54.5 MPG Comes With Trade-Offs
Captain Hybrid 8/24/2012 227 comments The White House's goal of a 54.5 mile-per-gallon average fuel economy could inspire innovation, but it could also lead to safety and costs trade-offs.
Long-Range EV Has Motors in its Wheels
Engineering Materials 8/23/2012 72 comments A Japanese prototype with motors in its wheels can go 218 miles on a single charge, 30 percent farther than other mass-produced EVs, due in part to engineering plastics.
Gates Foundation Flushes Out Winning Toilet Designs
CAD/CAM Corner 8/20/2012 22 comments A year after it announced grants for its "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge," the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation picked winning toilet designs that have the most potential for bringing cost-effective and safe sanitation to developing countries.
Video: Robots to Recycle Space Junk
Blog 8/16/2012 40 comments DARPA's Phoenix program plans to harvest the components of retired, nonworking geostationary earth orbit (GEO) communication satellites and reuse them, saving money, and cleaning up space junk.
Solar Cells Help Windows Generate Electricity
Engineering Materials 8/15/2012 41 comments A new kind of polymer solar cell that is almost 70 percent transparent to the human eye could give windows the ability to generate electricity by absorbing mostly infrared, not visible, light.
PTC Gets Serious About Service
CAD/CAM Corner 8/14/2012 4 comments With its latest $220 million acquisition of Servigistics, PTC is building out a service lifecycle management suite that can help manufacturers optimize service operations by leveraging product-related data.
NI Week: A Sit-Down With Dr. T
Blog 8/14/2012 4 comments A chat with National Instruments co-founder, president, and CEO James Truchard gives us a glimpse into the company's general business outlook, what it's like to work there, and how it feels about up-and-coming engineering talent.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.