Archive for July 2008

Robotic Donkey Climbs 35 Degrees, Carries 300 Pounds

July 25, 2008

The video of this beast almost is scary.  A fully automated donkey that can’t be kicked over, walks in snow, scales hills and packs 300+ pounds of payload.

The donkey’s control system keeps it balanced, steers, navigates, and regulates energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system.

Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others.

Can you imagine 1,000 of these working in a military convoy?

Ramping to 10 Million AC Drives: Yaskawa Milestones

July 24, 2008

In June, Yaskawa said it shipped its 10 millionth AC drive since 1974 of production. 

Raw math says that’s about 300,000 drives shipped per year, but the uptick is much more dramatic than that. Here’s a look at how the demand for Yaskawa AC drives ramped up over the past three decades.

Click on the image (above) for a closer look at this interesting timeline graphic.

Gear-Head Capital of North America?

July 23, 2008

Ever wonder what the Wittenstein North American HQ looks like in Chicago? Got this in my email box this afternoon.

Wittenstein, formerly alpha gear drives, is in a monumental marketing campaign to bring all of its divisions under the name Wittenstein. Stay tuned for trade pub ads, newsletter pushes and logo call outs.

Wonder if there’s any bass in that lake?

Would You Change Jobs for a Shorter Commute?

July 22, 2008

A survey published today says one-fourth of us would. Evidently, employees are so fed up with ever-worsening traffic that it’s become a major factor of job satisfaction — one of those HR terms for whether or not you are jamming on your work or not.

Innovative HQ is located in a relatively low-density traffic area in northwest Dallas — actually, Carrollton. It’s not too bad of a drive once you get into the area.

And BTW, we have a great job opening for someone who would like to commute during the less-busy times. Perfect for a student or for someone with school-age children. Contact Britt at to check out this flexible accounting-oriented job.

Also, check out this traffic jam photo from yesterday right outside our office. One of our technicians hurrying out the door on a 24/7 service call forgot to use his turn signal. (Actually, the photo was shot in Russia.)

Would you change jobs if it lessened your commute?

Power Rangers, Digimon . . . Crabs

July 21, 2008

Bandai, the people who brought you Digimon and Mighty Power Rangers now has this. They even seek shade. These toys release in August and consumers are buzzing.

Just in time for Christmas: Robotic Inchworm with remote control. I can’t believe what people will spend money on wait.


Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster ‘Powered’ by Innovative

July 18, 2008

If you’re heading to Disney World this summer, you might feel a little safer knowing this.

BTW, Innovative Automation supplies some of the mechanical components that make the zero-to-60 in two seconds technology of the Rockin Rollercoaster at MGM. Do NOT — repeat, DO NOT — miss this ride if you’re heading into the Magic Kingdom any time soon.

Reason #172 to Work at Innovative: Casino Night

July 16, 2008

That would be Daniel Hallum of our legendary sales force, who often makes runs through Wise County.

“Eighter from Decatur, county of Wise.”  — old dice shooters’ chant for double fours