ARPA-E is now awarding so-called high risk/high reward grants targeted at research that industry is not likely to undertake because of high technical or financial risk. The stated purpose of these awards is to 1) fund development of breakthrough energy technologies; 2) reduce the need for consumption of foreign oil; 3) reduce energy-related emissions, 4) improve the energy efficiency; and 5) ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in energy. ARPA-E will fund energy technology projects with promise to translate scientific discoveries into technological innovations.
What energy technologies will the first ARPA-E awards be for? It is difficult to speculate since ARPA-E gave no pre-determination of what proposals would fit within the program. Nonetheless, the National Academy of Engineering recently published 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century, and the top three were energy related: 1) Make Solar Energy Economical, 2) Provide Energy From Fusion, and 3) Develop Carbon Sequestration Methods. Thus, I predict that initial ARPA-E awards will be focused on these areas.
Proposals are welcomed from entities including companies, universities, research foundations, and not-for-profits as well as from collaborations and consortia. Information on how to apply is posted on the ARPA-E site. So, if you have a great energy idea that is unfaultable save for want of some start-up cash, here is the opportunity to make it real. ARPA-E has eliminated barriers to funding common with other federal agencies to give nearly everyone access to this opportunity, the Apollo Program for energy.
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.