Get Hands-On Raptor Training This May!

Join on us for our popular Raptor Training program! Participants of our three-day embedded model-based controls development course will receive a Raptor platform introduction through hands-on experience with the Raptor-Dev and Raptor-Cal tools.  raptor training

Get Development Training on Raptor

Tuesday, May 7  – Thursday, May 9, 2019

New Eagle Headquarters, Ann Arbor, MI

With only 10 seats available, registration is on a first come basis. Register by April 5th to take advantage of our EARLY BIRD discount!

 

If you can’t attend the May training session, subscribe to New Eagle’s Raptor newsletter to stay informed about future classes and important Raptor Platform updates.  

What to Expect in Raptor Training

raptor training agenda

 

Using a throttle body controller project as a guide, attendees will be introduced to Raptor-Dev in the MATLAB/Simulink library by creating a model intended for a target piece of hardware. Attendees will then use Raptor-CAL to flash the compiled software onto the hardware and to make live calibratable adjustments on the flashed ECU.

On-Site, Customized Raptor Training Options

Can’t make it or prefer a more personalized training of New Eagle’s embedded model-based development tools? New Eagle engineers can travel to your team’s work facility for hands-on instruction catered to your needs.  

To sign up for our course or schedule customized training email us at [email protected].  

We look forward to seeing you in class!

Autonomous Vehicle : Automotive v.s. Robotic

Autonomous Vehicle Development

Whether fully autonomous, partially autonomous, or drive-by-wire, before you invest in your autonomous vehicle development, it’s important to have a control system strategy at the core of your project. Though there are many ways to approach system development in the mobility market, automotive and robotic-born strategies tend to be the two dominant schools of thought specific to the autonomous vehicle development sector.

Both automotive and robotics-born approaches share the goal of allowing developers to reach a desired level of autonomy. There are key differences between the two–particularly regarding safety and scalability–that can impact end-vehicles. If you’re not sure what the differences are (or which approach is right for you), keep reading.

Robotic Autonomous Vehicle Control Platforms

Born out of a fast-paced industry focused on research and development, robotic vehicle control platforms offer developers a way to gain a level autonomous control quickly. Typically, these systems are designed solely for research purposes, with inexpensive hardware components strung together in easy, plug-and-play product offerings.

These solutions provide a fast, budget-friendly route to autonomy that is for vehicles being studied in controlled settings. Developers hoping to scale their machines to production may struggle to find a robotic control offering that’s up to task. Prototype-intent hardware and software that fails to meet strict production safety requirements like those outlined in ISO 26262 can prove difficult obstacles to overcome when taking a robotics-born vehicle control platform to production.

If your intent is to build an end-vehicle that will become more than a prototype in a lab, searching for a more sustainable, automotive-grade control platform may prove a better solution.

Automotive Grade Autonomous Vehicle Control Platforms

Unlike its robotics-born competition, automotive-based autonomous control solutions take a different approach to vehicle control. With a focus on safety and scalability, automotive-grade solutions understand that a machine may very well move beyond a controlled environment and into mass-production. Because of this, these solutions typically contain rugged, production hardware and safety-certified control software approaches. This ensures the machine is as safe as it is functional.

Automotive-grade solutions tend to cost more than robotics-based ones, but their ability to scale to production without time-consuming rework makes them worth the higher cost. Some products, like New Eagle’s drive-by-wire kit, even offer the same fast, easy plug-and-play control common to robotics-born solutions on a scalable, automotive-grade platform.

Autonomous Vehicle Development Next Steps

Depending on your timeline, budget and project goals, one control system strategy may align itself better than the other. Whether a research-focused robotic solution, or a safe, production-grade automotive one, if you’re still not sure where to start, consider consulting with our control system experts. Our engineers can provide you with recommendations, next steps, and a road map to successful autonomous vehicle development. Just contact us to get started!

What is Software Maintenance and Why Should I Pay for It?

software maintenance laptop

Back in the early days of PC software, you had to purchase programs that came on installer disks or disk sets. You would use those programs until they were no longer needed, or until an upgrade became available. If software was buggy, you had to wait to repurchase the next version from developers.

