Nearly every designer in the 21st Century will be working in some way with light. That's the implication of a study by the Committee on Optical Science and Engineering of the National Research Council. "We are beginning to see the fruits of the scientific discoveries of the last three or four decades," the committee's report says. It predicts major increases in the use of light-related technologies in fields of communication, medicine, defense, research, energy, and manufacturing. The report envisions the following: The entire world will be linked with high-speed fiber-optic communications. People will have personal monitors that will keep tabs of their health non-invasively by evaluating the optical properties of their blood and tissue. Solar cells will reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Factories will be crammed with optical sensors and infrared imagers. Behind the predicted explosion in optical engineering are advances in optical materials from glasses to polymers to metals. The increased knowledge enables mass production of inexpensive, high-quality optic components and systems.
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.