Self-help guru Tony Robbins has a new prime-time reality TV series that offers people with big problems a new start, and 3-D design software provider Autodesk is getting in on the action. The NBC series, “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins,” featured a story about engineer Frank Alioto in the premiere episode this week. Alioto, who designed aftermarket automotive products for a living, sustained a serious spinal cord injury on the evening of his wedding in December 2007 that left him a quadriplegic.
As a result of his injury, Alioto suffered paralysis of the legs and had only limited hand movement, making it a serious challenge for him to resume work as an engineer. Alioto’s physical impairments made it challenge for him to interface with the advanced software applications that were so essential to his job.
Enter Tony Robbins and Autodesk, who worked together to find a solution. Autodesk donated the software in partnership with the NBC series in addition to providing hardware and training services from Autodesk Consulting to help Alioto “redesign his life.” Using a special adaptive touch pad and stylus, Alioto has been able to effectively work with the Autodesk suite, and the training has allowed him to get back to being an engineer. Now, Alioto has set his sights on returning to the automotive products field, either by telecommuting for an established company or possibly forming his own venture.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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