Often, software programs had certain compatibility requirements, like a particular operating system or version of tools like MATLAB.  If requirements weren’t met, the software may not work properly, if at all. This was frustrating. Especially if you wanted to update your operating system or other tools. Doing this could mean waiting for a compatible software release or repurchasing expensive software to meet your new requirements.

software diskThis wasn’t just frustrating for customers. It was frustrating for software vendors. Even if vendors created compatible software variants, the process of storing and shipping installer disks to customers was expensive and time-consuming. It didn’t take long to see that the technological evolution outpaced this process. Everyone–customers and software vendors alike–needed a better, expedited process. Then came the dawn of the internet age.

software maintenance laptop

Better for Customers, Better for Software Vendors

Today, you no longer need disks as you can access files from anywhere, at any time on the internet. Because of this, software development is booming, with programs growing more and more complex as they respond to customer feedback and needs at a much faster pace.

laptopNow that software versions are rolling out faster than ever, a pre-internet version-by-version software payment model no longer works. Vendors find themselves facing a new challenge:

How can we get the latest versions of our software to customers, while keeping prices reasonable?

One solution many turn to is a payment model known as software maintenance.

What is Software Maintenance?

Instead of paying for each new major software release separately, customers purchase a software license where they can pay a flat, scheduled “software maintenance fee.” For many licenses – similar to the ones we use at New Eagle for our Raptor tools – the first year of software maintenance is included.  

This maintenance payment model assures that your original license investment keeps its value while providing you access to the latest software releases, features, and tool versions. The maintenance fee becomes a fraction of the original license cost after the first year and allows you to continue to keep your software up-to-date and maintain your license value.  

Keeping your maintenance current provides access to standard product support for the interval under which the product is generally supported.  At New Eagle, our software products include support to customers with active software maintenance for up to two years’ worth of prior releases.  As an example, if the current Raptor release level is 2018b, support is included for Raptor versions 2017a and newer.

Raptor Releases
However, even if you are using an older release outside of the two-year window, support (while not included) can still be purchased through an application engineering support contract. This is not unusual for our customers that are in production as tool versions may be locked down based for risk management issues.

Why Choose Maintenance with Engineering Support?

Many customers choose to purchase engineering support to cover what is not included with standard product support. They do this to maximize their efforts and reduce their cost. This approach helps you get the most out of your engineering team and engineering  software products for three key reasons:

  1. These complex software tools have a learning curve. Engineering support can help you overcome any challenges you meet.  
  2. These tools have a lot of detail. Sometimes an experienced sounding-board is helpful for understanding what capabilities are at your fingertips.
  3. Engineers that use these tools are expensive. Keeping your engineering team moving forward with access to experienced practitioners can help them navigate both the tools and your application issues quickly so your team can maximize their time and minimize your project’s labor cost.

In short, software maintenance and engineering support is the most cost-effective way to protect your software investment and gain the most value from products like Raptor.

New Eagle has qualified developers and engineers readily available to help you get the most out of powerful tools and prevent expensive project-hold ups due to software knowledge gaps. We always recommend that customers keep their maintenance up to date so they have access to the latest features, fixes, and support. If you are a Raptor user, be sure to contact us to ensure your software is up to date.

To learn more about software maintenance fees,  engineering support, or New Eagle’s Raptor platform, contact our team or watch the introduction to Raptor below.

Get Hands-On Raptor Training This February!

raptor-training

At the end of February, we, at New Eagle, will continue to offer our popular Raptor Training program! This three-day, model-based controls development course will be held at New Eagle’s Headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Participants will receive an introduction to the Raptor platform through hands-on experience with the Raptor-Dev and Raptor-Cal tools.  raptor training

Get Trained!

Join us on

Tuesday, February 19  – Thursday, February 21, 2019

at

New Eagle Headquarters, Ann Arbor, MI

Lunch and all required training hardware will be provided. After the training, you will receive take-home materials and a certificate of completion.  

With 10 seats available, registration is on a first come basis, so please register soon if you wish to participate.  

If you cannot attend the February training session, subscribe to New Eagle’s Raptor newsletter for email notifications about future Raptor Training classes and other can’t-miss Raptor Platform updates.  

