Design007 Magazine

PCBD-Mar2014

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10 The PCB Design Magazine • March 2014 Network Communications, Dieter Bergman of IPC, Mark Laing of Mentor Graphics, Humair Mandavia of Zuken, and Ben Jordan of Altium. Guest Editor Kelly Dack and I will be shoot- ing video interviews for our Real Time with… Designers Forum program, and we'd love to in- terview you on camera. I've noticed that more and more PCB designers and design engineers are video-savvy; many of you handle yourselves well in front of the camera, and you don't freak out when the red light comes on. It's really not much different from speak- ing to the other members of your department. But even if you're reluctant about being inter- viewed on camera, we can work with you. And if you're a PCB designer, I guarantee that you have a story worth telling. It does get easier over time. My first interview was a disaster, but we gave Charlie Capers and the rest of the staff at Trilogy Circuits something to chuckle about! The Survey Says… This month, don't miss "The Town Crier." The inaugural column by our newest columnist, Dan Smith. Dan is a principal technologist at Raytheon, and a 33-year veteran of software de- sign firms and military contractors. He has worn a lot of hats: PCB designer, programmer, product architect, and professional piano player. Dan, "The New Mr. HDI," was handed the HDI torch by Happy Holden, and he leads the PCB HDI—Next Generation group on Linke- dIn. He has a passion for PCB design, especially design education. He's taught the PCB design process internationally, and he's led IPC's HDI certification efforts. In this month's column, Dan delves into the state of PCB design instruction, and he wants your feedback. Take a few minutes to complete Dan's short survey on PCB design and design education. I know you're busy, but this won't take long. Then, Dan will discuss the survey re- sults in his column over the next few months. This issue is too important to cover with just one column. Dan welcomes your e-mails, but don't be surprised if your name shows up in an upcom- ing edition of "The Town Crier." See you in Vegas! PCBDESIGN Andy shaughnessy is manag- ing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. he has been cover- ing PCB design for 13 years. he can be reached by clicking here. BACK TO VEGAS continues the shaughnessy report by Real Time with... NEPCON South China Writing a program to control a single autono- mous robot navigating an uncertain environment with an erratic communication link is hard enough; write one for multiple robots that may or may not have to work in tandem, depending on the task, is even harder. This May, at the international Conference on Autonomous Agents and Mul- tiagent systems, researchers from MiT's Computer science and Ar- tificial intelligence laboratory (CsAil) will present a new sys- tem that stitches existing control programs together to allow mul- tiagent systems to collaborate in much more complex ways. researchers are currently testing their system in a simulation of a warehousing application, where teams of robots would be required to retrieve ar- bitrary objects from indeterminate locations, col- laborating as needed to transport heavy loads. "in [multiagent] systems, in general, in the real world, it's very hard for them to communicate ef- fectively," says Christopher Amato, a postdoc in CsAil and first author on the new paper. "What typically happens is, the programmer decides that red light means go to this room and help some- body, green light means go to that room and help somebody," Amato says. "in our case, we can just say that there are three lights, and the algorithm spits out whether or not to use them and what each color means." MIT Develops Herding Robots

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