You'll have to wait four months if you want a Prius, Toyota Motor Co.'s first mass-produced hybrid. People were skeptical about the commercial viability of the car when it was introduced in 1997. Today Toyota can't meet the demand. The Tokyo automaker produced 300,000 in 2005 and plans to ramp production to 400,000 in 2006. The Prius gets 60 mpg in the city and 51 on the highway, according to the U.S. government.
Toyota has been leaning hard on its suppliers for more parts. Company executives denied speculation that the automaker has been locking up suppliers in order to maintain its domination over the hybrid market. Ford Motor Co. officials grumbled to the Wall Street Journal that they are having trouble getting hybrid parts because Toyota is squeezing the supply. Hybrids were effectively novelty vehicles until gas prices soared.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.