Gadget Freak of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

PowerSpot Power-over-Distance Wireless RF Transmitter for Over-the-Air Wireless Power - Powercast Corporation
The three-watt, Bluetooth-approved PowerSpot wireless RF transmitter is the industry’s first FCC- and ISED-approved solution to provide far-field (up to 80 feet) wireless power over distance for powering multiple consumer devices over the air - no charging mats needed. Powercast began production of its PowerSpot transmitter after receiving FCC and ISED approval late December 2017, and began shipping it September 25, 2018. A companion development kit to help manufacturers easily design PowerSpot-based wireless charging ecosystems is also available. 

Drew Paul
Founder, Drew Paul Designs
Drew Paul has been a successful entrepreneur since he began his first business at the age of 15. Since then he has committed his life to creating trends, developing technology, helping people, and improving society as a whole. The guiding testament behind all of his work is “We are all one.” Today Drew Paul is the owner and founder of nine businesses ranging from marketing and media production to industrial science and alternative energy. 

Dr. Lonnie Johnson
CEO, Johnson Battery Technologies 
Dr. Lonnie Johnson, a bonafide “rocket scientist,” has just one mission — to ensure the world has enough energy for a prosperous future. Although he has devoted his life to solving some of the world’s most complex technological problems, he is best known for his widely popular invention, the Super Soaker water gun. Dr. Johnson is a prolific inventor and holds more than 100 patents, the vast majority of which are energy related. 

Automation & Motion Control: Controllers

1. Protos - Elum Inc.
PROTOS, the first 100 percent servo-driven, roll-fed wrap around labeling machine, uses less energy then conventional labelers.  No more anaolog mechanical linkages, sprockets and chains. PROTOS is digitally synchronized control platform provides the fastest scan time, signal processing and motion control available. PROTOS also offers  unparalled precision and control on label tensioning, adhesive application and container control systems.  PROTOS is accurate to 0.000086 degrees. PROTOS users enjoy improved energy, efficiency, uptime, and packaging performance at lower costs than competitive systems. 

2. Bedrock OSA Remote – Bedrock Automation
Oil and gas, water and wastewater utilities, energy producers and other participants in critical infrastructure related industries stand to benefit financially and operationally from the more intelligent and more open connectivity promised by the Industrial Internet of things. But with the requisite openness comes greater vulnerability to cyber threats, and remote operations are especially vulnerable. The new Bedrock OSA Remote addresses this with a virtually impenetrable control system that has public key infrastructure (PKI) functionality designed into its electronics, with modules keys assigned at birth, and advanced authentication and encryption technology like that used to secure military, aerospace and online financial transactions. 

3. Rheem EcoNet Zoning System - Rheem Manufacturing
The EcoNet® Zoning System is the latest innovation in Rheem’s smart home product line and is redefining residential HVAC with independent and flexible comfort control of up to six separate zones. Designed to optimize the performance of Rheem smart air equipment, the new Zoning System and EcoNet Smart Thermostat include intelligent management features important to both homeowners and contractors. The system’s proprietary communication protocol streamlines installation and service, while providing homeowners with an intelligent energy management system that delivers unparalleled performance, advanced comfort control, and maximum efficiency.

Automation & Motion Control: Drives

OpenIMU enables advanced, easy-to-deploy localization and navigation algorithm solutions for a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods.  OpenIMU's combination of open-source software and low-cost hardware enables rapid development of advanced solutions for drones, robotics, and autonomous applications.

2. MAXON DOOR DRIVE - maxon precision motors, inc.
maxon motor has developed a sliding door drive system. The door drive system is available as a direct drive or with integrated gear. The drive consists of a brushless DC 90mm flat motor with an integrated MILE Encoder and an EPOS2 positioning controller. The firmware for the controller is programmable to meet your individual application requirements.

3. Flexible Transport System – Bosch Rexroth Corporation
As a modular system based on components, Rexroth's Flexible Transport System (FTS) can be easily integrated into systems and machines. This offers the user full flexibility, both in the selection of motors and drives as well as in programming of individual and synchronized movements. With its contactless drive, the intelligent system can adapt to a number of different production conditions.

Automation & Motion Control: Industrial Network Technologies (e.g., I/O, Ethernet, Wireless)

1. VKS Software – VKS
VKS allows companies to create and share visual work instructions, digital checklists, and more through an easy to use interface while providing an integrated solution to capture real time data ranging from productivity metrics and sign-off’s to work order details. VKS’ innovative solution empowers the workforce by providing them with a platform to share their knowledge and best practices resulting in quality and productivity improvements, as well as an increased feeling of accomplishment and job satisfaction. Promoting standard work and traceability has helped solidify VKS as an Industry 4.0 leader in North American manufacturing.

