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Engineering Materials
Content posted in March 2012
US Faces Off With China Over Rare Earths
Engineering Materials 
3/28/2012  66 comments
The US, the European Union (EU), and Japan have filed a World Trade Organization action against China for restricting the trade of rare earth minerals.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two Relies on Carbon Composites
Engineering Materials 
3/27/2012  18 comments
The first commercial spacecraft, which will begin powered flights this year, reportedly has an all-carbon composite structure.
Bioplastics Recycling Options Expand
Engineering Materials 
3/23/2012  17 comments
Although bioplastics are still a small part of the plastic waste stream, some manufacturers are talking to recyclers to develop recycling processes for their products.
Tiny Camera Sees Nonvisible Spectra
Engineering Materials 
3/16/2012  14 comments
A camera chip combining hyperspectral sensing with a machine-vision-grade image sensor will help incorporate spectroscopy into industrial vision applications.
Tiny Robots Fly in Swarms
Engineering Materials 
3/2/2012  26 comments
Hand-sized quadrotor robot swarms can fly in formation, collectively navigate obstacles, and build structures.




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Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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