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.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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