As everyone knows, lack of a suitable battery prevents the widespread use of electric cars. While lithium batteries boast the highest energy density of any rechargeable, cobalt in the cathode keeps cost high--a lithium battery for an electric vehicle prices about $20,000. Computer modeling, conducted by a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts), predicts a less expensive replacement material. Follow-on tests verify that a cathode made from a mixture of lithium aluminum oxide and lithium cobalt oxide could not only decrease battery cost by a significant margin, but increase cell voltage. In addition, related studies have revealed a flexible solid-polymer electrolyte. Combined, these materials offer new hope for the electric car. The research is funded in part by Furnkawa Electric Company and the U.S. Department of Energy. Pacific Lithium Ltd. has licensed a number of the patent applications submitted by the MIT inventors. For more details, e-mail Elizabeth Thomson at the MIT News Office, email@example.com.
Surveillance, reconnaissance, and search and rescue in military and first responder situations are popular applications for aerial robots. Yet not all the robots are considered unmanned aerial vehicles.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.