To test designs of new, sensor-packed airbags, the federal government plans to use a whole family of crash dummies. Currently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires automakers to pass crash tests for air bags using only dummies representing adult males. Next year, the agency will issue regulations that will add dummies of a small woman, 6- and 3-year-old children, and a 12-month-old infant. The new dummies will contain more instruments for mimicking human responses and measuring injuries in crashes. For example, the Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy has a multi-segment, highly instrumented neck. Auto manufacturers already use dummies of children in their own testing of airbags. For design engineers, NHTSA will publish manuals and digital descriptions of the patterns and molds of each dummy. E-mail NHTSA's Barbara Hennessey at email@example.com for details.
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.