2. IoT Interface for Climate Control Solutions- Rittal
A great deal of information is generated when operating modern climate control solutions in enclosures. With modern devices like the new cooling units and chillers in the Rittal Blue e+ range, a multitude of values and other information can be measured and recorded.

3. Backplane Ethernet Extension Protocol - Turck Inc.
Turck’s Backplane Ethernet Extension Protocol, or BEEP, helps users create high-density I/O networks and still utilize their low-cost PLC. BEEP allows a network of one master and 32 block I/O devices to appear to the PLC as a single device on a single connection using a single IP address. A fully utilized master device can support up to 512 digital I/O points or 480 bytes of data, whereas a standard block can support up to 16 digital I/O points. This reduces the number of connections the PLC sees while enabling high-density I/O networks.

Automation & Motion Control: Motors and Mechanical Motion Devices

1. Planar Motor - Planar Motor Inc.
Our Planar Motors are magnetically suspended smart conveying robots with unprecedented flexibility, precision, intelligence, re-configurability, scalability and traceability. In comparison with conventional conveying systems where parts move on predefined 1D tracks, our movers are smart conveyors (XBOTs) with 6 degrees-of-freedom motion capability that can move independently on a 2D surface with programmable routes. 

2. AquaTerra - WTR Tech, Inc.
WTR (Water Table Retention) Technologies introduces the AquaTerra, our first-generation  irrigation-reduction machine. We designed it with a patent-pending turf injection mechanism that deposits a polymer compound 3 to 5 inches below the turf. The polymer retains and distributes ground water for 30 to 36 months while irrigating and fertilizing the turf and eliminating irrigation water loss as well as lowering labor cost and conserving the environment. With regular AquaTerra treatment homeowners and businesses can reduce irrigation water consumption in any grass environment by up to 50% - from backyards to outdoor stadiums, from patio putting greens to entire golf courses. Maintain lush green lawns in pristine condition with up to half the previous water usage.

3. Zero-Backlash Spring Engaged Brake (ZSE) - NEXEN GROUP
Nexen's pneumatically-released Zero-Backlash Spring Engaged (ZSE) brake family offers high torque, high speed, and zero backlash ideal for holding applications. Unlike brakes using leaf springs to transmit torque, the ZSE is zero-backlash up to 100% of its rated holding torque. Nexen has released four different sizes (450, 600, 800, 1000) for a wide variety of applications. The bore sizes are available in three standard sizes, and can be easily customized for customer needs. In addition, Nexen offers an option to configure the ZSE with a smart feature. The ZSES brakes are available with internal sensors, making them ideal for Industry 4.0 compatibility. These sensors provide feedback and data to maximize machine safety and efficiency.

Automation & Motion Control: Sensors, Vision Systems, Feedback Devices, & Peripherals

1.Vista LiDAR - Cepton Technologies, Inc.
Cepton’s Vista LiDAR is a high performance LiDAR sensor that performs 3D perception for navigation that can be utilized in smart machines including autonomous vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and robots. Vista is built with Cepton’ patented Micro-Motion Technology (MMT™) platform, a precision optical mechanical device that is capable of extremely high resolution imaging across long distances. Vista features a 120-line-equivalent scanner that delivers 200 meters of range to meet the long-range needs of autonomous cars, along with 2.5 centimeters of range resolution and 0.2 degrees of spatial resolution. Cepton’s sensors use only nine watts of power, making it an extremely energy-efficient design, unlike many competitive solutions. The design of Vista is also extremely compact so it can be easily integrated into the body of a vehicle, and it also has no rotational or frictional parts which reduces required maintenance and enables the solution to last longer. 

2. Streamline - 3D Infotech
There continues to be exponential growth in automation, robotics, and sensor technology with capability of realizing the industrial internet of things (IIOT) and Industry 4.0. However there has previously never been a universal or common interface between the two most critical technologies, robotics and the 2D/3D vision sensors, which would allow manufacturers to remove inspection and quality control bottlenecks and thus directly improve profit margins. Custom integration projects are difficult to manage and present substantial risks that typically are only overcome with the significant investments only Fortune 500 organizations have access to. Moreover, custom projects are slow to deploy and deliver results. Because of these challenges integration of robotics and metrology have seen a slower adoption rate in the past.

