MIT has developed a Machining Variation Analysis system that allows designers to create machine tools on the computer and use those tools to virtually machine parts and predict the exact shape of a part given any error that may exist in the machine tool. "Before the MVA, machine-tool designers could not predict the effects of the dozens of error sources that plague a real process," said MIT Professor Alexander Slocum of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. "Every time a machine was designed to make a new part, the company took a gamble. The MVA takes the risk out of developing new manufacturing equipment." With MVA, the user provides information including the geometry of the part and sources of error in the machine's operation. With these parameters, MVA determines the exact shape of the part including all the consequences of the specified errors in machine operation. Slocum developed the MVA with Professor Kevin Otto of mechanical engineering, Daniel Frey of MIT's System Design and Management Program, and colleagues from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Landis Division of Western Atlas, Inc. For more information, e-mail the news office at email@example.com or call (617) 253-2700.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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