There's an interesting article by Junkscience.com founder and publisher Steven J. Milloy about how breaking a compact fluerescent bulb cost a Maine woman more than $2,000 for the mercury cleanup. It's an interesting read and as ususal, Milloy (also a columnist for the hitman network, Fox News) takes an anti-environment and regulation stance. The underlying message is don't use CFLs even though it's recommended by the unlikely stable mates of environmental groups and power companies. Granted, the clean-up for the woman was a nightmare and the message is handle CFLs with as much care you would a precious glass bowl. I have switched to CFLs and will not go back no matter how specious Milloy's scare tactics. And when the bulbs wear out in 5-7 years, I will take them to the proper recycler as should everyone else. Milloy is trying to scare everyone that these bulbs and their mercury will fin their way into landfills. Indeed, some will, but the penalty for that should be stiff and recycling should become easier over time as they become more popular - an in some states, the law.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.