:
   _The Fredericks Company _
    tel: 215.947.2500
    fax: 215.947.7464
   _Applied Geomechanics _
    tel: 408.462.2801
    fax: 408.462.4418
   The smallest, cheapest model is 5x5x2 cm and about $250. It has a
   5-terminal electrolytic cell that can measure tilt in two axes to +-20
   degrees (optional +-45 degrees). The characteristic "slosh" frequency
   is about 10 Hz, and it exhibits sub-second settling times and a
   resolution of 0.01 degrees. The output is two analog signals (X and Y,
   or Roll and Pitch, if you prefer). It runs off of a 9-volt battery.
  [10.1.3] Rangefinding devices
   _Principles_ There are four basic techniques for distance measurement
   using electro magnetic radiation. These are:
    1. Pulse Timing
    2. Phase Comparison
    3. Doppler Methods
    4. Interferometry
   All are used in practice for distance measurement depending on the
   particular application.
   Pulse timing, as the name suggests, involves measuring the round time
   for a signal to be transmitted to a reflective surface and return.
   This is the principle used in Radar, DME for aircraft, LORAN,
   Satellite Altimetry, Airborne RADAR Altimetry, Lunar Laser Ranging
   etc. Some of the newer EDM instruments used by surveyor are also using
   pulse timing and accuracies of +/- 5mm are possible. Most of the
   military range finders also use pulse timing. The GPS system uses
   pulse timing for coarse distance measurement. Very Long Base
   Interferometry (VLBI) is also a pulse timing technique where signals
   >from pulsars are timed from two or more radio telescopes and the
   difference in times of arrival are converted to intercontinental
   distances with a precision of a few centimetres.
   Phase difference involves the use of a carrier wave which may be
   modulated at different wavelengths. By measuring the difference in
   phase between the transmitted signal and the received signal after it
   has been reflected from the other end of the target, the distance can
   be determined as an integer number (unknown) of wavelengths plus a
   fraction of a wavelength which is known from the phase comparison. By
   using a range of modulation frequencies the ambiguity can be resolved.
   There are many applications of this technique. A wide range of carrier
   frequencies are used ranging from visible through infra red to
   microwave and right down to VLF. Typical instruments used by surveyors
   have accuracies of +/-(1to2 mm +1to3 parts per million) and use infra
   red as the carrier. Precise positioning using GPS can be achieved by
   phase comparison of the carrier wave signals of the various
   satellites. Accuracies in position of better than 1 part per million
   can be achieved.
   Doppler techniques were used in the earlier satellite positioning
   systems. The received frequency of a low orbit satellite is compared
   with the actual transmitted signal as a function of time. The rate of
   change of frequency gives the slant range between the satellite and
   the observer while the instant when the two freqencies are the same
   gives the point of closest approach. By knowing the orbital parameters
   of the satellite which are transmitted, the observers position can be
   Interferometric methods are the same as those used in the original
   Michelson Interferometer. It is used for metrology, high precision
   distance measurement over short distances (up to 60 metres) and in the
   definition of the metre.
   There are a variety of laser rangefinding devices that have been built
   and used over the past decade for robotics use. The 3D devices are
   still large, power hungry and heavy but give very nice images suitable
   for fast map building and navigation work. Expect to pay over $50K for
   these time-of-flight devices. Most AM Lidars measure phase shift
   between outgoing and reflected beams. A mirror system rasters the beam
   forming a video-camera-like image. Some devices supply the reflectance
   image as well as range which is nice for corresponding the two.
   Comprehensive references include:
     * Electronic Distance Measurement by JM Rueger, Springer-Verlag
     * P. Besl, ``Active, Optical Range Imaging Sensors'', Machine Vision
       and Applications, v. 1, p. 127-152, 1988.
       A longer version of Besl's paper appears in ``Advances in Machine
       Vision: Architectures and Applications'', J. Sanz (ed.),
       Springer-Verlag, 1988.
     * Other good surveys are Ray Jarvis' article in IEEE TPAMI v5n2 and
       Nitzan's article in IEEE PAMI v10n2.
   A good report on the characterization of a particular scanner is:
     * Experimental Characterization of the Perceptron Laser Rangefinder,
       In So Kweon, Regis Hoffman, and Eric Krotkov. Carnegie Mellon
       University Technical Report, CMU-RI-TR-91-1. 1991.
     * M. Hebert and E. Krotkov. 3-D Measurements from Imaging Laser
       Radars: How Good Are They? Int. Journal of Image and Vision
       Computing, 10(3):170-178, April 1992
     * International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 13, No. 4, Aug.
       1994, pp 305-314. {get title}
   A number of laboratory works have also demonstrated FM or chirp
   systems which can be highly accurate (e.g. high resolution elevation
   maps of coins) but these are very specialized and I don`t know of
   commercial devices currently.
   _Acuity Research_
    20863 Stevens Creek Blvd. #200
    Cupertino, Ca. 95014
    tel: 408-252-9639
    fax: 408-725-1580
    net: or Bob Clark,
   The AccuRange 400 is an optical distance measurement sensor with a
   range of 0 to 16m for most diffuse reflective surfaces. It operates by
   emitting a collimated laser beam that is reflected from the target
   surface and collected by the sensor. 0.5mm short-term repeatability,
   RS-232 output and optional 4-20mA current loop. Also PW and analog
   indication of range available. Visible or IR output available. (670nm
   and 780nm respectively) Around $2500. 5VDC@300mA. 50KHz sampling rate.
   _Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL)_
    contact: Narinder Bains (
    net: 905.823.9040 x6120
   Laser Eye ranging system. It consists of a robotic head with a
   combined vision / range sensor. The sensor provides colour images and
   distance to an object in the centre of the camera field of view. There
   is of course software to process images from the camera and detect a
   target, to control the head, communication, nice GUIs, etc. Is being
   used for vehicle navigation.
   From the head position you get the bearing to the target and the
   rangefinder provides you with the distance. Angular resolution is
   better than 0.05 degree, the distance can be measured up to 100m with
   accuracy of ~5 cm. Note that the range measurement is 1D along the
   camera axis.
   The cost of the vision system and complexity of the software depends
   on your specific application: how difficult is it to detect and track
   your vehicle, how fast is it moving, is it possible to use special
   markers, is illumination constant, etc.
   _BCT GmbH _
    Martin-Schmeisser-Weg 9
    D-44227 Dortmund
   BCT in Germany makes laser-3D-scanners with a CAD-interface
   _ERIM (Environmental Research Institute of Michigan) _
   ERIM has built a number of custom AM laser rangefinders including
   those used in the ALV (Autonomous Land Vehicle) program. CMU and
   Martin Marietta have both used this systems in extensive work. Basic
   system was a 128x64 2fps 20m (ambiguity interval) system.
   _Erwin Sick GmbH. _
    Erwin Sick
    Optic-Electronic Ltd.
    Waldrich House
    39 Hedley Road
    St. Albans
    Herfordshire AL1 5BN
    tel: 0727/831121
    fax: 0727/856767
   in US:
    Sick Optic-Electronic, Inc.
    7694 Golden Triangle Drive
    P.O.-Box 444-240
    Eden Prairie, MN 55344
    tel: 612.941.6780
    fax: 612.941.9287
   PLS-100: This device measures distance by TOF from 4 cm up to 80 m,
   guaranteed range of 4 m (at a black lether target), is eye-safe (IEC
   Class 1), takes a 180 degree scan in 20 ms, total 25 scans a second,
   angle resolution 0.5 degree (361 scan points in a scan). This device
   is build in a industrial IP65 case. And it is rather cheap (6.900,- DM
   + VAT, in Germany).
   _ESP Technologies _
    21 LeParc Drive
    Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
    tel: 609.275.0356
    fax: 609.275.0356
   $15K LED based IR ranging system. 15cm diameter rotating scanning
   device with collimated LED light beam that uses phase differences to
   calculate distance. Range 0.6 to 6m. 2.5cm resolution, 15cm accuracy.
   1Khz update rate
   _Hammamatsu Corp. _
    New Jersey
    tel: 908.231.0960
    fax: 908.231.1539
   Hamamatsu S4282 Light Modulation Photo IC The size of a normal
   transistor (approx 1/4" square). It has 4 leads, Vcc, Gnd, Vout, LED.
   All you do is attach an IR LED to the LED lead to give you an instant
   IR proximity detector (the photo diode detector is built into the
   part). Two can be aimed at each other and they won't interfere since
   they'll be out of phase. They have another model with a lens over the
   photo diode that is claimed could be used up to 30 feet! Hammamatsu
   also sells a number of photo sensors like color sensors, position
   sensitive detectors, pyroelectric sensors.
     * S4282-11 short range $7.75 single unit
     * S4282-72 long range $19.00 single unit
    5-38 Auriga Drive
    Ottawa, ON, Canada K2E 8A5
    tel: 613.727.1584
    fax: 613.727.0441
    net: [36]
   Hyscan laser digitizing systems. High speed 3D surface mapping. Hyscan
   probe retrofits to any CMM, CNC, or any other translation device.
   10,000 points/sec.

                 Model 25     Model 50
Accuracy         +/-0.025mm   +/-0.050mm
Resolution (Z)   0.003mm      0.003mm
Depth of field   40mm         80mm
Scan width       70mm         80mm
Stand-off        100mm        100mm
Size                260x110x65mm
Weight                  2.2kg

