Designing a rugged tablet

Designing and manufacturing a consumer tablet is something many manufacturers do well. They do not tend to focus on ruggedness rather than a stylish design with minimal “self-serviceability.” For manufacturers of industrial tablets, the focus is, however, to build a rugged tablet to meet the most rigorous environments with full-size I/O’s and “on-the-job serviceability.”

If you are looking to move into the Rugged Tablet marketplace, you must keep in mind that the professional user of a rugged tablet will see the tablet not as a gadget as he/she would with a consumer tablet, but rather as a tool just like any other tool they would use on the job. To satisfy these users, there are some things to keep in mind to make your device rugged:
Hard-knock life: The tablet must withstand vibration, knocks, and drops. The universal standard is MIL-STD 810G (United States Military Standard), with the most popular method stating the device must withstand at least 26 drops of a height of 1.22 meters on each axis of the device. It furthermore must withstand strong vibrations comparable to a heavy-duty truck driving on a bumpy dirt road. This means for example that the housing of the screw inserts needs to be reinforced and there should be an internal shock absorbing mechanism (such as brackets) next to the external ones (e.g., silicon rubber edges). Test machines simulating these drops and vibrations can be found in figure 1.

Fig1_Vibration_Drop

Mountain to the desert: It must work in extreme temperatures, from -20°C up to 60°C. This means the thermal management inside the device must be optimized to especially dissipate heat most efficiently. In figure 2., you can see an example of a heat map of the thermal management of a rugged tablet. A fun example of cold weather resistance can be found in here this video 

Fig2_Heat_Map

Protection: It needs to be protected against water and dust; mostly so-called IP65 rating is needed to meet most common industrial conditions. IP-rating stands for “International Protection Rating” or the level of “Ingress Protection” where the first number stands for the level of protection against small objects penetrating the device and the second number stands for protection against water. In our example, IP65 means it is fully dust-proof and water-proof from strong jets of water (up to 12.5 liters per min) on all sides of the device. Seeing that professional users of these rugged tablets require full-sized I/O’s such as USB ports, COM ports and access to a hot-swappable battery, the real sealing challenge comes on these aspects as these interruptions in the housing material prove to be hard to seal properly. You can see in figure 3. what this might entail as to sealing precautions you will have to make.

Fig3_IP-rating
Making a tablet rugged is not just about putting a bumper on it, but rather design it as an industrial and rugged device from the ground up. Some well-made examples can be found here

 

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AI – Artificial Intelligence

What is AI and how does it influence our everyday life?

The so called AI (Artificial Intelligence) is an area of computer science which is focused on the creation of an intelligent machine, which is able to develop almost human like capabilities. The design of AI targets features like Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Speech Recognition, Planning and Organizing skills, as well as Problem Solving abilities.

This more and more expanding field of the technology industry requires specialized skills and continues to grow in the industrial and IoT market. By `spreading intelligence in a connected world´, several Machine Learning solutions have been integrated in our every day life; still, pure AI solutions seem to be far away.

The reason for the constraints in AI are mainly influenced by factors like costs, power consumption and robustness of the solution. But what if there would be a solution, which could overcome the mentioned limitations? 

Introducing AAEON AI: Artificial Intelligence on the Edge

During Embedded World 2018 (27th February – 1st March 2018), AAEON Technology Europe will release a unique platform with its `UP Bridge The Gap´ line, which will be able to prevent former restrictions.

Excited to learn more? Stay updated and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter (AAEON Europe) or visit our booth on EW2018 – Hall 1, stand 350.

`UP AI Edge´ – coming soon!!

EW AI banner.png

 

AAEONs APL SERIES

Your All-Around Vertical Market Solution

AAEONs newly launched APL family of products is designed to consolidate all sectors of industrial automation, ranging from vertical IIoT deployment and IoT, to public transportation and virtual network architecture. Intersecting connectivity, energy efficiency, BIO support and thermal management, the APLs are the heart of industrial throughput and other mission-critical systems.

gene 1Source: http://web.aaeon.com.tw/news/viewnews.asp?id=978&Region=

GENE-APL5 – The Solution for General Industrial Automation

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Designed specifically for deployment in factory automation, the GENE-APL5 is a fan less solution that is capable of supporting 3 individual displays.

GENE-APL6 – The Solution for Transportation

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Featuring an ultra-wide input range of 9-36V, the GENE-APL6 offers high power desity that belies its small size. It also features support for 2 LVDS, 1 VGA. Onboard storage with eMMC up to 32G.

GENE-APL7 – The Solution for Modern Retail POS

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The GENE-APL7 provides enhanced scalability, offering a particularly generous connectivity package comprising 12 COM ports and 10 USB slots.

