This year, for the first time since 1976, the economy will grow in
virtually every corner of the globe. Name a country, and economists predict
solid gains in the gross domestic product in 1995. In Europe, Germany and France
are both expected to grow by 3%, while Great Britain is forecast to be up 4%. In
North America, the United States and Canada will grow by more than 3%. Brazil
and Chile will be up 6%, and Argentina 4.5%. The outlook is even brighter in
Asia, where China's surging economy should advance 9.5%, while South Korea will
grow nearly 8%. Even Japan, still recovering from a tragic earthquake, will see
its economy climb by 3%.
Helping to ensure more economic progress in the years ahead is a whole series of vital economic agreements. The European Community is welcoming new nations to its fold and encouraging a broader exchange of goods and services. The North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created similar benefits for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Meanwhile, nations everywhere will gain from the successful conclusion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Never before in history has the world enjoyed a greater and freer climate for trade. With the enormous productivity gains of recent years, U.S. companies in particular can savor their best export opportunities of the postwar period.
In this healthy global economy, engineers everywhere will be challenged to design truly world-class products. They will be able to specify the best materials, components, and systems from suppliers all around the world. Engineers will travel more and learn about a wider range of technologies. Increasingly, they will work together with engineers from other companies and countries in technical alliances. What's more, their jobs will be made more productive by new and better computer tools. In short, as the world economy grows in the balance of the '90s, engineers will grow right along with it.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.