воскресенье, 19 августа 2012 г.

Why Designing a Mars Rover Like Curiosity Just Got a Lot Easier By Tim Maly

MSL Rover NX CAD model

You’ve all seen the artist renditions. This is what Curiosity looks like to an engineer.

A few minutes into our interview last Thursday, I ask Tim Nichols, managing director of Global Aerospace, Defenses and Marine Industries at Siemens, if he was nervous about the Curiosity’s fate on Sunday. “Of course I am,” he says with a laugh, “We all know about missions to Mars — they’re complex.” None moreso than Curiosity’s elaborate landing sequence, designed to get the SUV-sized robot down safely.

He needn’t have worried. Late Sunday night, the rover successfully set down on the Martian landscape, overseen by a tense room of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineers and watched by so many people here on Earth that all of NASA’s websites crashed. Like the rest of us, Nichols was glued to his screen. Unlike the rest of us, Nichols gets to say he had a hand in it. His company’s software designed Curiosity.

Curiosity is much larger than her unexpectedly long-lived predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity. This meant that she couldn’t just land bundled inside airbags like the smaller rovers.

Instead, the mission executed a complex series of maneuvers to eject the robot from its capsule and lower it to the ground, via a rocket-powered sky crane in a sequence of events that NASA called the Seven Minutes of Terror.

Curiosity was designed by the JPL at the California Institute of Technology. When it came time to coordinate the enormous team of designers and engineers that built Curiosity, the capsule, and the sky crane, JPL turned to Siemens. They needed to design the robot (relatively) cheaply and they needed to design it fast — the launch window for missions to Mars comes once every two years. If you miss the deadline, there’s a long wait ahead.
MSL Capsule with Rover NX CAE thermal model

If you squint, you can see Curiosity and the sky crane folded up together in the capsule.

Luckily, Siemens had developed software suited to this sort of project. They call it Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

One of the costliest parts of creating a new physical product is building and testing prototypes. With PLM’s robust suite of simulators and version tracking, you can avoid a lot of physical prototyping — saving both time and money, and speeding up the development process. In essence, PLM turns the physical engineering of a product into a process that looks more and more like designing code.

PLM runs on a laptop, connected to a central asset manager, called the Team Center. Engineers can check out parts of the project, work on their problems and assignments, and then check it back in to the main branch. This allows for a lot of concurrent design work. “In the past, engineering teams would be somewhat isolated by discipline,” says Nichols, “The overall leadership recognized that they needed to bring all the groups together.”

This is a far cry from past projects, which would be designed as a series of handoffs between teams. First the thermal profiles would be worked out, then the aerodynamics, on down the line. Propagating changes between teams could become a nightmare. PLM changed all of that, Nichols says, giving the team the ability to “compress the schedule and … do many more design iterations.”
MSL NX CAD Exploded view of seperation stages

With luck, this is the only exploded view of the Mars lander that we’ll ever see.

If this sounds a lot like software engineering, especially the open source variety, it’s because it is. There’s a version control system, the ability to check code in and out of the system, and a set of test suites that allow you check the performance of your part of the module in relation to the whole. By keeping the objects in software for as long as possible, you can treat them like software, with all of the speed and flexibility that this implies.

Nichols says their suite of tools has been used to design everything from golf clubs — “Golf clubs are pretty sophisticated, though they haven’t helped my game.” — to aircraft carriers. Looking ahead, he predicts an increasing incidence of distributed international teams of contributors working on a project.
“Global virtual collaboration and engineering is really the future,” he says. “We want to see more of that.”

But first, Curiosity had to make it to Mars. “We all have our fingers crossed,” he said on Thursday. You can uncross them now, Mr Nichols.

The Release of Large Menu Icons

Menu-Icons.com announces the release of Large Menu Icons, a royalty-free library of stock menu images for application developers and web designers. The new set includes 398 icons drawn in matching style, color and gamut. The Large Menu Icons collection sells for $49.00.

About Large Menu Icons

Large Menu Icons is the perfect choice for busy application and Web site developers. This collection of stock icons with matching properties such as style and colors, can be used in various projects and scripts, as well as on portals, blogs, forums, and web sites. Large Menu Icons will make an application, blog or applet look modern and consistent throughout. All icons in the Large Menu Icons collection are royalty-free. The entire collection is immediately available and comes with an online preview.

What's Inside

The Large Menu Icons collection contains images representing all sides of the application work. Some of the icons in the set are: open, close, edit, validate, time, clock, error, OK, data, computer, archive, people, user, girl, man, admin, horse, car and more.

