For machine tool history junkies (sadly, the machine tool industry in the U.S. is largely history), I found a marvelous set of historical photos of the Mesta Machine Company in Homestead, Pa. Mesta for decades was largest steel making machine tool company in the world and was located next to U.S Steel’s former Homestead, Pa. Works. It was even on Nikita Kruschev’s itinerary in his visit to the U.S in 1959. Sadly, Mesta like the rest of steel industry in Pittsburgh vanished between 1975-90. It’s assets were acquired by WHEMCO in 1983. The hundreds of photos from the first quarter of the 20th century show what a power Mesta and the U.S. were in steeling making and heavy industry (now there’s a term you don’t hear much any more).
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.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
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.
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