 

 

Consolidate your smart factory with all-in-one Panel PC

AAEON has launched a line of OMNI-5000 All-in-One panel PCs in three models with 12.1-, 15-, and 21.5-inch capacitive touchscreens. The two smaller models offer an Intel “Bay Trail” Celeron J1900 with four up to 2.0GHz cores and a 10W TDP, and the 21.5-inch model uses a dual-core, up to 2.4GHz Core i5-6300U or optional dual-core Celeron 3995U. Both of these 15W processors belong to Intel’s 6th Generation “Skylake-U” family. The systems have back-mounted computers that are very similar, but not identical, to AAEON’s recent OMNI-BT and OMNI Skylake standalone panel PCs.

Animation

The three systems are as follows:

  • OMNI-5125-BT — 12.1-inch — Celeron J1900
  • OMNI-5155-BT — 15-inch — Celeron J1900
  • OMNI-5215-SKU — 21.5-inch — Core i5-6300U; optional Celeron 3995U

The OMNI-5000 systems run Linux (2.6x and above) or Windows 10/8.1/7 and are designed for “smart industrial manufacturing” applications including HMI, quality management, integrated factory automation, manufacturing execution systems, and data-driven service management. Compared to AAEON’s earlier AIO panel PC systems, the new models are touted for their “newly enhanced thermal management system” and new aluminum casing, including an IP65-protected front panel that “prevents acid corrosion, water infiltration, and panel abrasion.”

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                                                                    OMNI-5125-BT

aaeon_omni5125bt2

 

Other highlights include “foolproof voltage protection,” as well as a “unique” All-In-One back cover, and a “state-of-art heatsink.” There’s also wide-range 9 to 30V DC input, and a “personable and nimble Panel Mount Bracket” touted for its ease of installation.

 

aaeon_omni5155bt

                                                                   OMNI-5155-BT

 

aaeon_omni5155bt2

The OMNI-5125-BT and OMNI-5155-BT are based closely on the OMNI-BT system. The main differences are the addition of more serial ports and the lack of vibration resistance and AAEON’s proprietary OMNI expansion interface. Instead of using the OMNI format, the new systems provide dual full-size mini-PCIe slots, which offer a rough equivalent. A SIM card slot is also available.

The two new Celeron-based systems are almost identical to each other except for the screen size and their slightly different temperature ranges: -20 to 60°C for the 12.1-inch OMNI-5125-BT and -10 to 60°C for the 15-inch OMNI-5155-BT. Both the OMNI-5125-BT and OMNI-5155-BT have backlit screens with 1024 x 768 resolution, with a luminance of 500 and 450 nits, respectively, and viewing angles of 160°/160° and 160°/140°.

Standard features on the OMNI-5125-BT and OMNI-5155-BT include up to 8GB DDR3L-1333 RAM, dual GbE ports, a SATA 2.5-inch bay, and a CFast storage socket. There are 3x USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0, and HDMI and VGA ports. Other features include 3x DB9 serial ports (2x RS-232/422/485, 1x RS-232), audio line out, and a 3-pin terminal block for the 9-30V DC input.

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                     Detail view for the OMNI-5125-BT and OMNI-5215-SKU detail

 

aaeon_omni5215sku_detail

The OMNI-5215-SKU supports up to 8GB of DDR4 and offers a SATA bay, but there’s no CFast slot and only one mini-PCIe slot. Other features include 4x USB 3.0 ports, 2x RS-232/422/485 ports, an HDMI port, a SIM card slot, and a 3-pin terminal block for the 9-30V input.

The 21.5-inch screen can display 1920 x 1080 pixels and has 250 nits luminance and 178°/178° viewing angles. Panel and VESA mounting is available, and the system can withstand -20 to 60°C temperatures.

More information may be found at AAEON’s OMNI-5125-BTOMNI-5155-BT, and OMNI-5215-SKU product pages.

Rugged, multi-touch panel PCs run Linux 4.4 on Apollo Lake

AAEON ’s 10.1-inch “ACP-1106” and 7-inch “ACP-1076” multi-touch panel PCs offer extended temperature, shock, vibration, ingress, and surge protection.

AAEON has updated its ACP line of multi-touch infotainment panel PCs, which include its Bay Trail Intel Atom based ACP-1104, with two new models that run on Intel’s Apollo Lake SoCs. The 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 ACP-1106 and 7-inch, 1024 x 600 ACP-1076 are designed for high-EMI panel PC systems, kiosks, and smart factory HMI systems in applications such as product line management, smart city power grids, and other data-driven service management tasks.