   _IBEO Lasertechnik _
    Ingenieurburo fur
    Elektronik + Optik
    Fahrenkron 125
    D 2000 Hamburg 71
    tel: 040 645 87 - 01
    fax: 040 645 87 - 101
   2D and 3D laser scanners. 8frame/sec, 220 degree view, 4600
   points/sec. Accuracy +/- 20mm (1 sigma) from 0.5 - 500? 24W power.
   System specs can be configured for variety of applications
   _LaserMax _
    Rochester, NY
    tel: 716.272.5420
   Manufactures semiconductor laser diode packages and cylindrical
   lenses. Packages and small and rugged.
   _Odetics _
    1515 South Manchester Ave
    Anaheim, CA 92802-2907
    tel: 714.758.0300
   Odetics has made a number of smaller laser scanners. That is, smaller
   than their larger ERIM and Perceptron brethren. I have not heard any
   independent reviews of the product however.
   _Origin Instruments _
    854 Greenview Drive
    Grand Praire, TX 750750-2438
    tel: 214.606.8740
    fax: 214.606.8741
   The Dynasight sensor is a 3-D optical radar that provides real-time
   3-D measurements of passive targets with sub-millimeter resolution.
   Automatic search and track is provided, eye-safe operation and no
   adjustments or alignment required. Original application was head
   tracking of computer users but end- effector tracking is also viable.
   Operatin range depends on target size 0.1-1.5m for 7mm target, 0.3-4m
   for 25mm target and 1 to 6m for 75mm targets. RS-232 interface.
   Accuracies 1mm cross range and 4mm down range, resolutions 0.1mm cross
   range and 0.4mm down range.
   A number of labs have built light stripe devices using projected light
   LCD shutters and laser line projectors determine distance through
   geometry (as opposed to directly measuring distance through
   time-of-flight means) One common need is that of generating the laser
   _Perceptron _
    23855 Research Drive
    Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2643
    tel: 313.478.7710
    tel: 800.333.7753
    fax: 313.478.7059
   A spin-off of ERIM, Perceptron has also built a number of AM laser
   rangefinders. CMU and Caterpillar have used these for map building and
   obstacle avoidance work in rough terrain navigation.
   LASAR product - provides range and reflectance. Programmable field of
   view (15 to 60 deg) Vertical viewing angle from 3 to 72 degrees. Depth
   of field from 2 to 40 meters. Up to 1024 x 2048 pixels per image
   (programmable) and 360,000 pixels/second data acquisition. VME and
   PC-compatible interface cards available. Windows software provides
   starting point for custom applications. Less than $50K with a variety
   of performance and interface options.
   _Riegl Laser Measurement Systems _
    Riegl USA
    8516 Old Winter Garden Road
    Suite 101
    Orlando, FL 32835
    tel: 407.294.2799
    fax: 407.294.3215
   [company HQ is Dr. Johannes Riegl GmbH, 85 km, NW of Vienna, Austria]
   Laser range finders, laser speed sensors, laser distance meters, motor
   scanners, laser radar systems. Pulsed laser devices. One of the
   neatest is the Laser Scout, which gives range, azimuth and inclination
   to the target and can be used with GPS to give position coordinates of
   the device you are pointing at. $10K. Accuracy up to +/- 10cm
   (depending on model)
   Laser Radar Scanner (LRS 90-3) is a 1D scanner with 36 deg field of
   view and a +/- 3cm accuracy. 2-80m distance, $10K. There are several
   other distance models as well.
   _Schwarz Electro-Optics _
    3404 N. Orange Blossom Trail
    Orlando, FL 32804
    tel: 407.298.1802
    fax: 407.297.1794
   Schwarz makes some very nice point range laser ranging devices. These
   devices are slightly bigger than a soda can. About $6-12K. CMU
   experience for use in simulated unmanned air vehicle platform worked
   well. Their MARS (marine angle range system) is a rotating laser
   device that reflects off targets in the environment. Max range up to
   1000meters using corner prisms. Accuracy +/- 1m. Erebus (Dante)
   Scanner used Schwarz device as base.
   _Zoller+Frohlich Elecktrotechnik_
    Postfach 1565
    88231 Wangen im Allgau
    Simoniusstrabe 22
    88239 Wangen im Allgau
    tel: (07522) 3064-67
    fax: (07522) 200 36
   Z+F are a spinoff from the Technical Univeristy of Munich and have
   developed some nice 2 and 3D scanning devices but primarily devlop the
   laser electronics. Initially for tunnelling inspection and
   verification. Two-frequency phase shift device (10/80MHz) with 15m
   depth of field. Resolution to .45mm, accuracy to 5mm, and 500KHz
   smapling rate. scanner mechanism provides 360 degree profiles and 2500
   pixels/profile and 200 profiles/second. 4.5mW laser (Class 1 >3m). 3D
   camera provides 58 deg horz (321 pixels) and 52 deg vert (232 lines)
   15-bit range value, 12bit gray level value from reflection signal.
   12kg 3D unit.
  [10.1.4] Force/torque, accelerometers, tactile
   Force measurement provides indications of magnitude and direction of
   forces for use in manipulation or locomotion. A variety of control
   schemes have been implemented in force controlled systems to allow
   smooth and accurate control in situations that would otherwise be
   precluded without such devices. A number of load cells and
   acceleration measuring devices are described here:
   Rich Voyles embarked on a force/torque sensor comparison many months
   ago and compiled some of the results in a paper that is available via
   the web or anonymous ftp.
   tml [38] The
   paper is woefully incomplete. The JR3 sensor we borrowed was broken so
   we borrowed another and got limited data. The old Lord data collection
   is incomplete and the Assurance Technologies data is not fully
   included in the report. There is some data from California
   Cybernetics. If there is sufficient interest, we can finish the
   compilation. By the way, we only seek to provide the data we gathered
   an make no claims as to its accuracy or completeness. Use at your own
   risk. The opinions expressed do not represent those of Carnegie Mellon
   University nor any of its sponsors. Send e-mail to
   with the subject "More Force Data" if you read the report and would
   like to see it expanded. Any other comments can be put in the body.
   -Richard Voyles
   _Analog Devices_
    tel: 617.937.1426
   Analog Devices have the ADXL50 accelerometer which comes in a 10-pin
   TO-5 can. It is primarily used with air-bags and has a 1994 projected
   price of $5 in quantities. In the Electronic Design August 8, 1991
   issue it quoted the current price as $21.75 for 1000 off quantities.
   Analog Devices ADXL50 accelerometer.

  Power Supply........................... +5V (+/- 5%)
  Measurement Range...................... +/- 50g
  Pre-Amp Zero-g output level............ +1.8V
  Pre-Amp output span.................... +1.8V (+/-1.2V) at +/-50g
  Uncommitted amp output range........... +0.25V to +4.75V
  Overall Accuracy....................... 5% of Full Scale
  Linearity.............................. 0.5% of Full Scale
  Bandwidth.............................. DC to 1kHz
  Voltage Noise (p-p)
    at BW = 0.3kHz..................... +/-0.24% of Full Scale
    at BW = 1.0kHz..................... +/-0.48% of Full Scale
  Transverse Sensitivity................. 2%
  Unpowered Shock Survival............... 2000g

   _ATI Industrial Automation_
    (formerly Assurance Technologies)
    (formerly Lord Industrial Automation)
    Peachtree Center
    503D Highway 70 East
    Garner, North Carolina 27529
    tel: 919.772.0115
    fax: 919.772.8259
    net: [39]
   Largest supplier of multi-axis force sensors. Use silicon rather than
   foil strain gages for lower strain levels and increased life. F/T
   sensor ratings from +/- 15lbs to +/- 150lbs (+/- 15 in-lbs to +/- 600
   in-lbs) weights are 0.4 and 2.2 lbs for the 4 available sensors.
   Serial or parallel digital interface or analog interface. ATI also
   makes robotic tool-changers and an RCC device for assembly operations.
   An ATI sensor is also incorporated in the Hughes SMARTee end-effector.
   _Bonneville Scientific _
    1849 W. No. Temple, Bldg E.
    Salt Lake City, UT 84116
    tel: 801.359.0402
    fax: 801.359.0416
   Array sensor system that uses PVDF ultrasonic emmitter/detector
   attached to an elastomer material. Time-of-flight of the pulse as it
   bounces off of other side of the material is porportional to distance
   through the elastomer. The distance is porportional the pressure on
   the pad. Bonneville claims it can be made thin enough for a skin and
   they have pictures of it being used on a robot finger picking up a
   washer which can be recognized on their output graphics. Example
   Model 300 - 16x16 tactile sensor system - $5K
   TOF resolution - 12.5 ns
   Sheet thickness resolution - 6 microns
   Pressure resolution - 0.5 psi (3.4 kPa)
   Force resolution - 1g
   Rubber linearity - 5-15% deviation
   Overload - > 1000PSI (7000kPa)
   Spatial resolution - 1.8mm
   Scan rate on 16x16 pad - 240 Hz
   An evaluation kit is available SE-1 Evaluation Kit - $99.00 includes
   SE-1 sensor and electronics. SE-1 Sensor is $42 in single quantity.
   _California Cybernetics _
    10322 Sherman Grove
    Sunland, CA 91040
    tel: 818.353.5991
    fax: 818.951.3889
   Six DOF F-T devices. Up to 1000Hz sampling rate, reportedly easy to
   _Cybernet _
    1919 Green Road
    Suite B-101
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105
    tel: 313.668.2567
    fax: 313.668.8780
   PER-force - A 6dof compact force-reflecting controller. Can be used
   for teleoperationor interactive graphics applications.
    _Ercon _
    Need addresses
    Somewhere in MA
   Conductive rubber and conductive inks. You build a semi-rigid circuit
   board with inter-digitated fingers to apply to one side of the rubber.
   The rubber has a rough surface that under increasing load allows more
   rubber to contact. They can make rubber with all sorts of conductive
   _Force Imaging _
    3424 Touhy Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60645-2717
    tel: 708.674.7665
    tel: 800.348.3240
    fax: 708.674.6355
   Uniforce Force Sensors. They function similiar to a variable resistor
   in an electrical circuit. As a force is exerted on the sensor, the two
   layers of pressure sensitive material compress together and cause a
   change in resistance which corresponds to a change in pressure. As
   force increases, resistance decreases. A Uniforce experimenters kit is
   available for $550 and includes PC-AT card, cables, software, manual
   and nine Uniforce sensors in three force ranges. They have ISA boards,
   PCMCIA version and a PPIO version as well. Sensors available in ranges
   from 0-500g to 0-400kg. Uniforce sensors can be provided in a wide
   variety of shapes, sizes and force ranges. Software is also available
   to display force values in real-time.
   _Hughes STX _
    4400 Forbes Blvd
    Lanham, MD 20706
    tel: 301.794.5016
    fax: 301.306.0963
   A 6-dof end-effector with automatic load sensing and compensation.
   Control modes include position control (cartesian with user spec-ed
   poses and frames), impedence and force control modes. Programmable
   behaviors (sliding, hinge, move-to-touch, guarded move, follow etc),
   open architecture (VxWorks, VME, user-linakable libraries) and a lot
   more. Interfaces available included RS-232, ethernet, RS-422 and SCSI.
   Pretty amazing end-effector!
   _Interlink Electronics _
    1110 Mark Ave.
    Carpinteria, CA 93013
    tel: 805.484.8855
    805.484.1331 (product support)
    fax: 805.484.8989
   Force Sensing resistors made from polymer thick films. Very thin.
   Response is approx. 1/R to force. Article in March 1993 issue of
   Electronics Now/Radio Electronics.
   _JR3 _
    22 Harter Avenue
    Woodland, CA 95695
    tel: 916.661.3677
   6-DOF force-torque sensors. Strain gage technology. Newer packages
   have all electronics built into the sensor. Make some high-force
   devices as well. CMU's Ambler used JR3's on all the feet with good
   success. Complete force torque data at 8Khz, signal digitization
   within sensor body, low noise susceptibility, synch serial at 2MHz,
   inexpensive cabling.
   _Merritt Systems, Inc._
    P.O. Box 2103
    Merritt Island, FL 32954-2103
    Contact: Dr. Dan Wegerif
    tel: 407.452.7828
    fax: 407.452.3698
   Sensor Skin for Robots. The Skin is designed to assist robots working
   in constrained, hazardous, dynamic, or high cost environments. The
   system uses a whole-arm proximity sensing systems for articulated
   robots that provides complete voverage of the entire manipulator to
   ensure that every obstacle in the robots path can be detected and
   avoided. The proximity sensing technology is based on IR arrays which
   they call "SensorCells". It allows the use of IR, acoustic and
   capacitive (under-development) sensors in the same sensor skin. The
   two main components of the Skin are smart sensor modules and the
   flexible printed circuit board skin. Module sockets are placed at
   regular intervals on the flexible skin and simply plugged in by the
   user where required. Redundant cables carrying data and power are
   connected to each panel. But a minimum of four cables can be used for
   up to 1024 sensors.
   _Silicon Designs, Inc. _
    1445-NW Mall Street
    Issaquah, WA. 98027-5344
    tel: 206.391.8329
    fax: 206.391.0446
   Silicon Designs makes capacitive accelerometers.
   Model 1010, Digital output:
          Produces Digital pulse train in which the density of pulses
          (number of pulses a second) is proprtional to applied
          acceleration. It operates with a single +5 volt power supply
          and requires a clock of 100kHz - 1MHz. The output is
          ratiometric to the clock frequency and independent of the power
          supply voltage. Two forms of digital signals are provided for
          direct interfacing to a microprocessor or counter. This devices
          comes in a PLCC package that is smaller than a penny.
   Model 1210, Analog output:
          Provides two analog outputs, 1-4 volts, or 4-1 volt, with O g's
          at 2.5 volts. The outputs can be used either differentially or
          single ended referenced to 2.5 volts. Two reference
          voltages--+5.0 and +2.5 volts (nominal)-- are required; the
          output scale factor is ratiometric to the +5 volt reference
   Prices start at about $100 and they offer a digital accelerometer
   evaluation board for $200.
   _Silicon Microstructures, Inc. _
    46725 Fremont Boulevard
    Fremont CA. 94538
    tel: 510.490.5010
    fax: 510.490.1119
   Model 7170 series and 7130 series capacitive accelerometers. These are
   relatively large devices with built in ASIC signal processing. They
   have very good accuracy specs and are pre-calibrated. They also make
   pressure sensors.
   _Spectra Symbol_
    3101 West 2100 South
    Salt Lake City, UT 84119
   Bend sensor for glove device. Their business is custom membrane
   controls: switches, membrane potentiometers, and the bend sensors.
  [10.1.5] Sonar sensors
   The time it takes for an acoustic pulse to propagate through air or
   water, reflect from the environment and return to a detector is
   porportional to the distance.
   Acoustic time-of-flight devices have been around for awhile now. The
   ubiquitous Polaroid device is cheap and easily integrated and has has
   found wide use in robotic devices. Other companies have developed nice
   complete turnkey sonar devices though and Polaroid is no longer the
   only choice.
   _Polaroid Corporation _
    119 Windsor St,
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    tel: 617.386.3961
    fax: 617.386.3966
    tel: 800.225.1000 ordering
    tel: 800.225.1618 technical assistance
   Polaroid Ultrasonic Components Group offers two ultrasonic ranging
   Distance range: 0.26 to 10.7 meters
   Resolution: Nominal +- 3mm to 3m, +-1% over entire range
   Sonar acceptance angle: approx. 20 degrees
   Power Requirement: 6VDC, 2.5 Amps (1 ms pulse), 150mA quiescent
   Weight: Transducer, 8.2gm, Ranging module, 18.4 gm
   Designer's Kit:
          1 transducer, 1 ranging module, electronics display accurate to
          1/10th meter. Cost is $169
   OEM kit:
          2 transducers, 2 ranging modules. $99.
   Piezotransducer kit
          2.5cm-1500cm +/- 1%, RS-232 port and analog output, extra real
          estate, $299
   Polaroid has several new products as well: K-series piezo transducers
   and 9000 Series Environmental Transducer.
    Modifying the drive circuitry:
   This section describes a simple addition to the drive circuitry, the
   Polaroid ranging system can detect objects as close as 10cm.
   The board has two extra signals: BLNK and BINH. Asserting BLNK
   (driving it HIGH) resets the ECHO RS-latch, and asserting BINH
   shortens the internal blanking interval (which is 2.38 ms by default).
   Thus, the solution would seem to lie in asserting BINH after a
   reasonable amount of time (less than 2.38 ms after asserting INIT) to
   detect objects closer than 1.3 feet. This doesn't work very well
   because BINH is very susceptable to noise, and attaching a driver to
   it wreaks havoc possibly because of the anomalous current sink during
   the transmit phase. This can be fixed by asserting BLNK during the
   blanking period (ie the new blanking period) while negating BINH and
   asserting BIHN after the blanking period while negating BLNK. This can
   be done easily with a one-shot or some other timing device (eg
   computer timer, etc).
   A computer timer can be used. The timer goes HIGH tblank ms after INIT
   is asserted, where tblank=0.15*dist and dist is the threshold distance
   in inches). The timer output goes to BINH and the inverted timer
   output goes to BLNK. The timer output should be inverted with an
   LS/TTL inverter to delay the negation of BLNK, otherwise the RS latch
   may do weird things. [From Richard LeGrand]
   Nice complete sensor package, 5 degree cone angle
    _Massa _
    _Texas Instruments _
   At one point TI made a Type SN28827 Sonar Ranging Module. See TI
   Applications Notes D2780. Under $50, needs only 5VDC Not sure if these
   units are still manufactured but they are often in surplus catalogs.
   However some other products include these: See data sheets at:
   [40] Data sheets
   available in several formats. 1. TL851, SONAR RANGING CONTROL 2.
  [10.1.6] Pan/tilt mechanisms
   A common robotic need. Most pan-tilts sold today by companies such as
   Pelco and Vicon are for CCTV applications for continuous scanning or
   remote operation. At most these will have potentiometers for feedback.
   A number of undersea companies make pan-tilt devices as well that are
   rugged and nicely packaged, but these tend to be heavier and more
   expensive than their terrestrial counterparts.
   _Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) _
    contact: Narinder Bains (
    net: 905.823.9040 x6120
   P02 pan/tilt head. High speed with digital servos (120 deg/sec),
   encoders and continuous rotation. Controller as well.
   _Brooks Support Systems _
    Williamson, NY
    tel: 800-836-0285 contact: Frank Dickey
   BSS makes a small pan/tilt unit:
   4.5" high by 3.5" wide x 3.5" long
   40 oz.
   12V dc
   operating current 150 mA
   pan 359 degrees
   tilts 160 degrees
   Price: $3100
   _CameraMan _
   CameraMan is a pan/tilt device built to support any camcorder and has
   a wireless interface to an external remote control. 360 deg pan and 50
   deg of tilt. The unit is made by ParkerVision and sold through
   Columbia AudioVideo (and probably other suppliers)
   _CCTV Corporation _
    315 Hudson Street
    New York, NY 10013
    tel: 800.221.2240
    fax: 212.463.9758
   Standard CCTV pan-tilt devices like those from Vicon and others.
   Inexpensive but no computer control. $557 - $1400
   _Directed Perception _
    1451 Capuchino Avenue,
    Burlingame, CA 94010
    tel: 415.342.9399
   Small computer controlled pan-tilt unit Model PTU-46-17.5 Weighs 1kg
   and can support ~1.5kg camera payload. Very nice specs: 330 deg/sec
   slew, 3.06 arcmin accuracy, on-the-fly position and speed changes.
   11-40VDC unregulated power input, RS-232 interface. Can use RS-485
   using RJ-11 to provide control of multiple PT units. Cost: $1935
   Includes PT unit, controller, cable and power supply. $1800 w/o power
   _Efston Science Inc_
    3350 Dufferin Street
    Toronto, Ontario
    Canada M6A 3A4
    tel: 416.787.4581
    fax: 416.787.5140
   Efston is the Canadian Distributor for Edmund Scientific
   Motorized Pan/Tilt platform with remote control:
   (mounts upon a camera tripod)
   - auto pan mode
   - variable speed
   - 2.75"W x 2.25"L platform with .25-20 mount screw
   - independent +- 15 degree max vertical pan
   - independent +- 90 degree max horizontal pan
   - autopan switch selectable +- 30, +- 60, +-90 degree scans
   - remote control has 20 foot cord
   -           cat # B38,485           US$215.00
   - ac adapter      B38,486           US$33.95

