What is jatropha? It's a weed whose seed produces and oil that can be refined into biodiesel. It's like corn to ethanol south of the border. Companies and farmers south of the equator are buying up millions of acres to cultivate this weed, which can grows most anywhere. It is also used to make soap, candles and animal feed. With more than million acres worldwide earmarked for cultivation, a Christian Science Monitor article chronicles the perils of jatropha ventures. A hectare or 10,000 square meters produces about only 6.5 barrels of fuel, according to Wikipedia and some claim the economics don't work. But jatropha, which is popular in India, has plenty of boosters including the Center for Jatropha Promotion.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.