3. ProxEncoder - Joral LLC
ProxEncoder sensor brings to the angular sensing market the same universal form and fit that the ubiquitous ProxSwitch brought to the on/off sensing market. Marrying the features of a Proximity Switch and a Rotary Encoder into a ProxEncoder Rotary Position Sensor. The ProxEncoder sensor product lime provides a uniform form factor and operating function for the Angle and RPM sensing customer. The market is replete with dissimilar products, lacking consistency in size - connection - construction materials. Most of the products currently on the market today are derivatives of automotive devices, force fit into the industrial world. ProxEncoder sensor consolidates mechanical, electrical, and operational variations into a cohesive product offering. 


Electronics & Test: Analog/Power Management/Control

1.PowerSpot Power-over-Distance Wireless RF Transmitter for Over-the-Air Wireless Power - Powercast Corporation
The three-watt, Bluetooth-approved PowerSpot wireless RF transmitter is the industry’s first FCC- and ISED-approved solution to provide far-field (up to 80 feet) wireless power over distance for powering multiple consumer devices over the air - no charging mats needed. Powercast began production of its PowerSpot transmitter after receiving FCC and ISED approval late December 2017, and began shipping it September 25, 2018. A companion development kit to help manufacturers easily design PowerSpot-based wireless charging ecosystems is also available. 

2. MAX77714 and MAX77752 - Maxim Integrated
The MAX77714 high-performance application processor power-management IC (PMIC) delivers a complete, power-efficient solution for computationally intensive applications that run on machine-learning or deep-learning platforms. Target applications include handheld gaming devices, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), machine-learning platforms, digital cameras, drones, home automation hubs, IoT devices, security cameras, FPGAs, cellular based modem/modules, and a wide array of consumer devices. The MAX77752 is a high-performance, multi-channel, integrated PMIC designed with hot-plugging considerations for drones, handheld devices, home automation hubs, FPGA-based applications, and other systems that have many power rails requiring high efficiency in a small solution size.

3. Renesas Electronics GaN FET Power Supply Solution - Renesas Electronics Corporation
Renesas Electronics’ Gallium Nitride (GaN) field effect transistor (FET) power supply solution is comprised of the ISL70040SEH GaN FET driver, and ISL70023SEH and ISL70024SEH GaN FETs. They are the space industry’s first radiation-hardened, low side GaN FET driver and GaN FETs designed to enable primary and secondary DC/DC converter power supplies in launch vehicles and satellites. The power supply solution provides power to ferrite switch drivers, motor control driver circuits, heater control modules, embedded command modules, 100V and 28V power conditioning, and redundancy switching systems.

Electronics & Test: Automotive Electronics

1.Simcenter software solution for Autonomous Electric Vehicles (AEVs) - Mentor, A Siemens Business
Siemens Simcenter Software Solution for Autonomous Electric Vehicles (AEV). The new Siemens software solution for design-centric thermal simulation of Autonomous Electric Vehicles (AEVs) is the industry’s first comprehensive, easy-to-use solution engineered to address critical, thermal-driven challenges associated with AEV design, such as extending electric drive range, optimizing in-cabin comfort, designing sensors and ensuring the reliability of all autonomous drive (AD) systems.

2. QAR - Rohde & Schwarz
The R&S®QAR Quality Automotive Radome Tester delivers high-speed measurement of reflectivity, homogeneity, and one-way transmission loss for automotive fenders and radomes in the mmWave domain. Operating across a frequency range from 72 GHz to 82 GHz, the system delivers an X-ray like image of the radome under test using its array of several hundred antennae in a few hundred milliseconds. Alternate approaches make use of a single receiver/transmitter testing method that necessarily has to undertake hundreds of individual measurements to deliver the same outcome, with testing and result evaluation requiring several hours. As a result, the R&S®QAR is suited to all stages of automotive radar development and manufacture. In the area of research and development, the impact of changes in material, material thickness, paint selection and the manufacturing process can be quickly evaluated. 

3. Maxim PMICs for Automotive ADAS Functions - Maxim Integrated
With a series of power-management ICs (PMICs) from Maxim Integrated Products, designers can optimize power for automotive advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to achieve high performance, small solution sizes, high efficiency, and electrical protection.

Electronics & Test: Components, Hardware & Interconnects

1.Spotlight AR++ - 3D Infotech
Spotlight AR++ allows users of any metrology device to seamlessly translate inspection results back into the real-world such as deviation color maps, dimensional features and tolerances, and key characteristics. Spotlight AR++ is both a universal 3D metrology plug-in that allows you to project inspection results directly on the part as well as an integrated guided metrology solution that illustrates and communicates the procedural steps or process required to assemble engineered products with ease. By supporting a vast array of applications and having universal support for hardware (CMMs, CMM arms, 3D scanner, trackers), Spotlight AR++ outputs to any projector compatible with a PC computer. Spotlight AR++ is an unconstrained augmented reality solution that brings digital results to life and keeps your hands free.

