Video: First Store Staffed Entirely by Telepresence Robots Opens in California
Blog 12/19/2014 35 comments The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
3D Printing Water-Based, Biodegradable Composites - with Robots!
Engineering Materials 12/19/2014 4 comments An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa's Micromill Process, Alloy Could Change Car Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 12/16/2014 8 comments Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Finalists
Blog 12/15/2014 Post a comment UBM Canon, the world’s leading advanced design and manufacturing industry resource, and Design News, are pleased to announce the finalists in the 2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards, a program that celebrates the companies, products, and people who are energizing North American design, engineering, and manufacturing.
Web Applications Are Ripe for Attack
Blog 12/8/2014 Post a comment Protecting web applications is a constant race to make sure security practices are a step ahead of attackers. Writing secure web application requires discipline, deep knowledge of web technologies, and coordination across disciplines throughout the development lifecycle. Learn how to secure web applications during the Design News CEC course, "An Introduction to Web application Security."
Sci-Fi Writers Schooled in Science
Blog 12/5/2014 6 comments Most science-fiction writers come to their subject well-schooled in the liberal arts, not science. Phillip K. Dick studied philosophy. Roger Zelazny picked up an MA from Columbia in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. A surprisingly small handful started out as professionals in technology. Here’s a look at the few classic science-fiction writers who were actually trained in science, be it physics, math, or engineering.
20 Great Engineers of the Early 20th Century
Blog 12/1/2014 22 comments Here’s a look at some of the notable engineers who contributed significantly to engineering advancements during the first half of the 20th Century, a period often called the golden era of engineering. Some well-known engineering figures such as Edison, Tesla, and the Wright Brothers are on the list, but we have also included a few lesser-known but still significant engineers.
Move Over Pasta -- Machinery Also Key Contribution from Italy
Blog 12/1/2014 6 comments Machines Italia is co-sponsoring with Design News the UX Italia video contest, which is asking companies to submit at least a three-minute video testimonial of how the user experience of Italian machinery, technology, or other experience solutions are essential to the business’s success.
Get Your 15 Minutes of DIY Fame
Gadget Freak 11/28/2014 Post a comment If you have a Gadget Freak project, we have a reader who wants to make it. And not only will you get your 15 minutes of fame on our website and social media channels, you will also receive $500 and be automatically entered into the 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year contest.
Deep Learning is the Future of Automation and Robotics
Blog 11/28/2014 2 comments Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
Engineer Comic Works in PowerPoint
Blog 11/26/2014 15 comments If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
Video: Bamboo-Based Hybrid Wind Turbine Aimed at Developing World
Blog 11/20/2014 Post a comment Green energy is being billed as a way to make communities that are energy deprived more self-sustaining. So it makes sense to use natural materials to create devices that harvest this type of energy. That’s the idea behind a hybrid wind/solar energy harvester made of bamboo that’s been developed by UVM researchers.
11 Robots Take Flight
Blog 11/17/2014 9 comments Flying robot hardware is still important, but what's getting as interesting now is some of the new uses, such as equipping them with medical equipment for aiding first responders, monitoring and recording biometric health data about athletes, and commercial aircraft inspection.
Video: German Kids Can Build Better LEGO Robots
STEM Connection 11/17/2014 4 comments Google has teamed up with the German research institute Fraunhofer IAIS to develop and offer OpenRoberta, which simplifies programming for LEGO Mindstorm robots for German kids and teachers and lets them control the robots from mobile devices.
Did You Know that Time Constants May Not Be Constant?
Guest Blogs 11/17/2014 Post a comment People usually think of a time constant as the time it takes a first order system to change 63% of the way to the steady state value in response to a step change in the input -- it’s basically a measure of the responsiveness of the system. This is true, but in reality, time constants are often not constant. They can change just like system gains change as the environment or the geometry of the system changes.
The Sound Beneath the Floors
Guest Blogs 11/13/2014 4 comments At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
10 Programmable Robots for Kids
Blog 11/12/2014 7 comments Here's a variety of robots for kids that are all programmable. Some can be controlled with simple building blocks while others use programming language.
Do Good Engineers Make Good Engineering Managers?
Blog 11/11/2014 20 comments Being a good engineer is a prerequisite for being a good engineering manager. However, it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition: not every good engineer will make a good engineering manager, or even want to be one in the first place. This is why good engineering managers are few and far between.
Grabit Uses Static Electricity to Let Robots Grip Anything
Blog 11/7/2014 6 comments Designing a robot gripper that is flexible enough to grab a variety of objects -- even oddly shaped or heavy ones -- has always been challenging. A company called Grabit has found a solution with a robot that uses static electricity to pick up virtually anything and is well-suited for a range of industrial applications.
30 Seconds With Festo's AquaJelly
Electronics News 11/7/2014 1 comment Frank Langro of Festo Corp. describes how AquaJelly, the intelligent artificial jellyfish, works. Festo demonstrated AquaJelly at its booth at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago this week.
A bold, gold, open-air coupe may not be the ticket to automotive nirvana for every consumer, but Lexus’ LF-C2 concept car certainly turned heads at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. What’s more, it may provide a glimpse of the luxury automaker’s future.
The complexity of diesel engines means optimizing their performance requires a large amount of experimentation. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a very useful and intuitive tool in this, and cold flow analysis using CFD is an ideal approach to study the flow characteristics without going into the details of chemical reactions occurring during the combustion.
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