When the manager of a lower Manhattan office building opened his electric bill recently, he saw a change for the better. The 11th floor, occupied by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), used 64% less electricity for lighting, resulting in a savings of more than $10,000 per year. Making the Con Edison bill savings possible: installation of an energy-efficient lighting system, and the useof new energy-saving personal computers in the 1901-vintage building. The lighting system for the 23,000-sq-ft space consists of energy-efficient electronic ballasts and fluorescent lamps mounted in highly reflective deep-ceiling fixtures. The lights produce less glare on computer screens. Occupancy sensors turn them off when employees leave a work area for more than 10 minutes. In addition, window ceiling monitors sense changes in natural daylight and adjust lights to save energy on sunny days. In addition, use of EPA "Energy Star"-certified computers reduces energy use 23% over standard computers. FAX Jackie Turner at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) at (650) 855-2900.
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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