We have started to talk a lot of engineers tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems involving health, agriculture, sanitation and education. And the more we dig, we more we find engineers applying their skills, talent and energy to solving humankind’s problems. One such organization I came across recently is the aptly named Engineers without Borders. Allied with the Rotarians (the folks who brought us Easter Seals), EWB has 200 chapters and 170 projects in 41 countries. Check them out.
Watch designnews.com for more information and stories about the work EWB and other organizations like it are doing. And if you know of engineers doing wonderful things, we’d like to know about it to help and and recognize them.
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.