   [1995 Catalog, page 111]
   _Emco Intertest Inc _
    27-1 Ironia Road
    Flanders, NJ 07836
    tel: 201.927.2900
    fax: 201.927.8004
   MicroPan PTX-400 very small P/T designed for remote viewing with
   micro-CCD cameras. Weight 115g. Height under 7cm.
   _Fujinon _
    10 High Point Drive
    Wayne, NJ 07470
    tel: 201.633.5600
    fax: 201.633.5216
   Fujinon CPT-10. 300 deg pan, =/- 95deg tilt. 15 deg/sec speed. 2kg.
   Payload 4kg. Analog input control.
   _Omniview _
    tel: 615.690.5600
   Instead of a conventional camera, you use one with a very wide
   fish-eye lens. The (very distorted) image is then sent thru a box that
   digitizes and processes the data in order to simulate a regular
   camera. You can (completely in software) pan, tilt, rotate, and zoom
   the image with great flexibility. $10K.
   _Photosea _
    6377 Nancy Ridge Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121
    tel: 619.452.8903
   Underwater pan-tilts including Cobra, very small design.
   _Remote Ocean Systems _
    5111-L Santa Fe Street
    San Diego, CA 92109
    tel: 619.483.3902
    fax: 619.483.2407
   Underwater P/T systems, expensive but very nicely packaged. PT-5 is a
   new subminature P/T device that can accomodate a small CCD color
   camera and mini wet&dry lights. The P/T is 13.5cm high and 10cm wide.
   Uses small brushless motors with harmonic drives. Radiation tolerant
   and corrosion resistant. 360 scan on both axes.
   _RSI Research Ltd. _
    Pacific Marine Technology Center
    #3-203 Harbour Road
    Victoria, BC. CANADA V9A 3S2
    tel: 604.360.1025
    fax: 604.360.1161
   Underwater Pan/tilt devices.
   _Hammacher Schlemmer_
    Operations Center
    9180 Le Saint Drive
    Fairfield, OH 45014-575
    tel: 800.543.3366
   H-S is an upscale mail-order outfit that's been around since 1848 and
   has stores in New York City, Beverly Hills and Chicago. They currently
   show a wireless pan-tilt unit in their catalog. IR remote control, +/-
   20 deg tilt and +/-90deg pan. Can be set to do continuous 90 deg
   panning and can even control power zoom on many camcorder models.
   Powered by 6V batteries built into Sony, Panasonic and Sanyo-Fisher or
   JVC camcorders. 8.75cmH x 11cmW x 14.5cmL AND .45kg. Item 63201B in
   H-S $149.95. The Picture shows the label SUNPAK and AP 200W (model
   number?) - [If anyone has further information on the manufacturer or
   other sales outlets let me know - nivek]
   _Telemetrics _
    Hawthorne, NJ
    tel: 201.423.0347
   Computer controlled P/T devices - fairly large though.
   _TeleRobotics International, Inc. _
    7325 Oak Ridge Hwy Suite 104
    Knoxville, TN 37931
    tel: 615.690.5600
    fax: 615.690.2913
   An all-electronic pan/tilt/zoom resampler. That is, they put a box
   behind a camera with a fish-eye lens. The box has digital inputs for
   pan, tilt, zoom, rotation. The box resamples the video signal and
   produces an output as though the image were acquired by a camera with
   those parameters. Used as an alternative to pan/tilt devices.
   _Zebra Kinesis _
    tel: 415.328.8884
    contact:Jeff Kerr
   Small Pan/tilt head.
  [10.1.7] Measuring 3 or 6DOF position
   How do I measure the postion of my manipulator or my mobile robot?
   In many applications there is a need to accurately measure the
   position of an end-effector (hand or gripper) or find coordinate
   locations on objects, or track motion, or give a time and position
   history of a moving object. Virtual reality applications need this
   kind of device to provide realtime adjustments to views that are
   projected to VR users. See [41]sci.virtual-worlds for discussions on
   this topic. Robotics people have needed this to provide accurate
   assessments of manipulator motions and mobile robot positions.
   An excellent paper on the subject of sensing and methods of using that
   information is: "Where Am I? Sensors and Methods for Autonomous Mobile
   Robot Localization." Technical Report, The University of Michigan
   UM-MEAM-94-21, December 1994." It is a comprehensive survey on Mobile
   Robot Positioning. This survey is over 200 pages long, has 130
   illustrations and nearly 300 references, and took well over one
   man-year to complete. The survey is entitled "Where Am I? Sensors and
   Methods for Autonomous Mobile Robot Localization" A description and
   table of contents can be found [42]here. To download the report go
   [43]here and read [44]this file first. Alternatively, you can look at
   a detailed Table of Contents from within Johann Borenstein's WWW
   Homepage at: [45]Johann's Home Page Before you download the actual
   survey, you should read the "readme.txt" file for compatibility tips,
   and you should read the "um_index.wp5" file to see if you want to
   download all or only selected chapters of the report. The Global
   Positioning System (GPS) is an excellent positioning system that is
   useful in outdoor settings, although recent developments in
   Psuedolites (Pseudo Satellities) may bring GPS technology indoors and
   to urban envrionments. While accuracy is intentionally degraded by the
   US Military recent advances in differential systems and innovative
   tracking techniques can give 20cm real-time accuracy. Even newer
   techniques such as carrier-phase are bringing this figure into the mm
   range for real-time. See [46]news:sci.geo.satellite-nav for full
   discussions of this technology.
   _Papers:_ Useful papers to solve for transforms from positioning
   devices for multiple reference frames:
     * Roger Tsai and Rainer Lenz, IEEE Trans. on Robotics and
       Automation, Jun 1989.
     * C. C. Wang, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, April
       1992. Useful papers for evaluating 3 ad 6 DOF human input devices:
     * Shumin Zhai, Investigation of Feel for 6 DOF Inputs: Isometric and
       Elastic Rate Control for Manipulation in 3D Environments, Proc.
       Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 37th Annual Meeting,Seattle,
       WA, October 1993.
     * Shumin Zhai and Paul Milgram, Human Performance Evalulation of
       Manipulation Schemes in Virtual Environments", Proc. Virtual
       Reality Annual International Symposium, IEEE, Seattle, WA,
       September 1993.
     * Shumin Zhai and Paul Milgram, Human Performance Evalulation of
       Isometric and Elastic Rate Controllers in a 6 DOF Tracking Task,
       Proc. SPIE vol. 2057, Telemanipulator Technology", Boston, MA,
       September 1993.
   _Commercial Devices:_
   _Blevins Enterprises _
    tel: 208-885-3805
    contact: Nick Sewell
   Blevins writes their own utilities and sell 3D digitizers starting @
   around $2,400 on up to around $75,000. Software is compatible with
   Lightwave and 3D Studio modelling programs and will be ported to SGI
   and PC's soon. Provide software to talk with Polhemus, a sonic
   digitizer and a jointed-arm unit from Immersion.
   _Cyberware _
    8 Harris Court 3D
    Monterey, CA 93940
    tel: 408.373.1441
    fax: 408.373.3582
    Italian distributor:
   Has 3D scanner. Cyberware has software for editing 3D models, and
   stitching multiple scans into a single coherent whole. Software is
   $5-10K each. Cyberware 3030RGB/HIREZ scanner with MM motion platform,
   complete with all software, training and one-year support costs [US]
   _Eshed Robotics_
    Eshed Robotec
    Israel (HQ)
    tel: 03-498136
    fax: 03-498889
   In the US
    Eshed Robotec Inc.
    445 Wall St.
    Princeton, NJ 08540-1504
    tel: 609.683.4884
    tel: 800.777.6288
    Eshed Robotec BV
    Oude Torenweg 29
    5388 RK Nistelrode
    The Netherlands
    tel: +31.412.611476
    fax: +31.412.613185
    net: [47]
    url: [48] and [49]
    Eshed's V-scope allows you to measure, record, process, and
    demonstrate the motion of one or more bodies in one, two or three
    dimensions. The V-scopeTM system uses tracking technology which
    emits infrared signals to trigger ultrasonic response signals. This
    technology allows full three-dimensional tracking within a space of
    a few meters, with resolution of a fraction of a millimeter. See
    [50]V-scope for more details.
    _Intelligent Solutions Inc. _
    One Endicott Avenue
    Marblehead, MA 01945
    tel: 617.639.8144
    fax: 617.639.8144
    contact: Jim Maddox
    Intelligent Solutions Inc. was formed in Nov. of 1993 by four of the
    former engineers of Denning Mobile Robotics. They are focusing on
    building smart sensors and their first product is the EZNav Position
    Sensor. EZNav is a precision optical position sensor that can be
    used on moving platforms such as automated guided vehicles, robots,
    or material handling equipment. EZNav uses an eye safe scanning
    laser with a 360 degree field of view to measure the azimuth angle
    to wall mounted reference reflectors. This angle data can be used to
    triangulate the position and heading relative to the known target
    locations. EZNav is unique in its ability to use passive reflectors
    as well as coded electronic targets. Current work includes adding
    the triangulation calculations to the EZNav sensor and a new
    Ultrasonic based position sensor.
   Target Range 30m passive up to 180m active
   Abs. Accuracy +/- 0.03 degrees RMS
   Scan Rate 12 per second
   Data Rate 9.6k baud RS 232
   Power 24 volts at 300 ma
   Size 30cm Dia x 35cm High
   Weight 4.5kg
    An EZNav sensor with 10 passive targets costs $6,600. There is a ten
    percent discount for educational uses.
    _Kinetic Sciences_
    3250 East Mall
    Vancouver, BC, CANADA V6T 1W5
    tel: 604.822.2144
    fax: 604.822.6188
    net: [51]
    Eagle Eye (TM) is a Power Macintosh application that accurately
    tracks specially designed passive optical targets. It can track
    multiple targets simultaneously in visually cluttered environments
    using a single video camera. For each target that it can see, it is
    able to determine seven parameters:
     * the target's identity (via the information encoded on the marker);
     * the target's position (X, Y, and Z with respect to the camera);
     * the target's orientation (roll, pitch, and yaw with respect to the
    The approach we have taken is particularly well suited to docking
    and inspection applications. For further information, check out the
    Eagle Eye web page at:
    _NES North Electronic Systems S.p.A._
    via Nazionale, 62
    1-17043 CARCARE (SV), Italy
    tel: +39-19-510420
    fax: +39-19-512198 Distributed Local Positioning System (DLPS) is a
    positioning system for indoor applications in a multi-robot
    environment using active beacons with modulated light beams
    (coherent red, non-coherent IR). The localization system also allows
    communication by optical wireless links between hosts and robots.
    The system utilizes and on-board rotating unit and a set of active
    beacons distributed in the operating area. The active beacons are
    optical transponders and, optionally, transceivers connected to a
    IEEE 485 serial LAN.
    Systems can operate up to 16m distance and with a localization
    accuracy under 20mm in static and 70mm in dynamic localization. DLPA
    was developed in cooperation with Laboratorium, DIST - University of
    Genoa. email:, and URL
    _Polhemus Inc._
    Burlington, VT
    tel: 802.655.3139
    fax: 802.655.1439
    3Space, Isotrak, FasTrak: Electromagnetic devices for sensing xyz
    and rotations remotely. Limited to 1m or so radius. Sensitive to
    metallic objects in vicinity. Approx $3k
    _Ascension Technology Corporation _
    PO Box 527
    Burlington VT 05402 USA
    tel: 802.860.6440
    fax: 802.860.6439
    Sales: Jack Scully Technical Support: Steven Work Product is called
    Flock of Birds. A 6d0f measuring device. Ftp site is
          Contains general literature on 6D motion tracking system.
          Accuracy Specifications, comments from prominent users, list of
          3rd party software vendors, FAQ on tracking system, etc. Ascii
          Technical Description of Flock of Birds (TM) 6D tracking
          system. In Binary WordPerfect 6.0 format.
          Latest version of our User Software, including source code.
          Enjoy. pkzipped binary file.
          Latest version of our User Manual. In Binary WordPerfect 6.0
          more info on files located in Ascension's FTP directory. Ascii
    Sensitivity to metal is claimed to be on the order 5 to 10 times
    less than Polhemus tracker. Range and specifications are much better
    as well.
    The Ascension Flock of Birds tracker is DC pulsed, where the
    Polhemus is AC magnetic field. The AC field set up standing waves in
    metal (conduction and ferrous) which magnify the distortion effect.
    Charts provided by Acension:


