SenSolve has announced it is releasing a beta version of its MAST (Multi-Axis Seam Tracking) solution. What does this have to do with a Mac you ask? Not much, but Apple's FireWire technology can be used to connect this device to a PC. MAST is a non-optical sensor for seam tracking during welding applications. According to SenSolve:
SenSolve's MAST sensors incorporate a proprietary technology called fringing electric field sensing. Fringing electric field technology makes the solid-state MAST sensor immune to smoke, dust, debris and oils commonly found in manufacturing applications.
The sensor control unit, the MultiDOF System, analyzes MAST sensor data, eliminating the calibration, programming, and special lighting required for optical sensors. MultiDOF manages data from real-time processes allowing robotic response to variations in part features.
During robotic welding, MAST Sensors measure seam position in real-time, without weaving, as is done in through-the-arc seam tracking. The robot torch pose is automatically adjusted to minimize errors due to fixturing tolerances. With a 5 mm error, seam start positions can be located to within 1/4 wire width in less than two seconds.
Measuring 6.5 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and weighing 13 ounces, the compact MAST sensor easily mounts on a welding torch. Solid-state construction makes the MAST sensor extremely rugged and able to withstand collision impact. Interfaces are available for RS232 and Ethernet (USB and FireWire are available upon request).