A beautiful photo essay showcasing one of the world’s largest solar power plants was recently published in Technology Review. The entire gallery of photos, archived under “Good Day Sunshine”, can be viewed at the Technology Review Web site.
This southern Portugal PV plant is expected to produce 21,340 megawatt-hours of electricity each year. The plant also illustrates economies of scale. According to PowerLight, the plant’s operator, it was less expensive to build one large array than to spread the cells out into smaller groupings or onto rooftops. In addition, the land will be used for dual purposes. The installations are situated far enough off the ground to allow livestock grazing.
The PowerLight Web site includes extensive press release coverage the array.
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.