Parameter                         Ascension        Polhemus     Polhemus
                                Flock of Birds     Isotrak II    Fastrak
Measurement Rate
        1 Receiver                      144             60        120
        2 Receivers                     144             30         60
        @ Max Number of Rcvrs           144             30         30
Maximum Number of Receivers              30             2          32
Number of Transmitters to                 1             1           4
Support Max Number of Receivers
Maximum Data Output Rate                312K            115K       115K
 (Baud or Bytes)
Lag Increase with Multiple              No              Yes        Yes
Range - Standard Transmitter            3'              5'*        10'*
        - Extended Transmitter          8'              N/A        N/A
Accuracy Degradation Due to:
        Conductive Metals               Low             High       High
        Stainless Steel                 None            High       High
         (300 series)
CRT Interference Rejection              Yes             No         Yes
LCD Noise Susceptability                No              Yes        Yes
Unit Cost (1 Receiver)                  $2,695          $2,875     $5,750

    * Note 1: Polhemus specifies range at maximum transmitter-sensor
    separation distances. At these ranges, outputs will contain
    significant amounts of noise, which may render their measurements
    worthless. We will provide you with a number of references who have
    independently assessed actual range performance of both Ascension
    and Polhemus trackers.
    ** Note 2: For a complete discussion of latency in competitive
    motion trackers, contact Ascension.

     Translation range:       plus or minus 3'(8' optional) in any direction
     Angular range:           plus of minuw 180 degrees Azimuth & Roll
                              plus or minus 90 degrees Elevation
     Translation accuracy:    0.1" RMS
     Translation resolution:  0.03"
     Angular accuracy         0.5 degrees RMS
     Angular resolution       0.1 degrees RMS @ 12"
     Update rate:             Up to 144 measurements/second
     Outputs:                 X,Y,Z positional coordinates and orientation
                              angles or rotation matrix
     Interface:               RS-232C with selectable baud rates to 115,200; or
                              RS-422/485 with selectable baud rates to 310,000
     Format:                  Binary
     Modes:                   Point or stream
     Transmitter: 3.75-inch cube (internally mounted in Enclosure or
                  externally mounted with 10' cable) or extended range
                  transmitter option: 12-inch cube externally mounte with
                  20' cable
     Receiver:    1.0" x 1.0" x 0.8" cube (or optional 3-button mouse)
                  with 10' or 25' cable
     Enclosure:   9.5" x 11.5" x 2.6"
     Power:       User provided or optional external plug-in: US/European
     Environment: Large metallic objects in operating volume may degrade

    _RSI Research Ltd._
    Pacific Marine Technology Center
    #3-203 Harbour Road
    Victoria, BC. CANADA V9A 3S2
    tel: 604.360.1025
    fax: 604.360.1161
    RSI Research makes a 6 DOF joystick. It has a medium workspace
    (about 10 cm radius) and several buttons.
    _Shooting Star Technology _
    1921 Holdom Avenue
    Burnaby, B.C.
    Canada V5B 3W4
    tel: 604.298.8574
    fax: 604.298.8580
    ADL-1 6DOF tracker. Gives position/orientation measurements up to
    240 times/second, with low latency (0.35 to 1.88 milliseconds.)
    _Abrams-Gentile Entertainment, Inc., _
    244 West 54th Street,
    9th Floor, New York, NY 10019
    tel: 212.757.0700
    Mattel marketed the PowerGlove for use in gaming (Nintendo). It
    tracked finger motions through small bend sensors. The Mattel
    PowerGlove was developed by Abrams-Gentile. The sensors themselves
    are simple resistors varying from about 200K to 500K ohms depending
    on the amount of flex.
    _Denning Branch International Robotics _
    1401 Ridge Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15233
    tel: (412) 322-4412
    fax: (412) 322-2040
    email: Soon. Messages to will be forwarded.
    Denning-Branch is a merger of Denning Mobile Robotics, once located
    in the Boston area, and makers of human-size mobile robots since
    1983, and Branch and Associates, of Hobart, Australia, designers and
    builders of smaller mobile robots since 1979. LaserNav Robot-mounted
    scanning infrared laser unit that uses wall mounted bar-coded
    retroreflectors or active transponders to navigate to centimeter
    precision in 10-meter-scale areas. $8K
    _Guidance Control Systems (GCS) _
    tel: 011 44 203 39 3911
    fax: 011 44 203 39 4211
    Contact: Malcolm Roberts
    GCS's core group developed the rotating scanner and passive target
    system. Featured in several papers out of Oxford. Uses passive
    targets with barcodes. Targets have unique ID's and surveyed
    positions. Rotating laser gives angles between targets. Target
    positions combined with angles gives vehicle position and heading.
    2Hz scan rate but clever use of dead reckoned information and kalman
    filtering gives very impressive results. New products go to 200-300m
    _Innovision Systems_
    30521 Schoenherr, Suite 104
    Warren, MI 48093-3129
    tel: 810.751.0600
    fax: 810.751.0646
    Innovision specialized in non-contact measurements. 2-3 dimensions.
    On-site, software development, leasing. They are representatives for
    several non-contact measurement systems. See Below.
    _MTI Research Inc. _
    313 Littleton Rd.
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    contact: Ed MacLeod
    tel: 508.250.4949
    net: [56]
    Update speed: 20 hz Position accuracy: +/-0.05inches (1.27 mm) This
    really depends on range as well. direction accuracy: +/- 0.05
    degrees. 3D reference points covering up km distances. 1D, 2D or 3D
    feedback. Cost: About $6K-$10K for positioning system. Custom
    software available for graphing, updating etc. Accuracy available
    even when the robot is moving at several meters/sec.
    _Selcom Selective Electronics Inc _
    21654 Melrose Avenue
    Southfield, MI 48075
    tel: 810.355.5900
    In Sweden:
    tel: +46-31-878110
    fax: +46-31-278992
    Selective markets optical triangulation laser-based devices and
    laser gaging systems. They also make the Selspot tracking system.
    The Selspot is a two camera system that registers 3D position of IR
    LED's at very high data rates. Selspots Robot Check System can
    provide non-contact 3D measurement and analysis of robot motion at
    500 Hz rate. System has been used for over 20 years. Used in motion
    studies for people, animals and robots. Active markers are used (IR
    LEDs) Fast sampling up to 10K Hz. Selspot is marketed by:
    _Innovision Systems _
    30521 Schoenherr, Suite 104
    Warren, MI 48093-3129
    tel: 810.751.0600
    fax: 810.751.0646
    _Qualisys AB _
    Ogardesvagen 4
    S-433 30 Partille
    41C New London Turnpike
    Glastonbury, CT 06033
    tel: 203.657.3585
    fax: 203.657.3595
    MacReflex system uses CCD-based cameras for non-contacting
    measurement of robots. Two camera system is typical. Uses small
    passive targets and IR LED's colocated with the cameras lens. Video
    processor calculates centroid of markers and displays in real-time.
    Information is used to provide data and analysis of position,
    velocity, acceleration, angles, angle velocity and acceleration and
    position vs. time. Specs: Noise level 1:200000, resolution 1:70000,
    Relative accuracy: 1:30000, and absolute accuracy 1:10000. Accuracy
    is defined as standard deviation of difference between measured and
    true positions/longest diagonal in measurement volume. 50Hz and
    120Hz and high accuracies.
    MacReflex is marketed by: _Innovision Systems _
    30521 Schoenherr, Suite 104
    Warren, MI 48093
    tel: 810.751.0600
    fax: 810.751.0646
  Coordinate Measuring Machines
    Coordinate Measuring Machines are now widely used for process
    control, statistical monitoring, entering 3D from a physical part
    into a CAD system and many other uses. CMM's tend to be large and
    expensive and fixed but there are a number of devices now on the
    market to provide accurate positioning information.
    _Renishaw _
    623 Cooper Court
    Schaumburg, IL 60173
    tel: 708.843.3666
    fax: 708.843.1744
    Renishaw makes a ballbar mechanism to measure and calibrate machine
    tool motion errors including backlash, servo error, squareness,
    straightness, axis reversal, vibration, scale mismatch etc. It uses
    a precise linear measuring device and interpolates a circular
    profile from which all the above information is calculated.
    Renishaw also makes a high speed digitizing and scanning system for
    the tool and die industry. It's a CMM style machine that can
    generate NC programs from scanned parts. They also have a scanning
    system that retrofits to existing CNC mills. _Supraporte Inc _
    5145-I Avenida Encinas
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Portable 6-axis measuring system. Model 2000 now available with
    battery power pack. Very accurate. Very expensive.
    _Faro _
    125 Technology Park
    Lake Mary, FL 32746-6204
    tel: 800.736.6063
    tel: 407.333.9911
    fax: 407.333.4181
    Metrecom: 6DOF articulated pointer, like a portable CMM. Endpoint
    accuracies are around .005" -> .025", depending on model.
    Counterbalnaced design. Three models from 1.8m to 2.4m reach and
    accuracies ranging from +/- .635mm to .127mm and prices from $14.4K
    to $51.4K respectively.
    _Chesapeake Laser Systems _
    222 Gale Lane
    Kennett Square, PA 19348
    tel: 215.444.2300
    fax: 215.444.2323
    Laser metrology systems. CMS-3000 is a servo controlled tracking
    laser interferometer measureing tool. The tracker follows a
    retroreflective target whil providing real-time coordinate
    information of the retro center location. Position of the target is
    provided in XYZ coordinates via linear distance and two high
    accuracy angular encoders. CMS-3000 can provide measurements over a
    large volume. 30m radial, > 110 degrees elevation, > 270 horizontal.
    Down to 0.6 micron resolution, 2 parts in 10^5 accuracy for range.
    (1m/sec tracking) up to 6m/sec tracking at 5 micron resolution.
    Lightweight and cost effective versus CMM's and offers speed and
    accuracy advantages over theodolites and photogrammetry equipment.
    System can be leased by hour/week/month. About $180K to buy.
  [10.1.8] Measuring linear motion
    There are very few devices to directly give absolute position for
    linear motions. Often rack and pinion drives are combined with
    geared rotary encoders to give absolute position. Here are some
    manufacturers of Magneorestrictive sensors for measuring absolute
    linear position. Accuracy is usually around 0.05% of full scale.
    Futaba also makes an absolute linear position glass scale device.
    _Magneostrictive Devices_ _Gemco Magnetek _
    1080 N. Crooks Road
    Clawson, MI 48017-1097
    tel: 313.435.0700
    fax: 313.435.8120
    _Balluff _
    PO Box 937
    8125 Holton Drive
    Florence, KY 41042
    tel: 800.543.8390
    fax: 606.727.4823
    _MTS Systems Corporation (Temposonics) _
    Sensors Division
    Box 13218
    Research Triangle Park, NC 27708
    tel: 919.677.0100
    fax: 919.677.0200
    _Norstat _
    PO Box 377
    Hibernia, NJ 07842
    tel: 201.586.2500
    fax: 201.586.1590
  [10.1.9] Interfacing sensors
    _Atmos Technology,Inc _
    1060 Lincoln Av,
    San Jose Ca 95125
    tel: 408.292.8066
    fax: 408.292.8241
    The AT1000A is a single chip sensor interface circuit that has been
    used in pressure, acceleration, temperature and humidity
    applications. 20 PIN SOIC Package, 12-Bit A/D Converter, 64 Bits
    EEPROM memory. Programmable pulsed current source via EEPROM memory.
    Three channel A/D: Iout1,Iout2, and Vdiff.
[10.2] Actuators

