From humanoids to holograms and humanity projects - How Avnet showcased the future at electronica
And so electronica 2018 is over. In our final post, we look back on the best bits of day three.
On Thursday, we spent some time exploring the Avnet stand, visiting our colleagues from Avnet Silica, EBV, and Premier Farnell, where we met a couple of interesting characters on our travels. We had a lot of fun with Pepper the robot on the Farnell stand, while Archimedes the AI robot owl was regularly spotted riding the shoulder of Hackster’s ‘lead Hardware Nerd’, Alex Glow. Archimedes is designed to recognise whether people are happy or upset, and if you are excited enough he will give you a sticker (or other small giveaway). If you’re interested in building your own AI familiar, Alex posted the project on Hackster.io.
Hearing the inspirational Mick Ebeling, founder of Not Impossible Labs, speak in the Avnet Developers Lounge was a real highlight of the show. His stories about how the power of technology can help humanity were compelling and heart-warming. If you’ve got a spare couple of minutes, watch how Music: Not Impossible, a product developed in partnership with Avnet, is enabling an inclusive music experience that can be enjoyed by all.
As lunchtime approached, our resident battery experts, Tim Parker and Marc Eichhorn, took to the stage to provide some guidance on selecting lithium batteries. Tim explained that the customer idea of ‘the ideal battery’ is often impossible to achieve. “However, with careful consideration of requirements our engineers can help you make the right choice”.
Mark delved into the world of rechargeable solutions, suggesting that changing requirements were pointing to a slightly larger, but more power dense cylindrical cell as the new standard size. “We are monitoring the market closely, and will be ready to support customer needs if this happens.”
Over the course of the week, there was one demo on our stand in particular that had been turning the heads of passers-by. The HYPERVSN holographic projection system uses an array of fan-like light emitting diode based units to create 3D images that are perceived to be floating in mid-air. It’s a peek into the future of advertising as we know it – see for yourself.
HYPERVSN had experienced supply chain issues during manufacture, and Avnet Abacus’ technical experts were able to select alternative components and reduce lead times, allowing them to deliver to market on time. This product could well drive the next generation of retail displays, and it was great to be a part of its development, as well as see it in action at electronica.
By now it was time for our final tech talk of the week, and this one was on a topic that is currently front of mind for many customers. The MLCC shortage has been ongoing for some time, and Senko Brostmeyer of Panasonic was able to provide some interesting insight into polymer capacitors as an alternative solution.
“I don’t like to call polymer capacitors a replacement solution”, she stated. “For specific applications such as industrial and automotive motor controllers they have some very real benefits over MLCCs.”
Following Senko’s talk, Richard Dines, Team Leader of Regional Sales Distribution, Panasonic reflected, “When you have such front of mind topics such as MLCCs, Electronica really gives us a chance to sit down with the management of our distributors and partners such as Avnet Abacus and work out how we can work together to support customer needs and get alternative options designed in.”
Elsewhere on the Avnet stand, our colleagues from Premier Farnell had a brilliant motion recognition demo in action, using Artificial Intelligence to see which super hero move a user did best (check out the picture below). EBV was showing off its new Heracles 224G chip, the first telecommunications module to combine 4G low power technology and prepaid connectivity. And Avnet Silica had its fair share of exciting demos too, showing Microsoft’s new Azure Sphere MCU in action, as well as machine learning and automotive applications.
A stop by the Avnet Plaza saw Dragon Innovation’s Scott N. Miller speak about the difficulties of taking ‘the next step’ from prototype to mass production and how to avoid the common pitfalls. This was just one of many brilliant talks in the central hub of the Avnet stand this year, so be sure to keep an eye on the Avnet YouTube channel where they’ll be uploaded in the coming days.Elsewhere on the Avnet stand, our colleagues from Premier Farnell had a brilliant motion recognition demo in action, using Artificial Intelligence to see which super hero move a user did best (check out the picture below). EBV was showing off its new Heracles 224G chip, the first telecommunications module to combine 4G low power technology and prepaid connectivity. And Avnet Silica had its fair share of exciting demos too, showing Microsoft’s new Azure Sphere MCU in action, as well as machine learning and automotive applications.
As the day drew to a close we spoke to Molex’s Vice President, Fred Bell, who enthused about helping engineers realise their ideas. “Our partnership with Avnet Abacus runs very deep. When a customer has a problem that needs solving, we can pool our engineering resources to help them understand the new technologies available to them and decide what the best route is for their designs” He continued, “The Connected Home is a great example. We’ve released 75 new antennas to the market in this year alone. That gives the engineer a lot of different variables and specifications to consider. Having access to a team that understands these inside out can save them a huge amount of time and money.”
And that is our electronica 2018 wrapped, we hope you had as much fun as we did. Check out the video below for some highlights of day three. Keep your eyes peeled for more content from the event over the coming days, and we’ll see you in 2020!