What to Expect in Raptor Training

raptor training agenda

 

Using a throttle body controller project as a guide, attendees will be introduced to Raptor-Dev in the MATLAB/Simulink library by creating a model intended for a target piece of hardware. Attendees will then use Raptor-CAL to flash the compiled software onto the hardware and to make live calibratable adjustments on the flashed ECU.

On-Site Training Options

If you cannot attend a Raptor Training course at New Eagle or would prefer a more personalized training of New Eagle’s model-based development tools, New Eagle engineers can travel to your team’s work facility for hands-on instruction catered to your needs.  

To sign up for the training course, or to speak with a member of our team about scheduling customized, on-site training, email [email protected].  

We look forward to seeing you in class!

 

New Eagle Sponsors High School FIRST Robotics Team

new eagle first robotics

At a mid-sized high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a small group of students huddles around computers, components and whiteboards.They aren’t working on a school project, though. They’re building a competition-worthy robot.

This is the Father Gabriel Richard High School FIRST Robotics team. Called the “Byting Irish” (a play off the school’s “Fighting Irish” mascot), this group of students is in a race against time, budget and competition to build not just a bot that functions, but one that can withstand a three-day tournament at Kettering University.robotics logo stitchup

FIRST Robotics, a not-for-profit organization designed to spark interest, participation and education in science and technology among children, has nearly 95,000 teens participating in its 2019 bot-building competition. The Byting Irish is the first robotics team in Father Gabriel Richard High School history. Sponsored and mentored by New Eagle, the rookie team is quickly picking up valuable skills in a hands-on environment.fgr first robotics team“They’re getting a lot of great experience with harness design and construction, data interpretation and vehicle schematics,” states Adam Klauer, a New Eagle engineer mentoring the team. “For students hoping to pursue mechanical engineering, they’re also getting a solid foundation in computer modeling, rapid prototyping, 3D printing and hardware packaging ”

Students interested in software, meanwhile, are getting an early foundation in safe engineering best practices. “Besides teaching them control basics, we’re also introducing them to things like CAN bus protocol,” states George Reeves, a New Eagle software engineer mentoring the team alongside Klauer.fgr robotics team at workIn addition to providing mentorship and financial backing, New Eagle has also hosted Byting Irish team meetings at its facilities, giving students a taste of what it’s like to work in a fully-equipped professional engineering environment.

“I think it was a cool experience for the team to have, working where Adam and I work. It gave them a little taste for the field, which I hope will spark some interest in their future education and career goals,” comments Reeves.

While the high schoolers are gaining valuable engineering skills, Klauer and Reeves believe the most important takeaway for the students isn’t what the kids can do, but how they do it.

“Every great innovation comes from collaboration, so the fact that they’re building these essential communication and teamwork skills now is awesome. It’s been really cool to see how they’ve grown, and really rewarding to be a part of that process,” states Klauer.fgr teamworkThe Byting Irish will compete on March 7-9, 2019 at Kettering University. To learn more about Father Gabriel Richard High School and its FIRST Robotics team, visit its website.

“We’re really proud of the progress they’ve made not just as engineers, but as a team. It’ll be cool to see how these kids carry what they’ve learned into the future,”  concludes Reeves.

New Eagle Releases Raptor-Dev2018b_1.0.12429

software update image

With the kickoff of 2019 comes a new release of Raptor-Dev. Including New Eagle Licensing 12.5, Raptor-Dev2018b_1.0.12429 is now available for download at software.neweagle.net.  

