Cadavers in many ways are better than instrumented dummies in auto crash tests. Acknowledging that, NHTSA is offering five-year grants of up to $2.75 million for research that uses cadavers to examine the effect of airbags and safety belts on the human body during collisions. Officials of the safety agency say the program seeks to determine "engineering parameters" of biomechanical responses of cadavers to impact. Another goal is to develop "mechanical analogs" of the human body that can be used in the design of more realistic dummies for crash tests of new cars and trucks. Phone NHTSA project manager F. A. Bandak at (202) 366-4737.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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