2. FPBB Rail-Single Phase Block Filter – SCHURTER
SCHURTER’s new FPBB RAIL is an extraordinary slim double-stage, single-phase filter, measuring only 25 mm in width.  The attractive space-saving design integrates an optional fuseholder or circuit breaker.  Additionally, an overvoltage varistor is available in all three variations.  FPBB RAIL: three functions in one ultra-slim housing. Space can be a scarce commodity on a panel, particularly panel designs in control cabinets for industrial machinery. Densely populated interference generating components, such as switching power supplies or inverters, can further complicate design as high performance filters are required to reach CE conformity.  These filters can be large and can occupy premium space on the DIN-Rail. SCHURTER provides a solution with the FPBB RAIL.  The new two-stage filter offers a very high EMI attenuation in an ultra-slim, space-saving housing.

3. PTFIX distribution blocks - Phoenix Contact USA
PTFIX distribution blocks are preconfigured terminal blocks that allow for extremely compact and modular potential distribution. They feature Phoenix Contact’s original and proven Push-in Technology, capable of up to 50 percent time savings in installation as compared to a standard screw connection. Push-in connection allows for direct insertion of solid or ferruled wires, without the use of tools. With a 50 percent reduced insertion force and supporting approvals from a wide variety of testing bodies, Push-in Technology is the superior connection.

Electronics & Test: Embedded Computing/Processing

1. Helio P60 – MediaTek
MediaTek’s Helio P60 system-on-a-chip (SoC) brings consumers access to smartphone devices with premium experiences like cutting-edge AI and advanced photography, without the premium price. The MediaTek Helio P60 is the first SoC platform to feature a multi-core AI processing unit (APU) and MediaTek’s NeuroPilot AI technology. The SoC delivers up to a 70 percent CPU performance boost over the Helio P23 and Helio P30, in addition to a 70 percent GPU performance enhancement, powering the latest AI features while still being incredibly energy efficient. Offering the latest features consumers expect without a flagship price, the Helio P60 continues MediaTek’s legacy of making great technology accessible to everyone.  

2. RadioVerse ADRV9008/9 - Analog Devices Inc.
The RadioVerse ADRV9008/9 from Analog Devices is a highly integrated, radio frequency (RF), agile transceiver offering dual transmitters and receivers, integrated synthesizers, and digital signal processing functions. It is the industry’s widest bandwidth RF transceiver and provides designers with a single radio platform to accelerate the deployment of 5G, sustain 2G/3G/4G coverage, and simplify phased array radar design.

3. MAX32558 - Maxim Integrated
Maxim’s DeepCover portfolio of embedded security ICs provide highly secure key storage by cloaking sensitive data under multiple layers of advanced physical security. The MAX32558 is a highly integrated DeepCover Arm Cortex-M3 flash-based secure microcontroller available in a small footprint for a variety of security-sensitive applications, including industrial, consumer, computing, and the internet of things (IoT). The device provides a flexible and easy way to integrate secure key storage and active tamper detection in a 50% smaller footprint versus the closest competing device. The MAX32558 includes a cryptographic engine, a true random number generator, battery-backed real-time clock (RTC), environmental and tamper detection circuitry, a magnetic stripe reader, a smart card controller with embedded transceiver to directly support 1.8V, 3.3V, and 5V cards, and an integrated secure keypad controller. 

Electronics & Test: IoT & Connectivity

1. PowerSpot Power-over-Distance Wireless RF Transmitter for Over-the-Air Wireless Power - Powercast Corporation
The three-watt, Bluetooth-approved PowerSpot wireless RF transmitter is the industry’s first FCC- and ISED-approved solution to provide far-field (up to 80 feet) wireless power over distance for powering multiple consumer devices over the air - no charging mats needed. Powercast began production of its PowerSpot transmitter after receiving FCC and ISED approval late December 2017, and began shipping it September 25, 2018. A companion development kit to help manufacturers easily design PowerSpot-based wireless charging ecosystems is also available. 

2. GAP8 IoT Application Processor - GreenWaves Technologies
The GAP8 IoT Application Processor by GreenWaves Technologies is an IoT application processor that enables massive deployment of low-cost, battery operated intelligent devices that capture, analyse, classify and act on fusion of rich data sources such as images, sounds or vibrations. GAP8 is uniquely optimized to execute a large spectrum of image and audio algorithms including convolution neural network inference with extreme energy efficiency. GAP8 allows industrial and consumer product manufacturers to integrate artificial intelligence and advanced classification into new classes of battery-operated wireless edge devices for IoT applications including image recognition, counting people and objects, machine health monitoring, home security, speech recognition, consumer robotics and smart toys.

3. nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC - Nordic Semiconductor
The nRF52840 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) is Nordic Semiconductor’s most advanced ultra low power (ULP) wireless solution. Building on the mature and proven architecture of existing nRF51 and nRF52 Series solutions, the nRF52840 SoC provides wireless connectivity between battery-powered peripherals and host devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs to support complex Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) and other ULP wireless applications including Internet of Things- (IoT), smart lighting-, smart home-, and smart city-sensor networks, as well as advanced high performance wearables and Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) systems. 

Electronics & Test: Test & Measurement

1. Artec Leo - Artec 3D
Artec’s 3D handheld scanners can be used for a variety of applications from digitizing fossils or monuments, to creating a prosthetic limb. However, one of the most promising applications is for test & measurement that support quality assurance measures. The Artec Leo is the most advanced handheld 3D scanner available. The technology works by projecting a grid pattern on the object. The Leo then captures the deformation or distortion of the grid from multiple angles. This is used to calculate the distance to specific points on the object using triangulation. The three-dimensional coordinates obtained are used to digitally reconstruct the real-world object in real time directly on the scanner itself. The Artec Leo can operate an industry-leading 80 frames per second (FPS).

2. R&S FPC1500 Spectrum Analyzer - Rohde & Schwarz
The R&SFPC1500 spectrum analyzer is the only entry-level spectrum analyzer on the market with the value and capabilities of a three-in-one instrument – a spectrum analyzer, vector network analyzer and a signal generator. Featuring a frequency range of 5 kHz to 1 GHz, the R&SFPC1500 can be upgraded to 2 GHz or 3 GHz frequency. In addition to being able to measure RF signals, it is also an RF signal generator and features a tracking generator and independent continuous wave (CW) signal generator. The R&SFPC1500 spectrum analyzer also includes a one-port vector network analyzer with Smith chart display, a signal generator, internal voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) bridge, independent signal source and resolution bandwidth settings down to 1 Hz. The R&S®FPC1500 includes a 10.1-inch Wide XGA (WXGA) display (1366 x 768 pixel), is Wi-Fi-enabled and includes a remote control capability. 

3. 6 Series MSO Mixed Signal Oscilloscope – Tektronix
The 6 Series MSO mixed signal oscilloscope extends the performance threshold of midrange oscilloscopes to 8 GHz and delivers a 25 GS/s sample rate simultaneously on all 4 channels – an industry first for this class of oscilloscope – for designers working on faster, more complex embedded systems designs.  With the high sample rate designers can accurately now view up to four high-speed signals at one time such as a DDR3 clock and three DDR3 data channels, decreasing the time it takes to characterize designs. 

Materials & Assembly: Fastening, Joining, Assembly Components & Adhesives

1. 3M 4077 - 3M Medical Adhesives
In June, 3M expanded its lineup of advanced adhesives for medical devices with the addition of 3M™ 4077 Elastic Blend Nonwoven Extended Wear Medical Tape (3M 4077). 3M 4077 is a pressure sensitive adhesive with omni-directional stretch for comfort, yet offers conformability and breathability. It takes functionality to the next level as a thin, water-resistant tape. With excellent long-term wear skin adhesion, it’s capable of adhering for up to 14 days, the longest wear time currently in 3M’s portfolio of advanced adhesives for medical devices.

2. Solart Cilium – Innowood
SOL'ART Cilium products creates the possibility to design and realise a seamless facade that changes at the flick of a switch. Changing from a completely screened wall, to a complication with shaded windows. It can be applied in residential, industry and commercial buildings suited for applications that would like to seamlessly transform from a privacy screen in front of windows to a horizontal sunshade in the open position above the window. This can be integrated discretely to exterior walls with identical screening or as a separate element constructed in front of a window. The system is available in two Louvre types with two maximum panel size: 1200 x 3000mm and 1600 x 3000mm. The blades are water resistant and available in four prefinished colours.

3. Rapid Pressurization Valve - Beswick Engineering
The Beswick Engineering Rapid Pressurization Valve (RPV) is essential if you need a valve to control the speed of a device while lowering cycle times.  The (RPV) is a device, exclusive to Beswick Engineering, which combines the speed control of a needle valve or a fixed orifice with the rapid, high force holding power of a full port valve.