NASA is using the Internet to show students and the general public what airplane designers do. The agency has created an electronic site, called Aero Design Team Online, at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ano/index-new.html. There NASA demonstrates how aeronautical engineers use airplane models, wind tunnels, supercomputers, simulators, and other tools during the airplane design cycle. The project continues through May, although plans are underway to extend it into summer. "We're teaching about airplane design through the lives of people who are doing the work," says Susan Lee of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. "For example, we're following a wind tunnel test of a model of a future supersonic airliner," she explains. Students can ask questions through e-mail and participate in Internet chats with engineers from teams that design and test airplanes. An aim of Aero Design Team Online is to inspire students to pursue high-tech careers.
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.
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