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Design007-Jun2018

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36 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 of an overall mechanical assembly or product. We need to be able to document things property for final assembly, and being able to modify individual modules, because this is something that we tend to do now, really. You can move components on modules to interface correctly module-to-module, but you can also do it with the broader enclosure. And that's just really a starting point, but this affects the overall mechanical assembly and that has implications for PLM systems, enterprise resource planning, and production for the broader product; also, in the electronics assembly, there may be contract manufacturer's implications, mechanically. I consider things like custom plates that have to be milled to cover certain areas of the board as it's going through soldering processes, for selec - tive conformal coatings or selective soldering, or these kinds of things. These are all issues. Stephen Las Marias: In our experts' meetings, we often hear about the importance of fabrica- tors and EMS companies talking to designers. It seems like communication would be even more important with multi-board designs. Jordan: Yes. I have one great example of a power supply factory that a colleague visited, that was showing us that they were design- ing PC power supplies. They make hundreds of thousands of these things. And they rede- signed the whole PCB just to be able to move one mounting screw and mounting hole half an inch, because it affected the assembly pro- cess, and they wanted the factory workers, or robots, to be able to screw the screw in at 90 degrees to the board instead of with a slight angle on the screwdriver. It's sometimes impossible for the PCB designer to be aware of all the potential issues of assembly, and it has a profound impact on the industry. Having a closed loop from the CM back to the designer is absolutely necessary for improving efficiencies, and it's worth spending an extra day on design if it cumulatively saves many weeks of human labor down the line. Shaughnessy: Well, is there anything we might have missed? Jordan: I'm satisfied that we've covered the main boulders. Shaughnessy: Thanks for your time, Ben. DESIGN007 The software and hardware needed to coordinate a team of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can communicate and work toward a common goal have recently been devel - oped by KAUST researchers. "Giving UAVs more autonomy makes them an even more valuable resource," says Mohamed Abdelkader, who worked on the project under the guidance of Jeff Shamma. "Monitoring the progress of a drone sent out on a spe - cific task is far easier than remote-piloting one yourself. A team of drones that can communicate among themselves provides a tool that could be used widely, for example, to improve security or capture images simultaneously over a large area." Abdelkader and the team quickly dismissed the idea of having a central base station that the drones would com - municate with. Instead, they custom-built UAVs and incor- porated a light weight, low-power computing and wi-fi module on each one so that they could talk to each other during flight. "Each of our drones makes its own plan based on a forecast of optimistic views of their teammates' actions and pessimistic views of the opponent's actions," explains Abdelkader. Their algorithm worked well in both indoor and outdoor arenas under different attack scenarios. Abdelkader hopes their software, which is now available as open-source, will provide the test-bed for multiple applications. Robots Learn by Checking in on Team Members

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