Electronic engineers from the R&D department at Philip Morris U.S.A. of Richmond, VA. Work on their Robolab entry.
Engineers are taking on children and college students in a LEGO construction project, striving to see who can develop the best autonomous vehicle. Tuesday, teams came together to spend three hours building Lego vehicles that use National Instruments hardware and software that can follow tape lines to various pickup stations and carry objects back to the starting point.
Wednesday evening, 20 teams will compete to see who can pick up the heaviest payload during their two-minute shot at fame. Not only must the vehicles heft payloads from their station to the dumping base, they must also determine whether it’s best to pick up hefty golf balls, lighter Silly Putty eggs or lightweight cylinders. The fifth annual NI Week contest will also include four judges’ awards in addition to the winner’s prize.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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