The National Science Foundation has announced the formation of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS). The effort, which involves New York University, Cornell University, Polytechnic University of New York, and the University of Southern California, links professional activities related to what Richard E. Schuler, director of the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs, calls a fragmented industry. "The institute will link engineering and the applied social sciences to develop better solutions for the myriad of infrastructure problems facing the nation," Schuler adds. Institute projects include: expanded use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by the electric, gas, and water utility industries, workshops and white papers on improved public and private cooperation, use of art to develop community participation in local projects, telecommunications to educate K-6 graders about the infrastructure, and programs to reduce the institutional barrier to new technology. E-mail bpf2@. edu.
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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