You are in your year 2000 model car and want to get a read on a road map or check on the kid a sleep in the back seat. No need to fumble around looking for that pesky switch. Instead, all you have to do is touch the lamp's surface to turn it off, on, or dim it. So predicts Cooper Automotive (Troy, MI) engineers who created the "touch lamp." The technology resembles the touch technology used on microwave ovens, according to Jim Anderson, supervisor of product engineering at Cooper Automotive's Wagner Lighting Div. The technology uses the touch of the lamp to activate a computer chip that "tells" the computer to begin the desired function--whether it be to adjust the light or change the temperature, compass, or mileage read-out. Anderson adds that the touch lamp exceeds automakers' 5,000 to 10,000 cycles for durability, and can withstand the one million mark in cycle testing. FAX (248) 649-2255.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
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.