Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 8/28/2014 10 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.
The Ins & Outs of Conveyor Innovation
Features 8/26/2014 1 comment Recent trends in conveyor design and accessories are leading to increase throughput and productivity in equipment. While the most common type of conveyors are straight-line, many other designs are now becoming commonplace in plants.
Video: Robot Hitchhikes Across Canada
Blog 8/19/2014 28 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.
Power Transmission Products Help Open New Doors
Features 8/1/2014 1 comment A Danish company has developed a new type of door-locking system that can be installed over an existing lock to create a system that is hands-free, can be remotely actuated, but can still use a traditional key.
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.
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.
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.
Micro Python Preps for Mass Production
CAD/CAM Corner 7/17/2014 6 comments Micro Python is priming the presses. After smashing its Kickstarter campaign, the programming platform is almost ready to release its Micro Python boards into the public market.
AirDog Drone Provides the Ultimate Selfie
Blog 7/11/2014 6 comments AirDog is a small, foldable quadcopter that follows users everywhere they go and records their every move with the GoPro camera. The drone was intended for persons who already use the GoPro camera but want footage of themselves in action -- ideal for extreme sport enthusiasts or filmmakers.
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.
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.
Hummingbird Makes Coding Easy
STEM Connection 7/8/2014 5 comments Hummingbird has unveiled a new robotics kit -- Hummingbird Duo -- that can teach anyone the basic of robotic engineering, even children. The kit was released on Kickstarter and has surpassed its funding goal of $30,000.
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.
KIBO Appeals to Kids' Imagination
STEM Connection 6/17/2014 5 comments The robotic building kit is aimed at children four to seven years old, with a goal of instilling in children an interest and affinity for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields with a varied way of teaching.
10 Uses for Drones That Could Change Your Opinion of Them
Blog 6/12/2014 52 comments Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are still largely tied in public image to their use to deliver deadly missiles during military engagements. This has tarnished their reputation for many people, but that is currently changing as drones move beyond their military use and more and more into the commercial sector.
Video: Intel Joins Robotic Revolution
Blog 6/11/2014 3 comments Chip maker and tech giant Intel is the latest company to jump on board with plans in the next few months to sell a design-your-own robot kit that will allow people to develop an interactive, humanoid robot.
10 Robots You Don't Want to Mess With
Engineering Materials 6/10/2014 76 comments Our current crop of military robots includes small, tank-like unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), more specialized types like large autonomous vehicles, and both large and small winged robots, one carrying its own fuel cell.
Why We Need More Women in Engineering
STEM Connection 5/23/2014 24 comments A large number of studies have shown that men and women have different approaches to solving complex problems. It is precisely because of the differences between men and women that the engineering profession would benefit from greater participation of women.
Top 10 Influential Female Engineers
Blog 5/20/2014 50 comments Engineering is often criticized for being a male-dominated field, but that is definitely changing. There are many enormously successful female engineers that currently have leadership roles in business and research, making decisions that have a broad impact on global markets and people’s lives. Here are 10 of them.
'Necessary & Sufficient' Cover the Safety Level
Guest Blogs 5/7/2014 10 comments There are many basic principles and maxims that engineers can use to solve simple problems. One trick is to ask at least two questions. First, what is necessary to satisfy the requirement? Second, what is sufficient to satisfy the requirement?
No Matter Your Expertise, You Belong on the Vehicle Design
Blog 5/7/2014 6 comments Design News recently published a Technology Roundup, which consists of a series of articles that help that multi-disciplined engineers get their jobs done. Regardless of which subsystem you’re responsible for, we all know that there’s a “need to know” on just about the entire vehicle. Hence, you’ll likely find this series of articles quite informative.
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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