Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 8/28/2014 6 comments The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
Video: Robot Hitchhikes Across Canada
Blog 8/19/2014 27 comments If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Big Stars Become Robots in the 2000s
Blog 8/14/2014 13 comments Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
Update: Intelligent Composites for Structural Monitoring
Engineering Materials 8/5/2014 5 comments Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
Video: MIT Keeps You Warm While You Walk
Blog 7/30/2014 11 comments MIT’s Senseable City Lab recently announced the program’s next big project: “Local Warming.” The concept involves saving on energy by heating the occupants within a room, not the room itself.
15 Great Robots of 1980s Film & TV
Blog 7/25/2014 30 comments Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
16 Robot Stars From the 1970s
Blog 7/22/2014 25 comments Robots came into their own in the 1970s. Gone were the low-budget black-and-white B movies. Now robots roamed in full-color feature films with A-list actors.
Share Your Invention & Win Big Money
Gadget Freak 7/22/2014 1 comment There is still time to get in your gadgets for the Design News and Allied Electronics second annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest. The top three gadgeteers will be awarded a total of $10,000.
Robot Can Detect Gas Pipe Leaks
Engineering Materials 7/18/2014 21 comments A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Siemens PLM Partners With Penn State
STEM Connection 7/18/2014 1 comment Siemens PLM has given an in-kind grant -- to the tune of $750M -- to Penn State University so students can gain experience on real-world design and manufacturing software.
Great Film & TV Robots From the 50s & 60s
Blog 7/17/2014 45 comments Here’s a look at robots depicted in movies and on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to collect the classics here, omitting the scores of forgettable B movies such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Stay tuned for slideshows of robot stars from later decades.
Video: Wear Your Own Pair of Robot Arms
Engineering Materials 7/10/2014 53 comments Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
AP Employs Robot Journalists
Blog 7/9/2014 17 comments The Associated Press is the latest news agency to begin using robotic automation -- Automated Insights' Wordsmith -- to write news stories; specifically, financial stories about companies’ quarterly earnings.
Who Deserves to Make the Big Bucks?
STEM Connection 7/9/2014 17 comments In the words of FIRST founder Dean Kamen, "Why are we celebrating someone who can throw a baseball 90 miles per hour or who can put a basketball through a hoop, when the real stars are the kids who are starting down the path toward changing the world?”
Video: Power Line Perching UAV Doubles Down on Drone Delivery
Blog 7/8/2014 21 comments Last December Amazon.com unveiled a plan for a delivery system of drones that can deliver packages to people living within 10 miles of a distribution center. One of the reasons for that mileage limit is that the unmanned aerial vehicles the company plans to use only have enough battery life to cover that distance without recharging. MIT is out to change that.
3D-Printed Steel Building Structures
Engineering Materials 7/2/2014 22 comments Structural engineers have developed a design method for 3D printing structural steel elements to be used in construction projects. Complex, individually designed pieces can be created far more efficiently, and costs and waste will be reduced.
10 Nautical Robots Brave the High Seas
Engineering Materials 7/1/2014 13 comments Some of the latest nautical robots take a variety of forms. They can look like small boats, tiny four-wheeled vehicles, or realistic fish. One design from Sandia Labs will be able to transform itself from a swimming robot to one that flies through the air or uses wheels on land.
15 Engineering Disciplines by Salary & Job Prospects
Blog 6/30/2014 33 comments Here’s a snapshot of the salaries and job prospects for engineering careers by discipline. These numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that some professions such as biomedical engineering will see growth as high as 62% through 2020. Other disciplines do not look as promising.
SABIC & Kringlan Develop Carbon Composite Wheel
Engineering Materials 6/25/2014 11 comments SABIC and Kringlan Composites are developing a thermoplastic carbon composite wheel with a matrix based on SABIC's ULTEM resin. Kringlan says its process is geared toward high volumes, short cycle times, and in-house recycling of production waste and end-of-life materials.
Use CFD to Design an Environmentally Friendly Car
Guest Blogs 6/23/2014 2 comments The use of CFD is more profound in automobile design because of the diverse physics involved. It can be used to optimize components for downsizing and reducing the environmental footprint while maintaining or improving operational efficiency.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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