NASA Seeks Commercial-Sector Tech for Human Missions
Engineering Materials 9/30/2013 8 comments NASA is on a mission to involve commercial suppliers in advancing human space flight. Jacobs Engineering, NASA's partner in getting technologies and materials human-rated for space, will give details at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Texas show.
Video: Baxter 2.0 Extends Robot's Reach
Engineering Materials 9/27/2013 14 comments A new software upgrade to Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot extends the innovative bot's reach, makes it easier to program more precisely, improves overall performance, and expands its uses in the small to medium-sized companies it was designed for.
NI Controllers Help Modernize Power Grid
Blog 9/20/2013 5 comments National Instruments recently announced a new platform for its software-designed cRIO 9068 controller. This new product still uses LabVIEW programming but offers a 4x performance boost by using a 667 MHz ARM dual core processor and new FPGAs.
Spreading Excitement About Space Exploration
STEM Connection 9/20/2013 21 comments It's commonplace to hear engineers lament the small size of the NASA budget, the lack of a successor to the Space Shuttle, and the lack of a US heavy launch vehicle. We need to teach young people to have an optimistic view of the future of human space exploration.
Why You Should Assess Your Machines' Safety
Guest Blogs 9/19/2013 13 comments If your business relies on the use of automation machines, you should know how important it is to keep them serviced. This means not just keeping them functioning well, but also maintaining their safety standards.
Slideshow: Robots Will 3D Print & Build Space Structures
Engineering Materials 9/17/2013 21 comments NASA is funding technology that would use robotics and 3D printing to construct parts of very large spacecraft and other structures in space. Doing this could reduce the cost and risk of building and launching systems and allow for bigger structures.
Convergence at the Operator Panel
Blog 9/16/2013 9 comments An important ongoing trend for automation and control over the past decade has been the convergence of machine control systems on fewer pieces of control hardware.
Battery-Free AGVs Do the Heavy Lifting
Guest Blogs 9/5/2013 9 comments There will always be a need for battery-powered AGVs, especially where paths vary unpredictably and loads are light. But when heavy lifting is required and paths vary on a predictable basis, battery-free AGVs are best.
STEM 101: Give Students Access to 21st Century Tools
STEM Connection 9/4/2013 25 comments By freshman year of high school, more than 57 percent of students lose interest in pursuing STEM-related careers, and a recent report prepared by the White House indicates a lack of preparation and inspiration as key reasons why students lose interest in STEM.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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