Hydrogen refueling stations and the idea of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are taking root in New England, which surprisingly, given the region’s technology and innovation prowess, has lagged behind the leaders, California and the Mid-Atlantic states. The Public Works Dept. in Hampden, Conn., has one now to fuel public transit vehicles and Nuvera, a fuel cell company, opened a PowerTap station in Billerica, Mass. What’s more, a DOT-backed 31-stop/18-state tour of FCVs from nine manufacturers just kicked off in Portland, Maine.
So hydrogen doubters, take note: the momentum is building. It’s too early for FCVs to put a dent in gasoline consumption, but they will. Crude is falling (it’s up $3 today to $116), and in a lasting sense, the decline is driven by consumers abandoning SUVs, pickup and gas-guzzling sedans for more fuel efficient vehicles (a point which seems to have been overlooked).
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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