    Most actuation uses electro-magnetic motors and gears but there have
    been frequent questions regarding other forms of actuation including
    'muscle-wires' and inexpensive RC-servos. How do I get a motor under
    computer control? What kind of motor should I use? What are the
    differences between actuator types? What other types of actuation
    are there?
    Types of motors:
     * Synchronous
     * Stepper
     * AC servo
     * Brushless DC servo
     * Brushed DC servo
  [10.2.1] RC-Servos
    R/C servos for model airplanes, cars and other vehicles are light,
    rugged, cheap and fairly easy to interface. Some of the units can
    provide very high torques speed. For prices and specs see one of the
    many Radio Control magazines on the market.
    What is the wiring for R/C servos?
    Three wire connector for RC-servos:
   Pin 1 = White = Signal
   Pin 2 = Red = +5
   Pin 3 = Black = Signal and Power Ground
   [Tang = pin 1]
    The signal is a variable width pulse ranging from 1-2ms in duration
    and repeating every 12-20 ms. The output shaft rotates to a position
    porportional to the input pulse width. Input pulse width is compared
    to an internal timer pulse. The timer period is controlled by a pot
    coupled to the servo's output shaft. The difference between the two
    pulse widths is an error signal. The servo attempts to reduce or
    eliminate the error signal by driving the output shaft in the
    appropriate direction. When the error signal is within about 5
    micro-seconds the drivers are turned off to preventing oscillation
    or 'hunting'.

    ___ ...                                              ___
   |   |  .                                             |   |
 __|   |__._____________________________________________|   |____
    1 to 2 ms width pulse goes from full CCW to full CW rotation
    20 ms pulse to pulse.

    How can you reverse a servo?
    The easiest way to do this is to hit your R/C hobby shop and buy a
    servo reverser. This is a dedicated electronic module that plugs
    between the servo and the controller (usually the R/C receiver) and
    processes the pulse to "reverse" it. Basically, the device uses a 3
    msec one-shot and an XOR gate. If your local hobby shop doesn't have
    them, check Ace R/C catalog. See ads in any R/C magazine.
    A harder way is as follows: You have to reverse both the motor and
    the potentiometer leads.
    It would be much easier to reverse the control input. All modern
    radios have "reverse" switches for all channels. In the past you
    could have one of 3 solutions:
    1. Live with the servo as-is. Design your model with the servo
       direction in mind.
    2. Some companies had "reversed" servos. Probably no longer
    3. Use a gadget between the receiver and radio that reverses the
       servo. Possibly a single 4538 (Motorola MC14538) with 2 resistors,
       3 capacitors and a trimmer pot.
    4. Modify the servo. This is the most difficult and least desired
       solution. Impossible if the motor is soldered directly to the PCB
       (seen in some servos). [from Itai Nashon]
    The following article is an excellent source on servo facts and a
    PIC-based circuit to control R/C Servos. (See the Microcontrollers
    Section for more info on the PIC)
    The Juggler's Delight: PIC-based Controller For Up To Eight Servos
    by Scott Edward. The Computer Applications Journal, October 1994 p14
    [A kit is available as well for the circuit, including PC board,
    IC's etc]
    How can you control a servo from a parallel port?
    From Stew Bailey (
    With one of the PC's internal timers cranked up, it is possible to
    control eight servos from a common parallel port with nothing but a
    simple TSR interrupt service routine and a cable. In fact, power can
    be pulled from the disk drive power connector and the PC can run all
    servos directly with no additional hardware. The only down side is
    that the PC wastes some processing power servicing the interrupt
    How can you implement force servoing with RC servos?
    From Dave Hershberger, [57]
     I successfully built a force-feedback circuit for my Futaba hobby
     servos. I took the back off the servo case to expose the solder
     side of the control PC board, and using my scope with the servo
     active, I looked for contacts whose signal looked like it varied
     with how much work the motor was doing. I found 2 pulse-width
     modulated signals which correspond to the difference between the
     command signal and the current shaft angle, one for each rotation
     The signals are not logic-level, but vary between, say, 1 and 2
     volts, so I built a simple comparator circuit to convert these to
     logic level. I fed these into my 68HC11 and used the Input Compare
     feature to measure the timing.
     To connect to these points, I used some thin stranded wire and
     soldered directly to the PC board in the servo. Obviously you need
     to be careful when doing this to avoid damaging the servo. Then I
     threaded the pair out through the same hole that the control and
     power wires use.
     One thing to keep in mind with this setup is that it measures the
     error signal, not the force. Therefore when you tell your servo to
     move to a different angle, you'll get an error signal for a few
     wavelengths until it is able to turn the shaft to the new position,
     even if there is no resistance to the movement. If your software
     can take this into account, it works fairly well.
     There's also the problem of saturation - if the external torque on
     the servo shaft is actually turning the shaft against the motor,
     the error signal will be saturated, and you won't know how much
     past saturation you are.
    How to implement RC servo control from a Microcontroller like the HC11?
    This is commonly done with the HC11. The simplist method uses a 32mS
    pulse, which works with all RC servos I (Tom) have tried. This is
    the natural roll-over time of the free-running clock (FRC) (assuming
    an 8MHz XTAL). The output-compare IO lines can be configured to go
    high on the FRC roll-over, and then to go low when their set value
    matches the FRC. With this set up, just place the correct value in
    the timer's compare register and the PWM signal is generated; no
    interrupts required!
    If you want to generate PWM with 20mS, you can set up an interrupt
    to go off after 20mS, set the output line(s) high, and set the
    output compare(s) to the current time plus the desired offset. Then
    set the next interrupt to occur after another 20mS. Still pretty
    For code examples, check out the TRP2 and TRP3 files in:
    [58] This is the
    code for 2 articles Tom Dickens wrote in The Robot Practitioner.
    Commercial controller for RC servos:
    _Pontech _
    401 E 17th St Suite B
    Costa Mesa, CA 92627
    tel: 714.642.8458
    Pontech has a SV100 Servo Motor Controller which is based on the PIC
    16C84 microcontroller. It accepts RS232 serial data signal from a
    host computer and poutput PWM to control up to four RC servo motors.
    Multiple boards can be parallel together to allow more servos. They
    also sell FUTABA FP-S148 servos. boards: $49.95, servos: $16.95, +
    $5.00 shipping and handling _Vantec _
    460 Casa Real Pl.
    Nipomo, CA 93444
    tel: 805.929.5055
    Design and manufacture of Electronic Systems for remote control
    mobile robots and vehicles. Vantec makes a servo control that has
    been used successfully in this type of application and can be used
    for velocity or position closed loop control. We can also modify R/C
    transmitters for operation on special frequencies. contact: Rich
  [10.2.2] Shape Memory Materials
    Nickel-titanium alloys were first discovered by the Naval Ordinance
    Laboratory decades ago and the material was termed NiTinOL. These
    materials have the intriguing property that they provide actuation
    through cycling of current through the materials. It undergoes a
    'phase change' exhibited as force and motion in the wire.
    At room temperature Muscle Wires are easily stretched by a small
    force. However, when conducting an electric current, the wire heats
    and changes to a much harder form that returns to the "unstretched"
    shape - the wire shortens in length with a usable amount of force.
    Nitinol can be stretched by up to eight percent of their length and
    will recover fully, but only for a few cycles. However when used in
    the three to five percent range, Muscle Wires can run for millions
    of cycles with very consistent and reliable performance.

