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Bill Marshall

United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer | WGM Consulting

Engineer, PhD, lecturer, freelance technical writer, blogger & tweeter interested in robots, AI, planetary explorers and all things electronic. STEM ambassador. Designed, built and programmed my first microcomputer in 1976. Still learning, still building, still coding today.

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Member since April 2012
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40 Articles published
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Bill Marshall

Industry 4.0

1 week ago

Evolution of the Industrial PLC from Controller to Cloud Interface

The industrial revolution has now begun its fourth phase: factories are entering the era of ‘Lights Out’ or fully-automated operation. Industry 4.0 has arrived.

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Bill Marshall

Innovation

2 weeks ago

Augmented Reality may really take off in 2018

Augmented Reality (AR) is now moving Virtual Reality on from immersive games into highly-practical applications for the real world.

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Bill Marshall

Internet of Things

3 weeks ago

Are we losing interest in the Internet of Things?

What prompted the question above was a TV commercial for the ‘latest’ must-have gadget for the Connected Home: a camera that allows you to see what’s happening in your living room remotely via a smartphone. Is that the best IoT can do?

4 comments
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Bill Marshall

Electronics Design

7 months ago

The Tolerant Engineer

Following on from 'The Inventor and the Engineer: Hare and the Tortoise', here is some more detail on designing compliant hardware fit for production.

2 comments
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Bill Marshall

Electronics Design

1 year ago

The Inventor and the Engineer: Hare and the Tortoise

The current ‘Gadget’ bubble may be deflating. Can Engineers or Professional Makers turn an Inventor’s dream into a successful product?

2 comments
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Bill Marshall

Internet of Things

1 year ago

RF Communications and the Internet of Things - Part 5

This fifth and final part of my wander through the world of wireless digital communication covers relatively long-range working. By ‘long-range’ I mean up to about 20km as opposed to the really, really long distances described in Part 2.

1 comments
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Bill Marshall

Internet of Things

1 year ago

RF Communication and the Internet of Things – Part 3

In Part 1 I talked about the calculation of a Link Budget in order to determine the transmitter power and receiver sensitivity required to communicate over a given range. Part 2 showed how noise and interference levels determine the maximum data rate achievable.

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Bill Marshall

Internet of Things

2 years ago

RF Communication and the Internet of Things – Part 2

In Part 1 of this basic introduction to designing wireless communication links, I presented a fundamental calculation, that of the Link Budget. Now I consider how the data-rate is affected by channel noise.

1 comments
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Bill Marshall

Internet of Things

2 years ago

RF Communication and the Internet of Things – Part 1

Last week another space odyssey came to a climax: the New Horizons probe shot past the dwarf planet, Pluto. This blog post looks at RF communication Link Budgets over 3 billion miles and 5 miles or less for the Internet of Things.

1 comments
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Bill Marshall

Robotics

2 years ago

FORTHdsPIC and a Kill Switch

Creating a STOP button for my FORTHdsPIC project mobile robot for when it runs amok. Stop it without losing useful diagnostic data in RAM.

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Bill Marshall

Robotics

2 years ago

Sensing and Control with FORTHdsPIC

Updating FORTHdsPIC for real-time control of a wheeled mobile robot based on the Parallax BoE-Bot hardware.

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Bill Marshall

Articles

3 years ago

The Beagle has Landed & Lunar Mission One Takes Off

On Christmas Day 2003 a sizeable proportion of the UK public joined Professor Colin Pillinger in the anxious wait to hear a tune composed by the band Blur, emanating from the Planet Mars. It would have signalled the successful arrival of the UK space probe Beagle 2 on the surface. We never got to hear the tune: Beagle 2 had vanished.

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