Access Raptor-Dev2018b_1.0.12429 release notes here, and Raptor-test regression notes here.

round raptor logo with dropshadow

What to Expect from  Raptor-Dev2018b_1.0.12429

GCM/ECM196

  • Added Fixed Nonvolatile (EEPROM) capability
  • Increase ASW (user) stack from 5K to 10K RAM
  • Fixed output status (diagnostic) blocks
  • Fixed J1939 address claiming logic
  • Several I/O issues resolved

BCM48

  • Enable overcurrent shutdown on OUTPUT1/4/7/8, HBRIDGE11_12, HBRIDGE13_14
  • LIN Enhancements

General

  • EEPROM Driver Initialization Status Improvements
  • Several J1939 DM and Transport protocol updates
  • Several simulation and update time bug fixes and enhancements
  • CAN Tx/Rx and DBC Pack/Unpack Interface fixes
  • Added support for 32-bit CRC (e.g. J1939 CVN)
  • Several Fault Manager improvements (including OBD)

Register for Raptor™ Training

Get the most out of Raptor™ by registering for New Eagle’s three day, hands-on training course. With the first 2019 training scheduled for February 19-21 at New Eagle’s Ann Arbor office (110 Parkland Plaza, Ann Arbor, Michigan), there’s never been a better time to master embedded model-based development.

Space is limited, so register soon!

working in raptor

Join the Raptor™ Community

Want to be among the first to know about Raptor™ platform updates and software releases, plus get exclusive application tips? Join the growing Raptor™ community of insiders by subscribing to Raptor™ News. It’s free–just hit the button below to get started!

 

Drive By Wire Platform: DIY or Buy?

New Eagle Drive By Wire

Developers working in the autonomous vehicle market will likely face the difficult decision of whether to build their own drive-by-wire platform or to purchase a premade one. With pros and cons to both, it’s important to weigh the options before making a choice that could impact both the development timeline and budget. New Eagle’s control system experts weighed in on some of the most important questions to consider in this pivotal decision-making process.

New Eagle electric and hybrid electric vehicle feasibility guide

Do You Have Automotive-Grade Hardware and Software?

If you’re intending your vehicle to reach production, safety standards like those set by the International Organization for Standardization are stricter than ever. Meeting these standards can prove difficult on do-it-yourself systems.

raspberry-pi-arduinoHardware, for starters, needs to be automotive grade. While some DIYers are drawn to common microprocessing units like Raspberry Pi or Arduino because of their versatility and low sticker price, they can actually end up costing developers more in the long run. Intended for educational and prototype projects, these hardware components are not designed to withstand the harsh environments end-vehicles will be exposed to on the road, nor are they compliant with production safety requirements for road vehicles, such as redundant ROM and a secondary processor.

Similarly, software plays an important role in ensuring your drive-by-wire system is automotive grade. DIYers may turn to manually write C-code. Generally, this manual approach is frowned upon in the automotive industry, as it’s not only time consuming, but also error-prone.

Instead, an embedded model-based software design approach is considered an industry best practice. Eliminating the need to hand-code, embedded model-based design significantly reduces the amount of time to develop software, as well as the risk of error.

Additionally, embedded model-based design tools like Raptor are designed to meet automotive-grade requirements, using CAN messaging conventions and fault-handling in drive-by-wire software. Testing tools, like RaptorTest, also help validate hardware-in-the-loop both before and after installation in a vehicle.

New Eagle Auto-Motive Grade Module

While purchasing a premade drive-by-wire control system may seem expensive at first, it offers a more sustainable and cost-saving solution in the end. Developers have the assurance that an automotive-grade system can withstand harsh, on-road environments, as well as the confidence that their system is better-aligned to meet the automotive safety requirements for production in the future.

How Easy is it to Control Steering and Speed?

If developing a drive-by-wire vehicle is your ultimate goal, you’ll want to maximize precious computation power, while minimizing your end user’s need to calculate and communicate with the machine.

Some premade drive-by-wire solutions, like ours, accomplish this through custom automotive-grade software that has common calculations built-in. For example, our engineers build software that automatically calculates the amount of braking or acceleration needed to achieve desired vehicle speed. Similarly, built-in software automatically calculates the amount of steering torque needed to pivot the vehicle the desired angle. This eliminates the need for the user to calculate and communicate this, helping to maximize computation power to focus on building a great autonomous machine.

However, should you decide to build your own drive-by-wire system, you’ll need to consider how you’ll address important control challenges like speed and steering so your machine is both safe, as well as simple to operate for end-users.

Are You Prepared to Handle High-Voltage Systems?

Many autonomous systems consume a large amount of electrical power. For electric and hybrid vehicles, this power is readily available from the high voltage battery. However, not everyone is comfortable modifying high voltage wiring.