            Table 1.  Flexinol Muscle Wire Properties
               Wire    Linear  Typical  Deform. Recovery  Typical
Wire       Diameter    Resist. Current  Weight*  Weight*   Rate**
Name       (microns)  (ohm/m)     (mA) (grams)   (grams)  (LT/HT)
 Flexinol 037     37       860       30       4       20    52/68
 Flexinol 050     50       510       50       8       35    46/67
 Flexinol 100    100       150      180      28      150    33/50
 Flexinol 150    150        50      400      62      330    20/30
 Flexinol 250    250        20    1,000     172      930     9/13
   * Multiply by 0.0098 to get force in Newtons
  ** Cycles per minute, in still air, at 20 Centigrade
     LT = low temp 70 degrees C, HT high temp 90 degrees C

    Research into shape memory alloys, polymer gels and micromechanism
    devices is ongoing. Library browsing is a must to get recent
    information on these areas.
    _Mondotronics _
    524 San Anselmo Ave.,
    San Anselmo, CA 94960
    tel: 415.455.9330
    tel: 800.374.5764
    fax: 415.455.9333
    A number of muscle wire (nitinol) projects including a small walking
    machine. Book and sample kit with 1m each of 50,100 and 150 um wire
    - enough to build all 14 projects in book. [59]Mondo
    _Memry Technologies _
    57 Commerce Drive
    Brookfield, CT 06804
    tel: 203.740.7311
    fax: 203.775.2359
    Memry sell a Mitsubishi developed polyurethane based Shape Memory
    Polymer. The material undergoes property changes in hardness,
    flexibility, elastic modulus and vapor permeability under
    temperature change. Medical applications is one focus for this
    _Milford Instruments _
    United Kingdom
    tel: (0977) 683665
    fax: (0977) 681465.
    Importers of the Parallax BASIC Stamps and Muscle Wires into the UK.
    _TiNi Alloy Company _
    1621 Neptune Drive
    San Leandro, CA 94577
    Sheets and wire of NiTinOL alloys.
  [10.2.3] Other Actuators
    _Bridgestone Corporation _
    3-2-25 Nishikubo,
    Musashino City, Tokyo 180.
    tel: 0422 54 5820
    Rubbertuators: Rubber-based device that bends under applied
    pneumatic pressure. For a rotation unit typical rotation angles are
    360,120,90 degrees for linear unit the contraction rate cannot
    exceed 20%.
  [10.2.4] Stepper Motors
    Wally Blackburn has provided a stepper motor controller design that
    easily connects to a parallel port:
    This is the info file for the Opto-Isolated Stepper Motor
    Controller. While the info is oriented towards control via a PC
    parallel port, the controller can really interface to just about
    The controller uses a UCN5804B controller IC from Allegro. This chip
    can control motors at up to 35V and 1.25A continuously. Peaks of up
    to 50V and 1.5A can be tolerated according to the data sheet.
    The inputs to the UCN5804B are optically isolated from the control
    circuitry. Input control voltages from 3 to 12V are acceptable.
    Diodes are used to protect the UCN5804B from negative transients
    from the motor windings. For efficient low-voltage operation,
    Schottky diodes are used.
    I have recently rewritten the instructions and included a simple
    parallel port control program in QuickBASIC. The Turbo C source is
    still included also. I still have kits for the controller. Wally
    Blackburn Here are some files on the operation
    and use of stepper motors from Steve Walz:
    [61] Useful files include
    stepper.viz, steppers.tut, ibmlpt.faq, and tomlpt.faq
    There are many controllers for motors and vendors of controllers for
    motors in the marketplace. There are only a few here that might be
    of interest because of low cost or flexibility. See also [62][18.10]
    Motor Drivers
    _Animatics Corporation_
    3050 Tasman Drive
    Santa Clara, CA
    tel: 408.748.8721
    fax: 408.748.8725 Animatics makes an RS-232 based communications
    motor controller. The Series 5000 Servo Control can drive from 1-4
    servo motors either as a stand alone unit or slaved to a host
    computer via RS232. Includes fully digial automatic PID filter (no
    pots) All tuning and config parameters can be sent in the form of a
    file transfer. Can control brushed or brushless motors. Does not
    need a host for control. Up to 3 Amps continuous current per axis.
    Full 4axis model is about $3K.
  [10.2.6]DC Motors
    This is a huge industrial area. A typical new autmobile might have
    30 motors these days and there are a lot of motor manufacturers. See
    the Thomas Register for a listing. It is beyond the scope of this
    FAQ to provide addresses for all manufacturers, but I'll provide a
    list of those who've been mentioned and might be of interest.
    _Mabuchi Motor America Corp._
    475 Park Avenue South (32 St.)
    New York, NY 10016
    tel: 212.686.3622
    fax: 212.532.4263
    One of the largest manufacturers of small motors. Found in R/C cars.
[10.3] Imaging for Robotics