Large Menu Icons

Technically, the set includes icons in a number of formats, sizes, color resolutions, and image styles. Every icon from the library comes in sizes of 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48 and 64x64 pixels. Normal, disabled, and highlighted versions are included for every icon. 256-color and semi-transparent True Color icons are supplied. Large Menu Icons are delivered in Windows Icon (ICO), Bitmap (BMP), GIF and PNG formats for instant integration into any systems. The entire Large Menu Icons collection is available for only $49.00. Source images are also available in SVG and AI formats for an additional payment.

Menu-Icons.com also plans to release a number of new original icon sets including Lumina Menu Icons, Windows Menu Icons, New Menu Icons, Cool Menu Icons, Win8 menu Icons, Vista Menu Icons, Mac Menu Icons, Android Tab Icons, Linux Menu Icons, Nokia Menu Icons, iPhone Menu Icons, Mobile Menu Icons.

About the Company

Menu-Icons.com offers thousands of icons in the most difficult small resolutions. PDA and mobile developers and designers can enhance their software with smooth, perfectly rendered icons in the most convenient resolutions. Menu-Icons.com are available in all sizes common to desktop and mobile applications for mobile phones, communicators, and desktop applications. All icons offered by Menu Icons are royalty-free, ready-made and instantly available.

воскресенье, 27 мая 2012 г.

Small People Icons - Collection Of Rich Colored Icons!

Small people icons are carrying the huge collection of the rich colored icons that are in use as the sign of people and their occupation. These collections are also representing people of particular group, gender and status of family. These attractive and shiny icons of small people icons are right option for the users to design a first class toolbars. With the help of the help of shine and eye catching small people icons sets the software designers can increase their look of software. The users can get more 84 icons in several color, size, and files format for their desktop icons. Basically, the small people icons are available in the ICO, PNG, GIF and BMP formats as well as number of size like 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48c pixels. So, the users may require any sorts of editing or change in their desire icons at the time download on the desktop.


The collection of the icons depicting people in the characteristic avatar style, small people icons can enhance any instant messenger or Chat, and can make the perfect skin to the blog and forum. Small People Icons depict the people of various backgrounds, social as well as racial origins. The software bloggers and developers, and owners of chats with forums can benefit from making use of Small People Icons by giving the users slick looking communication.

Small People Icons share some common style and gamma, and making software and Web site to look very professional. Icons are made to look legible both on internet and in the software. Pack of the Small People Icons includes the images of different sizes of 24x24, 32x32, 16x16, 20x20, as well as 48x48 Pixels. Pack depicts the people of different backgrounds, racial and social origins. Each visitor and user of the software can select the matching avatar without any doubt. There are Woman and Man, Child, Family, and Baby icons for the starters, and various icons describing nationality like American Indian, Arab, Afro-American, and Mexican. Just for the reminders, there are Thief, Spy, and Prisoner icons.

вторник, 22 мая 2012 г.

Android Future Mobile Computing – Loaded With Various Features!

For the Apple’s iPhone and several versions of the Blackberry smartphones are developing computing. On the other hand, phone-like devices are creating more and more blur the lines among the netbooks, notebook computers, and phones. In this regard, the users have to require the perfect and advanced technology to get more facilities from it. In this way, android is mention as future mobile computing that the users are always looking for! There is surely a well-built potential for Android to figure the future of mobile computing. The Android SDK is release basis and certifies governing Android itself permits any handset company to use and adjust it. At the same way, it is permits Android to form the opportunity of mobile computing by creating it accessible to any hardware manufacturer that the user is looking for! In this way, the users are getting several facilities by using the android future mobile computing designs.


Android users install or download the applications from Android Market. Apart from being at a par and being more superior to Apple’s iPhone, Android gives access to the wide variety of the useful libraries or tools, which is used to develop the rich applications. Example, Android allows the developers to get location of a device, and makes that possible for the devices to communicate with each other allowing rich peer social applications. The Android speedily became the iPhone’s toughest competitor because of fact apart from the fact it’s at the par with the iPhone’s functionality, it gives the equal access of the technology to all. It, is because the Android is open source program. When compared to the iPhone’s apps that are completely controlled by the Apple, Android has the open source applications.

суббота, 19 мая 2012 г.

iPhone vs. Android: the Choice is Yours

Androids vs. iPhones. The discussion goes on and on. At the time the iPhone first hit the market, there was really no competition. The iPhone was playing in a class of its own. Early Android phones were dismal: slow UI response, redraw lags, and the overall "do-it-yourself" idea just didn't with consumers.

iphone icons

Today, the situation has changed. With the latest iPhone being a superb device and a wonderful system, the newest Androids leave little to be desired. Today's Androids have no UI lags, offer most of the same apps in the Android Market, and went away with the do-it-yourself, LEGO style approach. Today, picking one system over another is more of a personal preference. Let's try to discover what's good about going the Apple route, and what advantages the Android way can bring.

