The Future of Sensors in Factory Automation

Manufacturing North America – Issue 103 (9/6/17)


Change is coming, and no business can afford to be a laggard. By Fred Geck and Seth Sternberg

According to a survey of technology industry business leaders globally by KMPG, the Internet of Things (IoT) is among the top technologies to have the greatest impact in driving business transformation. Several reports suggest much of that growth will be at the expense of older technologies and new revolutionary shifts will force entire industries to slide into obsolescence. Change is coming, and it is imperative that businesses continue to advance and shift with the tides. In the manufacturing automation business, we are already seeing the desire to seek advancement and shift the industry, especially when it comes to capitalizing on the potential for cost savings, productivity improvements, and safety.

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Smartphones have created a whole new world of opportunities, says Hillcrest Labs boss

Robotics & Automation News (7/25/17)


For Hillcrest Labs, the journey started more than a decade ago, and over that time, the company has reached the milestone of having sold 60 million units.

Having started out selling software, the company moved into bundling that software into chips, which have become more elaborate over time and found an increasing number of applications.

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Chad Lucien, senior vice president of business development at Hillcrest Labs, tells the company’s story.

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Automation News

Hillcrest Labs launches ‘industrial grade sensor for consumer products’

Robotics & Automation News (7/1/17)


Hillcrest says its new FSM300 delivers industrial-grade sensor fusion accuracy at prices suitable for consumer products with “four times greater accuracy versus competitor solutions in some tests”.

The FSM300 is what’s called a attitude and heading reference system, which is a sensor system, and an inertial measurement unit, which like a gyroscope.

Hillcrest Labs, a subsidiary of InterDigital, says the FSM300 is a cost effective and low power AHRS/IMU module that delivers the sensor fusion accuracy of industrial-grade sensor technologies at a price point suitable for consumer applications.

With 0.5° per minute heading drift and 1.0° orientation accuracy in a very low power device, the FSM300 sets a new price/performance, according to Hillcrest.

Read more of this article on Robotics & Automation News

What Causes Virtual Reality Motion Sickness?

Virtual Perceptions (6/30/2017)

Virtual reality sickness is a real issue in the industry. Very few mediums cause the user to feel either general discomfort, headache, stomach awareness, nausea, vomiting, pallor, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, or disorientation. There are ways to circumvent this – one being the removal of the ‘meathook effect’ alongside not making janky software – but overall it’s an issue which hasn’t been contacted.

Though apparently, there are ways to circumvent this issue by addressing its two vital components – latency and stability. Hillcrest Labs has analysed the technology and gives their thoughts on the issue:

“Simulator sickness arises when users experience feelings that are not in sync with how they expect to feel – based on how they are moving and what they are seeing on their VR headset.

“If the latency of the system is too high when a user is playing a navigation game on a VR headset, and the user moves but the image they see on the screen does not move instantly, they will experience simulator sickness. The end-to-end target latency of the system from the user’s motion to when the user sees the corresponding action on the screen is typically around 20 msec.

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Hillcrest Labs Launch Advanced Motion Sensor

VRFocus (6/27/17)


Hardware manufacturer Hillcrest Labs have announced the launch of new high-performance sensor technology which allows for high accuracy at a reasonable consumer price point and is also able to function at low power. The FSM300 sensor technology is being aimed at virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), fitness tracking, industrial monitoring and robotic navigation. The company claims that the high level of tracking accuracy and low latency can help in reducing the motion sickness issues suffered by some VR users.

Some product manufacturers, including ZUtA Labs and Grey Technology Ltd have already begun to use the FSM300 sensor technology to improve product performance. Hillcrest Labs say that the FSM300 module has a small form factor, is pre-calibrated and boasts a latency of 2 milliseconds, an orientation accuracy of 1.0 degrees and sampling rates of up to 1KHz.

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Hillcrest Launches High Performance AHRS/IMU Module

Internet of Things Today (6/27/17)

Hillcrest Labs has launched the FSM300, a cost effective and low power AHRS/IMU module that delivers the sensor fusion accuracy of industrial-grade sensor technologies at a price point suitable for consumer applications. With 0.5 per minute heading drift and 1.0 orientation accuracy in a very low power device, the FSM300 sets a new price/performance standard up to 4X better than competitor solution in some tests.

Designed to dramatically improve human and machine motion sensing in a diverse set of consumer and IoT applications, the FSM300 combines MotionEngine, Hillcrests high-performance, proprietary sensor processing software, with a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer, along with a low-power 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU.

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Technavio Announces Top Five Vendors in the Global Motion Controlled Remote Market Until 2020

Business Wire (4/1/2016)


Technavio has announced the top five leading vendors in the global motion controlled remote market in their latest research report. This report also highlights the key trends predicted to influence market growth over the forecast period.

To identify the top vendors, Technavio’s market research analysts have considered the top contributors to the overall revenue of this market. The report covers the major end-user segments of this market, including gaming consoles, set-top boxes (STBs), and smart TVs.

Read more of this article on Business Wire