    [This is a new and incomplete section - need more information here]
    There are a wide variety of frame grabbers, computer vision systems
    and image processing tools available. For VME, Multibus, PC Bus,
    even SBUS and STD, there are a number of options for getting images
    into your computer.
    _Analogic Corporation_
    8 Centennial Drive
    Peabody, MA 01960
    tel: 508.977.3000 Howard Cohen
    fax: 508.977.6813
          RGB, Y/C, NTSC, RS-170A, CCIR, RS-343A
          up to 16mb
          SCSI (2.5 Mb/s asynch, or 5 Mb/s synch.) Can be interfaced to
          PC/ISA via SCSI card.
          TMS320C31 33.3 MHz, 33.3 MFLOPs, 16.7 MIPS. Analogic also
          provides an 'ISA bus Floating-Point DSP Signal Processor' AP85c
          with a SCSI port and 5 TMS320C31 processors for 200 MFLOPs, and
          up to 16Mb of global DRAM and upt to 1Mb of local SRAM per
          RS-343A, CCIR, NTSC, or S-Video display output. User programmed
          RS-232 port for debugging, or whatever. An optional
          multi-tasking realtime DSP operating system written by Analogic
          is available. DASM-VIP with 16Mb costs $5995. The AP85c with
          16Mb is $12,600.
    _Cognex Corp._
    One Vision Drive
    Natick, MA 01760-2059
    tel: 508.650.3000 Joseph B. Considine - sales rep
    tel: 508.650.3332
    Offers a vision system mostly targeted for industry. Good selection
    of image processing routines. _5000 Series_
          Up to 4 cameras multiplexed, RS-170 or CCIR 12 bit grey scale
   Memory: up to 16Mb
          25Mhz 68030, 68882 Floating point coprocessor, 'VC-1' custom
          ASIC for 2D correlation, blob analysis, histograms, and various
          transforms, 'VC-2' custom ASIC for character recognition, line
          finding, edge detection, Gaussian and LaPlacian filtering.
          Functions as VGA adapter eliminating the need for a separate
          video card -- allows display of images. Also provides RGB and
          monochrome video outputs.
    _Coreco Inc._
    6969 Trans-Canada Highway
    Suite 113
    St. Laurent Quebec
    Canada H4T 1V8
    tel: 514.333.1301
    tel: 800.361.4914 (USA) Ralph Tesson - sales rep
    fax: 514.333.1388
    A variety of ISA DSP-based bus frame grabbers and imaging cards for
    PCs. Inputs for many cards includes RGB, NTSC, RS-170, CCIR, or PAL
    24 bit color, Y-C, RS-330, up to 16Mb VRAM and 64Mb DRAM. DSP-based
    boards. Outputs include external display support, composite video
    etc. Wide variety of convolutions and logical operations on images
    available including histogramming.
    _Current Technology Inc_
    97 Madbury Road
    Durham, NH 03824
    tel: 603.868.2270
    contact: Michael Glover
    fax: 603.838.1352
    _FF1 Frame Grabber_
          RS-170 or CCIR
          up to 1024x1024x16 bits image memory.
          Half-size XT slot.
          Analog Devices ADSP 2105 DSP (20 MOPs). Performs 3x3
          convolution in 390 ms.
          Library of C callable functions, and windows DLL. Very
          inexpensive -- $995.
    _Data Cube _
    [real-time frame buffers and imaging analysis] [need address]
    _Data Translation_
    100 Locke Drive
    Marlboro, MA 01752
    tel: (508) 481-3700
    tel: (800) 525-8528 fax: (508) 481-8627 Offers 8 different models of
    general purpose monochome frame grabbers with various resolutions
    and memory sizes.
    _Dipix Technologies Inc._
    1051 Baxter Road
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Canada K2C 3P1
    tel: 613.596.4942
    tel: 800.724.5929
    contact: Paul Lamar X146 Regional Sales Mgr
    Dipix offers 3 general purpose frame-grabbers:
    _XPG-1000 Power Grabber_
          RS-170, CCIR, digital, or programmable. Multiple input modules.
          up to 256Mb of image memory, 512Kb cache
          ISA/VL and PCI bus
          50 Mhz TMS320C40 DSP from TI (which is programmable in C) and
          'Power Processing Module' with on-board ALU, CONV, and HIST.
          Optional real-time display
    _P360 Power Grabber_
          4 analog or one 8 or 16-bit digital input, programmable, or
          RS-170, RS-330, CCIR.
          up to 80Mb (4 min)
          TMS320C30 DSP from TI (which is programmable in C). DT-Connect
          Realtime display available
    _FPG-44 Power Grabber_
          Same as XPG-1000
          512kb to 8 MB 0 wait state SRAM
          TMS320C44 DSP from TI (programmable in C)
          real-time display card available software compatible with above
    _ImageNation Corporation_
    P.O. Box 276
    Beaverton, OR 97075-0276
    tel: 503.641.7408
    tel: 800.366.9131
    fax: 503.643.2458
    bbs: 503.626.7763
    ImageNation makes video frame grabbers in a variety of
    configurations and options.
    ImageNations Website is located at [63]ImageNation
    CX100 Precision Video Frame Grabber
    The CX100 Video Frame Grabber is a precision image capture board in
    the ISA bus configuration. It is an 8 bit, half slot card ideal for
    compact applications. Compatible with monochrome video in either
    NTSC or CCIR formats. Allows real time capture to dual port video
    RAM mapped into the computer's memory. This provides fast, random
    access to the captured image for even the most demanding image
    processing needs. The image transfer rate is 1 Mbyte per second. The
    CX100 also has a display output for viewing live video or a captured
    image on an external monochrome monitor. Analog RGB, 30 Hz
    interlaced video output is an option available for false color
    display (this is not VGA compatible). In addition, there is a
    trigger input for synchronizing image acquisition to an external
    event or for operation with an asynchronous (resettable) camera.
    The CX100 is a +5 volt only design. It consumes less than three
    watts and has a power down mode. The all digital synchronization
    scheme provides a rock solid image and an +/- 3 nS sampling jitter
    specification. Video noise is less than one LSB (least significant
    bit). The automatic detection of NTSC or CCIR video, coupled with
    the excellent jitter performance, ensures operation with standard
    and resettable cameras as well as video recorders. Hardware
    controlled field or frame grab, software adjustable offset and gain,
    automatic look up table (LUT) load and non-volatile configuration is
    supported. Input and output LUTs allow gamma correction, contrast
    and brightness adjustment, and thresholding in real time. The
    optional overlay RAM allows text and graphics to be displayed on top
    of live video or a captured image. The video overlay can display 15
    LUT selectable colors (gray levels).
    Lots of software support is also provided. Software and examples are
    available on ImageNation's BBS.
    ImageNation ImageNation also offers versions of the CX frame grabber
    in the compact PC/104 format. PC/104 is the familiar ISA bus in a
    compact, low power, 3.6 X 3.8 inch format. It is ideal for embedded
    applications. ImageNation supports multiple camera and display
    applications with a four to one video multiplexor available in ISA
    or PC/104 versions. Contact ImageNation today for more information.
    _Imaging Technology Inc._
    55 Middlesex Turnpike
    Bedford, MA 01730-1421
    tel: 617.275.2700
    fax: 217.275.9590
    Offers a modular vision system that can be taylored for the
    application. Both VME and PC ISA/VL-bus platforms are supported. It
    seems likely, however, that when all the required modules are
    selected, the system will have a fairly large pricetag.
    A system consists of an 'image manager' or IML which is either a VME
    or PC ISA/VL-bus compatible board. It contains some framstore memory
    and a slot for the 'acquisition module'. For the PC version, the IML
    can be used as the system VGA adapter, eliminating the need for a
    separate display card or module. To add one of the many available
    computational modules, the 'Computational Module Controller' or CML
    must be purchased, which also plugs onto (sort of) the IML. The CML
    has slots for either one or two plug-on computational modules. So,
    as you can see, it adds up quick. About $23k for a system with 2 C31
    DSP computational modules. Device drivers are available for
    DOS/Windows, VxWorks, OS-9, and Solaris.
    There are 4 available acquisition modules:
    1. Variable Scan: interfaces to RS-170 and CCIR cameras
    2. Fast Analog Acquisition: interfaces to high frame rate analog
    3. Color Acquisition: interfaces to NTSC, PAL, RGB or multiple
       RS-170/CCIR cameras. One interesting feature of this module is the
       ability to program your own color space. Otherwise, it supports
       HSI, YUV, YIQ and YCrCb color spaces.
    4. Digital Acquistion: interfaces to RS-422 or TTL video sources.
    There are 5 available computational modules:
    1. Convolver/Arithmetic Logic Unit (CM-CLU): Accelerates convolution.
       e.g. a 4x4 convolution on an 8-bit 512x512 image takes 7.5 ms.
    2. Programmable Accelerator (CM-PA): Contains a TMS320C31 DSP from TI
       (which can be programmed in C), 4Mb image memory and 1Mb of
    3. Histogram/Feature Extraction Processor (CM-HF): Performs realtime
       histograms and feature detection.
    4. Median and Morphological Processor (CM-MMP): performs
       morphological filtering, erosion, and dilation.
    5. Binary Correlator (CM-BC): Performs high-speed template matching
       and binary morphology.
    _Mandex Technology, Inc._
    1191 Chicago Road
    Troy, MI 48083
    tel: 810.585.1165
    fax: 810.585.3745
    contact: M. Gupte
    SMART EYE I: DSP-based real-time image processing system designed
    specifically for mobile and fixed base robotics systems. Stand-alone
    image processing system on a single board. Low power consumption,
    small form factor, and low weight. The single board system includes:
    four monochrome camera inputs, video digitizer (gain and offset
    software adjustable), input look-up table, two frame grabbers,
    additional two video buffers, color mappable image display buffer,
    color mappable graphics overlay buffer, RGB display driver, serial
    communications port, and application program RAM and EPROM. Program
    code can be burned into EPROM. Wide variety of language and
    development platform support. Additional hardware expansion to
    provide addtional I/O capabilities.
    _Matrox International Corp._
    1055 St. Regis Blvd. Dorval
    Quebec, Canada H9P 2T4
    tel: 514.685.2630
    tel: 800.361.4903
    contact:Spiro Plagakis - sales rep
    fax: 514.685.2853
    The IMAGE series consists of the following mutually compatible
     * IMAGE-1280 Baseboard consists of a TMS34020 GSP, TMS34082 FPU, 4Mb
       of DRAM, custom ASICS for fast data transfer, and a high
       resolution RGB display driver.
     * IMAGE-ASD is a monochrome acquisition card that plugs into the ISA
     * IMAGE-CLD is a color acquisition card that does realtime RGB to
       HSI conversion and also plugs into the ISA bus.
     * IMAGE-RTP performs a whole slew of processing functions using a
       bunch of ASICS (e.g. histograms, LaPlacians, morphologies, logical
       operators, erosion, dilation, centroids, pattern matching, more)
     * IMAGE-FPU accelerates large kernel convolutions and FFTs
    Matrox also offers an extensive image processing library and
    utilities that run under Windows.
    _Sharp Electronics_
    16841 Armstrong Ave.
    Irvine, CA 92714
    tel: 714.261.6224
    tel: 800.562.7427
    fax: 714.261.9321
    The basic system that Sharp offers is the GPB-1
          4 multiplexed RS-170 inputs 8 bit greyscale. Optional 'Incard'
          allows 3 parallel camera inputs, or one RGB input, but occupies
          another ISA slot.
          12 512x512x8 bit framestores.
          High-speed ASICS which perform convolution, histogram analysis,
          feature extraction, connectivity analysis, more. These
          operations all take place at 40 ns/pixel. Thus, for example, a
          3x3 convolution takes 12 ms for a 512x512x8 bit image. Other
          processing boards (see below) are available and external
          interfaces are provided for the addition of a separate Alacron
          i860 card with 80 Mflops of performance (available 2/95).
          VGA output for displaying images. An optional 'Single monitor
          adapter' acts as the system VGA adapter.
    There are four function-specific computational cards that plug into
    the GPB-1:
    1. Alignment card: performs normalized correlation with model data.
    2. Auxlut card: has dual 64k 16 bit input 8 bit output lookup tables.
       A possible application would be RGB to HSI conversion.
    3. Auxwarp Card: 'a pixel re-sampler that may be used to modify the
       geometric shape of an object.'
    4. Memory Mapping: Maps large amounts of image data to ISA bus and
       allows random access of regions of interest, say. Also it allows
       new GPB-1 commands to be loaded in and ready to go while the GPB-1
       is busy with its current command. Occupies a separate ISA slot.
    Sharp also has available a Windows algorithm development tool which
    allows the user to develop algorithms using interpreted scripts --
    thus eliminating the compiling step. The scripts can then be
    converted to C-code and compiled, if appropriate. Over 250
    C-callable image processing functions are provided.
    The basic GPB-1 system costs $11,000. A system with an Incard, and
    Auxlut runs around $20,000.
    _Teleos Research_
    576 Middlefield Road
    Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
    tel: 415/328-8800
    fax: 415/328-8880
    URL: [64] Advanced Vision Platform, AVP-100
     * stereo range measurements
     * motion measurements
     * 3D model-based object tracking
     * video frame rate performance
    AVP-100 consists of a video processing unit containing an embedded
    processor, the new PRISM-4 accelerator board, and interface modules.
    To use the system, all that is required is a camera and a host
    processor with an Ethernet interface.
    Connect to [65] for more information or send
    e-mail to with the subject 'AVP-100'. _TIM-40
    PC-based Vision Systems_
    There are about a handful of companies that support TIM-40 module
    platforms. (TIM-40 is a specification developed by TI and industry
    to incorporate the TMS320C40 into a flexible, modular architecture.
    A single TIM-40 module is 2.5" x 4.2".) The C40 is often referred to
    as a 'next generation transputer' because of its six 20Mb per sec.
    comports which make connecting multiple C40s together very easy. The
    speed at which data can be exchanged makes it well suited for
    multiprocessor image processing. A system consists of a computer
    host-specific motherboard (that the TIM-40 modules plug into) and
    the appropriate TIM-40 modules. All companies listed below support
    both VME and PC/ISA daughter boards, however, only the PC/ISA boards
    are described. Since these systems typically consist of more than
    one processor, development software that supports multiple
    processors would be nice. 3L Parallel C is an ANSI C compiler that
    allows you to write multitasked software and divide the tasks
    between the available processors at compile time. It's built ontop
    of the TI C compiler which is known for its optimizing and efficient
    instruction scheduling. Data is sent between arbitrary tasks (which
    may reside on separate processors) by sending C structures. Thus,
    the development environment is comfortable and intuitive. All
    companies listed offer 3L Parallel C.
    _Transtech Parallel Systems Corp._
    20 Thornwood Drive
    Ithaca, NY 14850-1263
    tel: 607.257.6502 Andy Stevens - sales rep
    fax: 607.257.2980
    TIM-40 PC/AT motherboard: 4 TIM-40 sites. Communication between one
    TIM-40 slot and PC takes place through 1K FIFO buffer. JTAG support
    for debugging. RGB/Composite framegrabber module: occupies 2 TIM-40
    slots and accepts RS-170 RS-330, CCIR, NTSC, PAL, Y/C or RGB. Has an
    onboard 50Mhz TMS320C40 (50 MFLOPs). 3Mb of VRAM and up to 4Mb of
    DRAM is available. Flexible Memory TIM-40: occupies 1 TIM-40 slot,
    has onboard 50 Mhz TMS320C40s (50 MFLOPs) and up to 4Mb of DRAM.
    Dual C40 TIM-40: occupies 1 TIM-40 slot, has 2 onboard 50 Mhz
    TMS320C40 (100 MFLOPs) and 512k SRAM per processor. Display TIM-40:
    allows display of RGB images.
    _Spectrum Signal Processing Inc. _
    8525 Baxter Place, 100 Production Court
    Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 4V7
    tel: 604 421-5422
    fax: 604 421-1764
    508 366-7355 Mark Coutour
    800 232 1842 Paul DeBruyn
    800 663-8986
    QPC40 Motherboard: 4 TIM-40 sites. Communication between any of the
    4 TIM-40 slots and the PC takes place through 2 16 bit ISA bus
    locations (one for transmit, one for receive) per TIM-40 slot. JTAG
    support for debugging.
    RGB/Composite framegrabber module: occupies 2 TIM-40 slots and
    accepts RS-170 or RGB. Has an onboard 50Mhz TMS320C40 (50 MFLOPs)
    and a RAMDAC for displaying RGB images. 32kb of EEPROM, 512kb of
    SRAM, and up to 16Mb of DRAM is available. Currently, (11/94) this
    module is not supported by 3L Parallel C, nor does it have framegrab
    software source available.
    Several single C40 TIM-40 modules are offered that differ in memory
    models -- some have EEPROM for boostrapping, or up to 8Mb of DRAM
    offered on a single TIM-40, or up to 65Mb od DRAM on a double
    Dual C40 TIM-40: occupies 1 TIM-40 slot, has 2 onboard 50 Mhz
    TMS320C40 (100 MFLOPs) and 512k SRAM per processor.
    Spectrum also offers ILIB -- an image processing library with
    routines to perform convolution, LaPlacians, high and lowpass
    filtering, more.
    _Traquair Data Systems Inc _
    Tower Building, 112 Prospect St.
    Ithaca, NY 14851
    tel: 607.272.4417 Steve Bradshaw
    fax: 697.272.6211
    HEPC2 Motherboard: 4 TIM-40 Sites. Communication between one TIM-40
    slot and the PC host takes place through 2 16 bit ISA locations (one
    for transmit, one for receive). JTAG support for debugging.
    CFG-RGB framegrabber module: occupies 2 TIM-40 slots and accepts
    RS-170 or RGB. Has an onboard 50Mhz TMS320C40 (50 MFLOPs). 1Mb of
    VRAM framestore and 4Mb of DRAM memory onboard. Frame grab software
    and source is provided.
    VIPTIM convolution accelerator: occupies 2 TIM-40 slots. Contains a
    50MHz TMS320C40 and ASICs that can convolve at 12.5 million pixels
    per sec. with kernels up to 7x6 or 14x3. 3, 1Mb VRAM framestores and
    4Mb DRAM memory onboard.
    HETwin dual C40 TIM-40: occupies 1 TIM-40 slot, has 2 onboard 50 Mhz
    TMS320C40s (100 MFLOPs) and 512kb SRAM per processor. Similar model
    with 2 C44s and 1Mb SRAM per processor will be available early 95.
    HEQUAD quad C44 TIM-40: occupies 1 TIM-40 slot, and has 4 onboard
    TMS320C40s (200 MFLOPs) and 512kb SRAM per processor.
    Traquair also offers the following software:
   EYELIB: image processing library (different than ILIB (?)) that
          performs convolution, histograms, logical operations, more.
   CDSOFT: a utility that works with 3L Parallel C that allows the
          display of RGB image data to the PC host's VGA monitor in less
          than realtime.
   Mathlib: a math library accelerator for the C40 that in many cases
          more than doubles the speed of some floating point calculations
          (e.g. sin).
   Matlab interface: allows an arbritrary C40 processor to execute
          functions in Matlab (that's running on the PC host).
[10.4] Wireless Communication

