Ever wonder what CAD software will look like in 15 or 20 years time? Researchers from two U.K. universities are experimenting with how 3-D CAD applications will interact with engineers, providing a glimpse at what kind of functionality we can expect in the future.
The researchers, Alison McKay, a professor of design systems from the University of Leeds’ School of Mechanical Engineering, and Steve Garner, a professor from Open University, discussed some of their initiatives in an article posted on The Engineer Online. The pair have been awarded a grant from the Leverhulme Trust to explore technology that tracks engineers’ eyes as they look at various parts of their CAD models, which in turn, prompts the CAD software to automatically make suggestions or design developments based on what’s seen. The eye-tracking device builds on a prototype CAD system called The Design Synthesis and Shape Generation (DSSG) project, which McKay led and which produced the first 3-D shape grammar-based design system. The DSSG project was a joint initiative between the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
McKay is quoted in the Engineer Online article as saying that such an eye-tracking device would remove some of the burden of the engineer or designer physically having to interact with the software. The software would already be in tune to their creative process, she explains, and would suggest new ways of seeing the possibilities a shape can offer.
Sounds kind of like mind-reading CAD software–now, that’s something worth waiting for!
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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.