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                                               ACP-1106, front and back

aaeon_acp1106_back

The new ACP models are the first Apollo Lake based multi-touch panel PCs on the market. You can equip either model with a quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 or Celeron N3350, each with 6W TDPs and 1.1GHz base frequency, and burst modes up to 2.5GHz and 2.4GHz, respectively. This model support Linux, Android, and Windows 10.

aaeon_acp1076_screen

                                         ACP-1076, front and back

aaeon_acp1076_back

The 10.1-inch ACP-1106 and 7-inch ACP-1076 are promoted for their compact dimensions, measuring 266 x 184 x 48mm and 196 x 134 x 48mm, respectively. The fanless systems are further touted for their thermal management systems, which are said to boost airflow and cool air circulation, enabling -5 to 50°C operation with 0.5 m/s airflow.

The aluminum cased panel PCs provide vibration resistance of 1Grms, 5~500Hz, and shock resistance of 15G peak acceleration (11 msec. duration). The systems offer wide-range 9-30V power supplies with 2-pin terminal blocks, 60W adapters, and power buttons. Also available is CE/FCC Class A protection for EMC, with voltage protection against surge spikes and short circuits.

The front bezels on each computer provide IP65 protection against dust mites and water. Both panel- and VESA 75 mounting are available.

Both ACP systems have backlit, projective capacitive touch panels with multi-touch support. The 10.1-inch, WXGA ACP-1106 offers 250 cd/m2 luminance and 160° viewing angles while the 7-inch, SWXGA ACP-1076 provides 300 cd/m2 and 150° (H) and 145° (V) angle.

aaeon_acp1106_detail

ACP-1106 (up) and ACP-1076 (bottom) detail views, showing dual COM and dual serial options, respectively, with bottom I/O shown on top and top I/O on the bottom

aaeon_acp1076_detail

Otherwise, the feature sets are identical. The new ACP systems ship with 4GB DDR3L, expandable to 8GB. They furnish an mSATA slot with ruggedized HDD options ranging from 8GB to 128GB.

The ACP systems provide dual GbE ports, plus 2x USB 3.0 ports and single USB 2.0, RS-232 (DB-9), and HDMI ports. An expansion I/O module lets you optionally double the RS-232 and USB 2.0 ports, as shown in the detail views. Also, there’s a half-size mini-PCIe slot, which can optionally be fitted with a WiFi module.
More information may be found on the ACP-1106 and ACP-1076 product pages.

AAEON annnounces ACP-1000 panel PC series

A major developer of Industry 4.0 computing solutions, AAEON launched the ACP product line, a series of touch panel PCs that will consolidate system integration, IoT, and smart home applications, as well as providing an option for product lifecycle management and smart factory processes.

 

acp 1000

The ACP panel PCs are powered by the Apollo Lake. These multi-touch panel PCs support Linux, Windows 10 and Android systems, and provide mixed memory support and heightened efficiency output. The ACP series stands at 7 and 10.1 inches respectively. Also, the design enables deployment in scenarios such as smart homes and smart offices.

Much like AAEON’s other panel PCs, the ACPs offers a thermal management system that boosts airflow and cool air circulation, along with an aluminum casing which protects the panel from external wear and tear, while the IP 65 Front Bezel Design offers a layer of protection against environmental nuisances such as dust mites and water. I/O port support is provided to supplement connectivity to outer devices, and to facilitate customization. The design offers voltage protection against surge spikes and short circuits and operates within DC 9~30 Vdc.

Smart Agriculture

The agricultural business is looking at a promising future. Due to the ever growing global population, the sector is looking at an estimated required increase in production of approximately 70% between 2006 and 2050.

In addition, as the workforce employed in the agricultural sector is progressively decreasing,  ‘Smart Agriculture’  (farming driven by information technology) becomes an interesting tool to boost and maintain the level of productivity.

smart agriculture
Smart Agriculture – Source: Click here

Hereby, Smart Agriculture in the field of Greenhouse farming, as well as livestock and irrigation management is dominated by a couple of concepts, to be illustrated in the upcoming lines.

  • Big Data Farming: utilization of big data –> defining the decision making process;
  • Precision Agriculture: monitoring deviation in crop yields –> detect potential.

The rising demand for those techniques is mainly dominated by smart technology solutions, whereby the hardware component represents more than 50% of the industry. The focus is placed upon the following automation and control systems:

  • Variable Rate Technology (VRT);
  • Smart Positioning Technologies (GPS receivers);
  • Smart Steering and Guidance Systems.

The reason for this can be found in the fact that the input of resources can be minimized, while the quality improves. Ultimately, output reaches a maximum level.

You want to learn more about this topic? Click here for the whole article.