In a world of rapid technological change, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been under fire for its slow, bureaucratic development of global standards. Now, ISO's Technical Management Board is working on new ways to speed up the process. At its first meeting this year, the board discussed allowing working drafts to be submitted directly for processing as draft international standards. That would eliminate a present stage in which the full technical committee must again deliberate over the draft. The board also considered allowing the committee secretariat to exempt a draft standard from a final approval stage, if the draft has received 100% approval from member bodies voting on it. Any such exemption, the board reported, would require confirmation from the ISO Central Secretariat. The board also decided to ask the ISO Council whether to expand development of management systems standards from the fields of quality and environment into such areas as personal protection of data and privacy and risk management.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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