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This Week in Power & Motion: Technology Highlights from CES 2023

Jan. 6, 2023
CES 2023 provides a look at key technologies and trends, many of which are impacting the motion control industries.

There is much going on in the world of fluid power and motion control, from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. Each week the Power & Motion team collects some of the latest industry news to help keep our readers up to date on what's happening in the industries in which they work.

For this week's edition we're taking a look at some of the announcements made at CES 2023, one of the top technology shows in the U.S. Although called the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the event has expanded over the years to include technology for a range of industries, including many of the markets served by fluid power and other motion control solutions. 

At the 2022 show, for instance, construction equipment manufacturer Bobcat unveiled its all-electric compact track loader which was developed in collaboration with Moog. OEMs John Deere and Caterpillar Inc. have also begun making CES a part of their annual trade show cycle as well as several component manufacturers such as Bosch. 

WATCH MORE: 

Building the Bobcat T7X

John Deere Autonomous Tractor Benefits from Deep Learning and Computer Vision

John Deere was present once again at the 2023 show, unveiling its newest automation technology for agriculture and its first full-electric excavator

With the news from the this year's show, our audience can get a better sense of the technologies and trends which could impact, or already are, their future product developments. Electrification and automation were once again key trends showcased at CES, both of which are already impacting the fluid power and other motion control industries. 

Following is news from those companies which are most closely related to Power & Motion's areas of coverage. To read even more CES 2023 news, visit our colleagues at Electronic Design who attended this year's show and collected an array of information for the engineering community. 

Metawave Developing Long-Range Radar for Off-Road Vehicles

Radar sensing technology company Metawave Corp. has received a $1.7 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Army. The contract will enable the company to enhance its Carson radar technology for off-road perception sensing and other autonomous system requirements which has been proven for use in defense applications.

The enhanced version, known as the Hudson technology platform, features detection, tracking and perception over long ranges and in all weather conditions. It is enabled by the company's patented phased array beamforming and steering front-end Marconi chips, highly integrated Antenna-in-Package (AiP) modules, and high-resolution radar algorithms. GPUs from NVIDIA will be incorporated into the platform as well. 

Metawave's Hudson architecture uses Doppler Division Multiple Access (DDMA) waveforms enabled by the Marconi chips to quickly survey a wide field of view, including elevations up to 500 m. The radar combines high resolution and long-range beamforming into a single device to provide optimized visibility for autonomous vehicles and systems, ensuring safety which is a critical component to autonomous system development. According to the company, this helps to overcome some of the challenges with other digital radar which may have a shorter range or experience high processing burdens. 

WATCH a video interview with Metawave about its technology and government contract from our colleagues at Electronic Design and Microwaves & RF

New Holland Showcases Metaverse Capabilities

Agricultural equipment manufacturer New Holland exhibited with Touchcast and Microsoft an immersive experience in the metaverse. Using Touchcast immersive technology and the Microsoft Cloud, visitors at the show could access a simulation of New Holland's recently introduced T4 Electric Power tractor prototype

With this technology, OEMs like New Holland can create a more immersive customer experience in which a realistic digital twin of their showroom is created. Within that digital showroom the OEM's vehicles can be displayed in 3D, allowing customers to get a close up view of the machines and customize as desired without the need to use a VR headset or specialized software it can all be done directly from a web browser. 

"Thanks to their [Touchcast and Microsoft] technology we will be able to explore and enable metaverse commercial options, granting direct access to our products to customers all over the world. It’s a new way of experiencing the personal touch of a human dealer without having to physically travel to a showroom and it opens endless possibilities for us and for the farmers," said Carlo Lambro, Brand President New Holland Agriculture, in the company's press release announcing its presence at CES. 

In our annual Salary & Career Survey, several respondents noted the increasing use of metaverse and VR/AR technologies; this is only likely to increase as the technologies continue to improve. 

AVL Developing E-Mobility Technology for Air and Space

Technology company AVL is expanding upon its ground mobility solutions, including those for electric-powered vehicles, to those operating in the air and outer space. The company is partnering with Northrup Grumman and Eviation to develop e-mobility solutions for their respective applications. 

