Partstat Partner Newswire: April 2021

By Logan Wamsley

Allied Sponsors Team to Compete in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition

For the fourth consecutive year, Allied Electronics will sponsor a team to represent Colorado State University at the NASA Robotic Mining Competition. The sponsorship includes a monetary grant to the team, access to Allied’s inventory of critical components and parts, and advice from Allied’s in-house engineering experts, Allied said in a press release.

“Our sponsorship of the CSU Lunabotics team is a natural way for Allied to better provide these student engineers with the resources, expertise and materials they need to innovate and further their technical and professional development,” said Ken Bradley, president of Allied Electronics and Automation Americas in a press release. “NASA’s Lunabotics RMC competition helps inspire the next generation of engineers to literally reach for the stars with their innovation, and we’re excited to see what solutions this team of bright young people from CSU will come up with.”

The team will compete against over 50 other universities to design, build, and operate a robotic vehicle capable of conducting autonomous mining operations on the harsh surface of the moon. During the competition, the team’s vehicle must extract materials, and transport them to a designated deposit point.

Mouser Enters Into Distribution Agreement With QuickLogic

On April 6th, Mouser announced that it will now be stocking products from QuickLogic, a developer best known for ultra-low power multi-core voice-enabled SoCs, low power FPGA, embedded FPGA IP, and display bridge solutions which are used for artificial intelligence, as well as voice and sensor processing.

“Mouser Electronics is a well-recognized semiconductor distributor with global reach,” said Brian Faith, CEO of QuickLogic in a press release. “Mouser’s stocking model ensures short lead times, enabling customers to obtain our products quickly so that they can go from idea to design within days.”

The first products available for purchase through Mouser is the EOS S3 Sensor Processing Platform and the Quickfeather Development Kit.

Arrow Receives Award for DigiTruck Project

Arrow Electronics has received a 2021 Communitas Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility for its “DigiTruck” project — an initiative comprised of a fleet of mobile, solar-powered classrooms and enterprise incubators designed to address the digital divide in sub-Saharan Africa.

Arrow developed the DigiTruck with international nonprofit Close the Gap (CTG), building the trucks with used shipping containers mounted on trailers and equipping them with solar power, connectivity, and a range of refurbished computers. To date, there are eight DigiTrucks in service today, with Arrow supporting three of them, including a prototype located in Europe.

The impact of these trucks has proven invaluable in their respective communities. For example, since its launch in August 2018, the DigiTruck project has provided enterprise training for more than 1,000 people in Kenya – the majority of them female. More than a dozen of the students in Tanzania have progressed far enough on the DigiTruck’s curriculum of English literacy, STEM concepts, and life skills to re-enroll full time at a private boarding school.

Digi-Key Uses Bluetooth to Ensure Safe Distancing in Distribution Center

In a great example of workplace innovation, Digi-Key has come up with a unique way to preserve social distancing procedures at its distribution center. According to an article in Electronics Weekly, employees onsite are issued an Option badge, which has the ability to connect wirelessly with other such badges and also a cloud platform that can maintain contact tracing information, dramatically improving the accuracy and efficiency of necessary quarantine procedures.

“We selected the badge option with Option because it really offered the best in employee privacy,” said Shane Zutz, VP of Human Resources for Digi-Key. “It provides the contact tracing needed to mitigate disruptions due to health concerns, without an infringement of privacy and does not trace anyone beyond our corporate campus.”

With this technology, Digi-Key can accurately report when employees are within six feet of one another for any potentially risky length of time, without the need to conduct employee interviews or more invasive procedures. For organizations who are struggling to maintain compliance to COVID-19 protocols, this might be a model worth replicating.