Without the right experience, navigating this process can be time-consuming, expensive, and even risky as any error could lead to a dangerous malfunction. If you don’t have the expertise, budget or timeline to accomplish high-voltage system modification independently, augmenting your team with safety-certified engineering experts can help.

Similarly, opting for a premade drive-by-wire kit can give you greater confidence in your vehicle’s high-voltage safety and sustainability. Kits like ours, for example, include the OEM connectors, sealed junction boxes, and high voltage interlock system (HVIL) protection needed to ensure modifications meet industry safety standards.

Above All, Consider Flexibility

If your goal is to create the best autonomous vehicle you can, you’ll want to make a decision that is, above all, safe and flexible. While building your own drive-by-wire system from scratch may, at first, seem like the best way to accomplish this, it’s important to note the considerable time and safety risks that come with doing so.

Instead, consider a premade, customizable drive-by-wire solution that is better aligned to meet safety standards. With ones like New Eagle’s that can be customized for nearly any vehicle, successful plug-and-play drive-by-wire control may actually prove better-aligned with your project’s goals.

For more information about drive-by-wire systems, or to discuss another other control system challenge, contact New Eagle’s team of engineering experts.

New Eagle’s Raptor™ Featured by MathWorks

mathworks cover

Did you catch New Eagle in the November 2018 MATLAB Digest? As an official MathWorks partner, the digest featured Raptor™ as an ideal model-based software development platform to assist developers from prototype through production.

What is Raptor™?

Raptor™ is a family of tools that allows users to develop software directly in the Simulink environment using both Simulink-native and customizable library blocks. After code is generated and debugged using online calibration techniques, it can target production-ready controllers, displays/HMIs, and other off-the-shelf hardware. With development, calibration, test and connectivity options, Raptor offers an alternate approach to coding that is more efficient and cost-effective than traditional programing.

Find Out More

To learn more about Raptor and MathWorks, check out the MathWorks website. To learn more about New Eagle’s Raptor, read more here or watch the video below.

 

Understanding ISO 26262: What You Need to Know

certified engineering

When planning your vehicle development strategy, have you considered how you will address the safety requirements your machine must meet to move into production? Scrambling to meet these requirements can keep your vehicle stuck in development with expensive rework, instead of out on the road. Avoid this by understanding what you need to know about ISO 26262.

Before we get into ISO 26262, it’s important to first understand Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASIL). ASIL dictates the safety thresholds that apply to the development of functional safety of electrical and electronic (E/E) components for vehicles. In order to be considered road safe, vehicles intended for production must meeting or exceeding ASIL thresholds. While this may be new territory, it is critical to creating a safe machine and avoiding legal liability.

ASIL grades vehicle safety based on risk of hazard. Systems within the vehicle are awarded either a QM, A, B, C, or D ranking. “QM” is the lowest risk of hazard, and “D” the highest. With this type of ranking, ASIL defines what needs to be done in development of the associated systems in order to ensure that E/E systems are designed and tested with the appropriate levels of integrity.

The goal of these ASIL classifications is to ensure that there are no safety-related single points of failure (SPOFs) in the electrical system of a vehicle.

This is important because it challenges engineers to consider events of malfunction, allowing them to address potential problems in development rather than discovering them in post-production which could result in the expensive rework, timeline delays, and safety risks to the end-users: the drivers.

If your intent is to contribute to putting a vehicle into production through designing any of the electronic systems, you should be considering the ISO26262 process. Failure to correctly meet these standards or perform an accurate hazard and risk assessment (HARA) could create liabilities for the manufacturer, who could be legally culpable in the event of an accident.

The ISO 26262 process can be complex and overwhelming. Although the standard has been around for over eight years, it is still relatively new for many companies and engineers and can be difficult to know how to apply it to the many unique applications and vehicle platforms. There are also special provisions for unique circumstances such as low volume production and commercial vehicles that are important to consider. New Eagle is experienced in applying the standard to a variety of different applications and powertrain control strategies.

engineering experts at work

When developing, it is key to have effective tools in order to help increase your team’s capability. Different tools may assist in the requirements traceability, efficiency of code authorship, fault tree analysis, and requirements based testing of the system. New Eagle offers an embedded model-based development tool (eMBD), Raptor-Dev, which significantly increases the efficiency of software development and can be used with associated Mathworks™ toolboxes to provide traceability back to the requirements. Additionally, New Eagle offers Raptor-Test to perform automated regression tests of the software and hardware together to make sure that the system meets the requirements during the final stages of development.

