Utron Inc. has developed a combustion gas chamber to quickly compress metallic powders into small parts, and eventually mass-produce small and big components based on the process. It's one of many efforts by powder-metallurgy scientists to take talcum, powder-size grains of metals and turn them into pressed parts. Current methods use pressure and heat to slowly press out small batches of parts. Making large parts in this fashion requires long exposure to heat, with possible undesirable molecular changes resulting. With the combustion gas chamber process, Utron hopes to mass-produce parts "on millisecond time scales," according to Dr. Arul Mozhie, Utron senior scientist. The Utron process evolved from pulsed power and high-pressure combustion technologies developed for hypervelocity launch and other defense applications. The process uses high-pressure pulses, produced by the controlled combustion of propellants, to consolidate the tiny copper and steel powders Utron made using a higher momentum flux gas medium. The work was pursued under a contract awarded by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. FAX (703) 369-5298
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.