Manufacturing an internal combustion engine from extruded aluminum alloy rather than conventional casting offers many benefits, including big size and cost savings. So says Power Beat International Ltd., a research and development company based in Hamilton, New Zealand. Powerbeat's ALU-X(TM) engine employs interlocking sectioned extruded profiles to form the engine block. Replacing one-piece cast blocks, the company claims, allows engines of different capacities, cylinder numbers, and stroke lengths to be made from the same parts. Engine assembly is quick and easy: Tie bolts hold stressed components in compression, eliminating the need for load bearing threaded holes within the block; tee slots incorporated into the extrusion profile allow simple attachment of auxiliary components. Other benefits include superior grain structure for accurate bores and finishes; lower capital costs, higher production capacity; high power-to-weight ratio. Power Beat International is currently developing 200-cc versions of the ALU-X to suit the small engine market. Contact Evan Bydder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +64-7-843-0011.
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.