In order to correctly comply with ASILs and meet ISO 26262, safety should be at the center of your control system strategy. Selecting control engineers who are Automotive Functional Safety Engineers (AFSEs) or Professionals (AFSPs), to serve as project-leads, for example, can help your engineering teams get into the habit of repeatedly evaluating work to look for any errors, redundancies, and SPOFs that could cause malfunctions in end-vehicles.

AFSEs have successfully completed rigorous training that covers the best safety practices in everything from hardware and software design to correct execution of HARAs. This assures that the engineers are safely developing control systems that meet or exceed ISO 26262 requirements.

new eagle engineering experts

If you’re concerned about meeting ASIL requirements and ISO 26262 because your team is not AFS certified, an engineering service consultant like New Eagle can help by augmenting your team. With the ability to assist with E/E system design, performing and documenting the necessary HARAs and confirming the safety of your vehicle, our engineers can help move your machine more quickly–and safely–into production.

Raptor™ News – November 2018 | New Eagle

raptor software

Early November brings the start of wintery weather here at New Eagle’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We’re excited to announce that with the changing season comes the release of Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283, our latest Raptor™ software update!  In addition to this new software release, we have also introduced a new Raptorcontroller to our hardware line. Finally, we’re excited to share the inside scoop on the application of Raptor™ Telematics in an at-sea marine vessel.

What’s New with Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283

Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283 is FIPS compliant* and includes the New Eagle Licensing 12.3. This licensing improves the installation compatibility with Windows 10 and enhanced machine security. Check out the Raptor-Test regression reports for more details on security.

Here’re the latest Raptor_2018a_2.2.12283 improvements:

BCM48

  • LIN capacity Enhancements
  • Added Ethernet TCP/UDP client and server support
  • Added Wake-On-LIN and Wake-On-CAN capability
  • Added 33K baud rate for CAN2 and CAN3

CM711

  • Added Fixed Nonvolatile (EEPROM) capability
  • Added Redundant Nonvolatile (EEPROM) capability
  • Updates to the Redundant Non-Volatile Memory Management

GCM70

  • Resolved XCP communication issue

GCM196

  • LIN Enhancements

General CAN

  • Updates and Fixes for CAN Tx and Rx blocks

Introducing the GCM 5607B-80-1804

GCM 5607B-80-1804
The new GCM 5607B-80-1804 will join the Raptor™ product line, supported by the Raptor™ 2018b release .

Our latest product addition to the Raptor™ hardware line is the GCM5607B-80-1804. This Raptor™ Controller features:

  • MPC5607B, 64 MHz
  • 32 Inputs / 16 Outputs
  • 6 – 16 V Operating Voltage
  • 4 CAN 2.0B / 1 LIN BUS
  • 32KB EEPROM

This new GCM will be supported by the Raptor™ 2018b release, which will become available at the end of November 2018. In the meantime, get the in-depth details on the GCM5607B-80-1804 by reading its datasheet.  

Raptor™ Telematics for Marine Application

One of our consultants, Kossel Controls, recently accepted a client with a marine application requiring rugged, qualified controllers and displays for an electric foiling vessel. Since the vessel operates in an ever-changing environment at sea, control software needed to be updated frequently and quickly. Kossel Controls turned to New Eagle to develop these controls for the vessel using the Raptor™ Control Platform.

Meeting the control system requirements was easy, but the vessel presented an additional challenge: the consultant needed a way to develop and calibrate software on the vessel from shore to avoid time-consuming, frequent and costly trips to sea.

Find out how Raptor™ Telematics solved this control challenge by reading the case study.

Learn more about Raptor™ Telematics

Want to learn more about Raptor™ Telematics? Check out our video overview.