Hardware and Models

With Apple iPhone, you have a limited choice of only several models. Or, rather, you're limited to just a single current model in several versions that, honestly, differ very little. There are a few older models available from the used market, but that's about it. "You can have any color as long as it's black".

Android phones, on the other hand, come in many shapes, models and colors. Various manufacturers use entirely different hardware. Different screens, processors, memory. Very different quality and usability. Buying an Android phone will require you to do a market research, while you can't go wrong with any current iPhone. Are you a techno geek or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone you like best. Others will be served by Apple.


The latest generation of iPhones has a great Retina display. These super high pixel density displays will display your apps, icons and graphics so smooth it's hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they built one of the greatest screens ever.

Androids ship with all kinds of screens. Some of the better ones can approach iPhones in resolution, but software integration is still lagging. Many apps are still using low-resolution icons and graphics designed to be displayed on lower-resolution screens. When selecting an Android phone, you will have to watch really carefully to get a model with a good screen. If you're not friends with numbers, icon resolutions, angles of view and other specs, just leave the Androids alone.

Pre-Installed Software and UI

An iPhone is an iPhone. They're all the same. One operating system, same UI, the same set of pre-installed apps, exactly the same icons. You can customize it by moving things around and choosing a few icons on your own, but there's only so much you're allowed to do.

Androids are available in many flavors. Different firmware and dozens of OS versions, builds and codenames. Different sets of icons for same apps. Many different shells and launchers. Extensively customizable: you can make Android phones look like whatever you want (and it's not all about custom icons) - but you have to know what you're doing. With such a broad variety, some models are simply better as in simpler to use, more robust and working more reliable than others. If making your very own tailored environment is fun for you, by all means get the Android. If you like it working straight out of the box, get an iPhone and start using it right away.

Maintenance and Upgrades

iPhones don't don't accept memory cards. You'll be stuck forever with the amount of memory you originally got. If you outgrow your iPhone, you'll have to get another iPhone, bringing more money to Apple.

Most but not all Android phones come with a microSD extension slot, allowing you to add more memory when you need it. With microSD cards getting cheaper every year, you will be wealthier in the long run if you buy an Android.

With iPhones, you can't even replace a battery. If your battery goes bad in some years (they all do; lithium batteries die in 3-4 years), you'll be sending your iPhone to Apple for a "major repair" (more dough to Apple), or be on the market for a new iPhone (even more dough to Apple).

While some Android devices use similarly fixed batteries, most devices are easy: just lift the cover and put a new battery in. A new battery will cost a few dollars, allowing you to postpone the purchase of another phone some more years.


Android phones are more affordable to buy and more affordable to upgrade and maintain. They're more extensible and customizable. iPhones are perfect straight out of the box, and offer possibly the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.

четверг, 3 мая 2012 г.

All Toolbar Icons Bundle are Available in Various File Formats

Do you want to design best icons for your websites? Well, there are numbers of icons designs available through which you can decorate your website properly. All toolbar icons bundle is available in required file formats like 16x16, 20x20, 24x24, and 48x48 with 32 to 8 bit color depths. Also, you can avail these icons in various formats such as PNG, GIF, ICO, and BMP and three states highlighted, disabled, and normal. Using the all toolbar icons bundle, you can enhance your application appearance successfully.

These icons are designed to use in different operating system like windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android. These days, the icons are used by computer users, web designers, software developers, blogs creator, and forums creator. It is the best option to use these sorts of icons in different fields. Now, you need to move for the online and search one of the best icons to use in your website. With the Toolbar Icons, you also benefit to have an access to many affordable collections of different icons however that is just beginning. Here are a few other reasons that you can select this bundle of the icon collections:

  • Immediate access to icons on payment – When you purchase the All Toolbar Icons Bundle, then you may immediately begin selecting and using icons that you want. You do not need to wait for days and weeks for the designer to come with icons for you.

  • Edit and modify icons - Icons that you use from the All Toolbar Icons Bundle are modified to fit to your requirements. An only thing you will not do is to resell the icons. Make use of them at other way that you want.

    Every image comes in various sizes, states, file formats and color resolutions. Every icon in collection comes in five sizes (16 x 16, 20 x 20, 24 x 24, 32 x 32, or 48 x 48 pixels), three color depths (sixteen colors, 256colors as well as 32bit True Color, that is 16.7million colors with the transparency).