AVL is aiding with the electric vehicle design and autonomy systems for Northrop Grumman's Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) concept which is part of a NASA program to return astronauts to the moon. 

With Eviation Aircraft, AVL is supporting development of an all-electric commuter eCTOL (electric conventional take-off and landing) aircraft. The aircraft aims to provide carbon-free and economical air travel for short haul flights which can be carbon intensive. 

AVL will use its experience developing technology for other applications, including cars, trucks and heavy equipment for these projects.

Innoviz Launches New Lidar and Industry Partnerships

Lidar sensor and perception software company Innoviz Technologies Ltd. unveiled its new Innoviz360 high-performance lidar at CES 2023. The new sensor is designed to improve performance while offering a reduction in costs to help make the move to automation easier for customers. 

Featuring a lighter weight design, the Innoviz360 lidar provides:

  • up to 1,280 scanning lines per frame,
  • a configurable frame rate
  • 0.05 x 0.05-degree resolution, and
  • 300-m range. 

According to the company, the new sensor's high resolution, high vertical field of view and reduced cost will benefit OEMs looking to implement Level 4-5 automation in a variety of applications including robotaxis, trucks and more. It can also be used in heavy machinery, smart cities, maritime and other non-automotive related applications. 

During CES, the company also announced its InnovizOne lidar sensor will be utilized by LOXO, a developer of zero-emissions autonomous vehicles for last-mile delivery. An initial evaluation period will be followed by purchases for use in vehicles as soon as 2023. 

Innoviz is partnering with Ewayz, a Paris-based company developing real-time 3D lidar processing software for perception solutions which can be used in non-automotive applications. Ewayz's plug-and-play perception software will be combined with Innoviz's software to demonstrate the capabilities of lidar in logistics, construction, security and other applications. 

Caterpillar Showcases Autonomy Advancements

Caterpillar Inc. highlighted its technology advancements for the construction and mining industries at CES, with a particular focus on automation. At the center of Caterpillar's booth was its autonomous 100-ton Cat 777 off-highway truck. 

The company's autonomous mining vehicles have been in operation for over a decade at mine sites around the world, helping to improve productivity and safety. Per the company, additional features of its booth included: 

  • Cat Command technologies were featured in real-time, using two remote operating stations connected to equipment hundreds of miles away. One station remotely operated a Cat large dozer, while the second – a single universal station that can operate multiple types of Cat construction equipment – was remotely connected to a Cat excavator. 
  • An opportunity to stand in the bed of a large mining truck and participate in augmented reality experiences.
  • A recruiting lounge with information on high-tech jobs that are available today and an opportunity to interview on the spot for a position at Caterpillar.

The company also highlighted fleet management, safety, precision guidance and other technologies as well as recent developments in battery-electric machines. 

READ MORE: Caterpillar Unveils Battery and Electric Machine Prototypes

ZF Unveils New Technology for Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Technology company ZF Group premiered several new technologies at CES geared toward electric and autonomous vehicles. A multi-domain capable version of its ProAI computer was among these introductions. 

The ZF ProAI supports various functions such as those for the chassis and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). It features more computing power while ensuring good energy efficiency and a compact design. Use of computers like this will increase a vehicle designs become more automated and sophisticated with the features offered. 

The next generation of ZF's shuttle was unveiled at the show as well which is capable of Level 4 autonomous driving. Shuttles like that designed by ZF are seen as the next potential means of transportation for people and goods; typically electric-powered and autonomous, they feature a smaller footprint than a city bus for easier maneuverability around cities. Several concept shuttles have been introduced in recent years by a variety of companies, and are starting to be utilized in some parts of the world.

ZF's shuttle uses the company's ProAI and a Virtual Driver software stack built into the autonomous driving system to enable Level 4 autonomous driving — that which does not require a driver under certain conditions. Performance and safety paths built into the software ensure the shuttle drives in a safe and efficient manner. 

At CES, the company said it is also seeing strong demand for its smart components which include sensors and actuators; it expects these to continue their growth pattern in the coming years. 

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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