    Tethers for supplying power and communication are sometimes
    impractical and at best an annoyance. Digital communication via RF
    and IR links is becoming cheaper and a number of companies are
    providing off-the-shelf solutions. For basic serial line
    communication a wide variety of radio modems are available that use
    fixed frequencies or spread spectrum techniques. In many cases they
    are also transparent. That is, you plug them directly into serial
    ports on the robot and off-board computing directly. Higher
    bandwidths such as Ethernet or high speed synchronous serial require
    different hardware. However, with high speed serial communication
    you may even be able to SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocal) or PPP
    (Point-to-Point Protocol) instead of using a LAN-based device.
    This area of communication is changing very quickly and new products
    and companies are appearing every day.
    See also a nice list at: [LIST IS NO LONGER THERE - AWAITING NEW
    or gopher:// List Maintained by David Kent,
  [10.4.1] RF Modems
    [David Kent] RF or wireless modems provide data communication
    without tethers and cables. Wireless systems can be susceptible to
    noise, and multipathing (echos) which will result in tranmission
    errors. A smart wireless modem will guarantee error free data gets
    from one end to the other. This is accomplished by an internal
    microprocessor which packetizes and addresses data. It also checks
    received packets for errors and automatically requests a
    retransmission from the sending modem if there is an error. All this
    occurs transparently to the user. The users' RS-232 data stream goes
    in one modem and comes out the other. Another advantage of this
    method is that since packets are addressed, more than two modems can
    share a single frequency without interference, however throughput
    goes down accordingly. These work well with RS-232 devices that you
    cannot run custom software on, eg. printers, plotters, bar code
    scanners, as well as computers. Dumb modems on the other hand simply
    transmit the data and hope it gets to the other end. Since there is
    no addressing, any modems on the same frequency and in range will
    receive all transmissions. Dumb modems are often used where the
    equipment connected to the modem handles error detection/ correction
    and addressing. Software libraries are available that work with
    specific dumb modems to provide smart functionality. If you are
    connecting a computer running custom software to the wireless modem
    anyway, this may be the most cost effective solution. There are also
    two main categories relating to the radio frequency (RF) portion of
    the wireless modem. These are spread spectrum (unlicensed) and
    VHF/UHF (licensed). Licensed means you need an FCC license. Costs a
    couple hundred dollars to process the paperwork. Generally not a
    problem getting one unless you live in some urban areas. Nice
    collections of information and vendors of wireless modems are at
    [66]Wireless. and [67]
    _Comrad, Communications Research and Development Corporation_
    7210 Georgetown Road, Suite 300
    Indianapolis, IN 46268
    tel: 317.290.9107
    fax: 317.291.3093 Comrad CCL901-DP 900 MHz Wireless Data Link. 500
    meter range can be extended through additional transponders. RS232 -
    38Kbaud. Battery pack available for portable applications. Two
    transceiver units, software, power adapter, serial cables for
    $449.95. Modems. Two channels: 1200-38,400 baud, 100m range, 20m
    range through two walls. Easy to set up.
    _Cylink _
    310 N. Mary Avenue
    Sunnyvale, CA 94086
    tel: 408.735.5800
    tel: 800.533.3958
    fax: 408.735.6643 AirLink - series of highspeed synch or async
    modems to 256kb/s. Interfaces include V.11, RS-232, EIA-530. Spread
    spectrum device operating in 902-928Mhz range.
    _GRE America, _
    Belmont, CA,
    tel: 800.233.5973 GINA 6000, spread spectrum, smart wireless modem,
    up to 128 Kbps, 902MHz, 1 watt
    _Hamtronics, Inc. _
    65-D Moul Rd.
    Hilton, NY 14468-9535
    tel: 716.392.9430
    fax: 716.392.9420 1200 and 9600 baud units/modules for a few hundred
    _Micrilor Inc _
    17 Lakeside Park,
    Wakefield, MA 01880
    tel: 617.246.0130
    fax: 617.246.0157 RS-232, T1221 and R1221 transmitters. 902-928MHz,
    no FCC license required. Data rates to 64k-baud. >100m range. Power
    35mA@3VDC, Antenna is 60cm RG174 coax. Price: $550 ea.
    _Monicor Electronics _
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    tel: 305.979.1907
    fax: 305.979.2611 System 310 two-card OEM set for use in palmtops
    and handheld computing. System 310 board set transmits at 1mW to 2W
    for a range of 3 to 3km range. Priced at $660 in quantity. Model
    IC-15-48 - rugged RS232 4800 baud modem. Can network a number of
    these portables. $1630.
    _Motorola Radio-Telephone Systems Group _
    Arlington Heights, ILL
    tel: 708.632.5000 AltairNet: 18GHz-based system design for wireless,
    indoors networking. The boxes are fairly large, about the size of a
    shoebox, and are relocatable but not portable. Problem is that is
    that they really aren't for mobile applications. The reception area
    has holes like swiss cheese. Not a problem with some fine adjustment
    in stationary applications but a big problem for mobile devices.
    _Pacific Crest Corporation_
    1190 Miraloma ay, Suite W
    Sunnyvale, CA 94086-4607
    tel: 408.730.5789
    tel: 800.795.1001
    fax: 408.730.5640 DDR-96 and RDDR-96 Radio modems. To 9600 baud. 2W.
    Point-to-point communcations. Uses standard RS-232 9pin DB style
    connectors. Can also be used in packet switching networks. Forward
    error correction techniques and PLL synchronization. The RDDR is a
    ruggedized version. Cost is about $1100 and $1230 respectively. FCC
    license required.
    _Proxim, Inc. _
    Mountain View, CA,
    tel: 800-229-1630 Proxlink XR, spread spectrum, smart wireless
    modem, up to 256 Kbps, 902MHz, 500mW, 800 ft range. _Scientific
    31069 Genstar Road
    Hayward, CA 94544 SpectraData 551 radio data link. Spread spectrum.
    Range to 1.5miles (repeater for longer distances) RS232 to
    38.4Kbaud. (900MHz or 2.4GHz).
    A number of articles have also been posted about the modification of
    inexpensive walkie-talkies for wireless communication. Typical
    bandwidths are limited to about 1200 baud. This may be sufficient
    for simple command-level control of a mobile mechanism. See the
    robotics Archives.
  [10.4.2] RF Video
    For regular frame rate video over relatively short distances it's
    hard to beat the price and availability of several consumer products
    in the $100 range. Check local stores or place like the Sharper
    Image (Gemini Rabbit is one of the companies making these units)
    Microwave systems require line-of-site communication, licensing, and
    are expensive.
  [10.4.3] RF Ethernet
    _Aironet Wireless Communications_
    367 Ghent Road, Suite 300
    Akron, OH 44334-0292
    tel: 216.665.7900
    fax: 216.665.7922 ARLAN series of wireless products. Aironet has the
    largest installed base of spread spectrum radios (>200,000) Up to
    1Mbps at 900MHz and 2Mbps at 2.4Ghz. Ethernet and Token rings access
    points (630 and 631 series), wireless multipoint bridges (640 series
    ARLAN products), wireless network adapter cards, PCMCIA cards and
    numerous software and network management tools.
    They are distributed through Anixter. For local Anixter offices call
    708.677.2600. We've used a number of the ARLAN products for years at
    CMU and it's been plug and play.
    _Proxim Inc. _
    295 North Barnardo Ave.
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    tel: 415.960.1630
    fax: 415.964.5181 A product announcement for wireless LAN board on
    p.68 in May/92 Byte Magazine Price: $495, Range: 800 ft. Data Rate:
    242 Kbps Channels: 3
    _Digital Ocean_
    Lenexa, KN
    tel: 913.888.3380
    Grouper wireless networks. Spread-spectrum (no FCC license)
    902-928MHz. Several products for Macintosh computer.
[10.5] Robot Parts: Suppliers and Sources

    Many inquiries on comp.robotics are of the form: Where can I find X?
    where X might be motors, gears, fasteners, connectors etc. The
    following companies carry a wide selection of electronics and
    mechanical parts. With the possible exception of computing these
    companies should have all you need to build robot mechanisms.
    Also see the file regularly posted to sci.electronics and a number
    of the radio newsgroups:
    [68] Roger Arrick also
    has a web page listing supplies of gears, bearings and parts at:
    _All Electronics Corporation_
    P.O. Box 567
    Van Nuys, CA 91408
    tel: 800.826.5432 Electronics parts.
    _Allied Devices_
    2365 Milburn Avenue,
    PO Box 502
    Bladwin, NY 11510
    tel: 516.223.9100
    fax: 516.223.9172 Standard precision mechanical components
    _American Science and Surplus_
    3605 Howard St.
    Skokie, IL 60076
    tel: 708.982.0870
    fax: 800.934.0722
    These guys are a good source for motors, steppers, wire, and lots of
    gears, pulleys, etc. stuff for robot people to roll their own robots
    as well.
    _Arrick Robotics_
    2107 W. Euless Blvd.
    Euless, Texas 76040 USA
    tel: 817.571.4528
    fax: 817.571.2317
    net: Arrick makes a number of automation
    system including stepper motor systems, positioning tables and
    robotic workcells.
    _C&H Sales_
    2176 E. Colorado Blvd.
    Pasadena, CA
    tel: 818.796.2628
    tel: 800.325.9465 Surplus parts. Motors etc.
    _Digi-Key Corp_
    701 Brooks Avenue South
    P.O. Box 677
    Thief River Falls, MN 56701-0677
    tel: 800.344.4539 Distributor of electronics components and
    _Edmund Scientific _
    101 E. Gloucester Pike
    Barrington, NJ 08007-1380
    tel: 609.573.6250 order
    tel: 609.573.6260 customer service Lots of optics, science and
    educational items. A little pricey but nice selection. Edmund also
    has a Robotic Technology Curriculum with lessons and tests featuring
    the Movit robots. Curriculum is $65.
    _Electronic Goldmine _
    PO Box 5408
    Scottsdale, AZ 85261
    tel: 602.451.7454 Sell the ROAMR Robot Kit - $39.95 Lots of
    electronics and small mechanics.
    _Fascinating Electronics _
    P.O. Box 126
    Beaverton, OR 97075
    tel: 503.292.5233 Experimenter's kits and other electronics.
    _Graymark _
    Box 5020
    Santa Ana, CA 92704
    tel: 800.854.7393 Robot and electonics kits, tools and instruments.
    _Herbach and Rademan Co. _
    18 Canal St.
    P.O. Box 122
    Bristol, PA 19007-0122
    tel: 800.848.8001 (orders)
    tel: 215.788.5583 (office)
    fax: 215.788.9577 (fax) Electro-mechanical "surplus" parts,
    equipment and insturments.
    _Hosfelt Electronics_
    _JDR Microdevices _
    1850 South 10th St
    San Jose, CA 95112-9941
    tel: 408.494.1400, 800.538.5000
    fax: 800.538.5005
    bbs: 408.494.1430 Surplus and lots of electronic components
    including cameras and some sensors. Some recent components have
    included: TV transmitter (part # RK-TV6, $19.95 US) transmits
    composite video + audio to any television set withing 600' on one of
    channels 2 - 6. Runs on 12VDC.
    Microwave doppler radar sensor. Claims to detect a person or animal
    up to 12' away (part number RK-MD3, $19.95 w/o case. Claims to come
    with complete circuit theory and instructions.
    _Marlin P. Jones _
    tel: 407.848.8236 Lots of neat surplus stuff.
    _McMaster-Carr Supply Company _
    PO box 440
    New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0440
    tel: 908.329.3200
    fax: 908.329.3772 An amazing catalog of hundreds of thousands of
    parts. Lots of mechanical things but not much for electronics or
    _MECI _
    tel: 800.344.4465
    _Mendelson Electronics Co., Inc _
    tel: 800.422.3525
    _Newark Electronics _
    500 N. Pulaski St.
    Chicago, IL 60624-1019
    tel: 312.784.5100 (check locally) Major distributor of electronics
    components and equipment (1200+ pages) with branches throughout the
    _Nordex _
    50 Newton Road
    Danbury, CT 06810-6216
    tel: 203.792.9050 Gears, cams, universals etc.
    _PIC Design _
    PO Box 1004
    Benson Road
    Middlebury, CT 06762-1004
    tel: 800.243.6125 (except CT)
    tel: 203.758.8272 Bearings, clutches, brakes, couplings, tools,
    belts, pulleys, gears etc.
    _Radio Shack _
    Electronic parts and kits. Local retail stores in just about every
    _SECS, Inc. _
    520 Homestead Avenue
    Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
    tel: 914.667.5600 Gears and gear assemblies, belt drives, couplings,
    bearings, small parts.
    _Seitz Corporation_
    Box 1398
    Torrington, CT 06790
    tel: 800.261.2011
    tel: 203.489.0696
    tel: 203.489.0476
    fax: 203.496.0307 Drive components, gears etc.
    _Servo Systems _
    115 Main Road
    PO Box 97
    Montville, NJ 07045-9299
    tel: 201.335.1007
    fax: 201.335.1661 Surplus pieces and prices, motors, actuators,
    geardrives, controllers, robots, encoders, transducers, amplifiers.
    _Small Parts Inc. _
    6891 NE Third Ave
    PO Box 381966
    Miami, FL 33238-1966
    tel: 305.557.8222
    fax: 305.751.6217 Lots of neat small supplies including: materials,
    metal stock, fasteners, tools etc. This company is the "misc parts"
    supplier to the "U.S. FIRST" competetion where corporations and HS
    Students form partnerships to build competing robots like Dr
    Flowers' ME class at MIT.
    _Stock Drive Products _
    2101 Jericho Turnpike
    Bobx 5416
    New Hyde Park, NY 11042-5416
    tel: 516.328.3300
    fax: 516.326.8827 Great set of handbooks of thousands of components.
    _Surplus Center_
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    tel: 800.488.3407 They're good on medium to large scle stuff,
    hydraulics and pneumatics. They seem to supply agricultural machine
    prototypers. _Winfred M. Berg _
    499 Ocean Ave.,
    East Rockaway, LI, NY 11518
    tel: 516.599.5010 Precision Mechanical Components
    Any technical library should have catalogs from the larger
    distributors. These include McMaster-Carr, Grainger, Allied, Newark,
    Last-Modified: Tue Sep 10 12:29:26 1996 [70]Kevin Dowling


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  62. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/18.html#18.10
aka: Kevin Dowling, <>     address:  Carnegie Mellon University
tel: 1.412.268.8830                                The Robotics Institute
fax: 1.412.268.5895                                5000 Forbes Avenue
url:              Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA
aka: Kevin Dowling, <>     address:  Carnegie Mellon University
tel: 1.412.268.8830                                The Robotics Institute
fax: 1.412.268.5895                                5000 Forbes Avenue
url:              Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA

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