Lexis-Nexis, the on-line information service of Reed Elsevier, reports Sony has developed the industry's first small speakers made completely from recycled material. Milk cartons are among the materials used to manufacture the speaker cabinets. In fact, about 75% of the assembly is made from recycled paper. The assembly and components also contain 20% polyester foil and 5% aluminum, all of which did service elsewhere. Moreover, since no adhesives were used in construction, the material is recoverable and used yet again. If incinerated, the material produces no overly toxic fumes. The speakers themselves measure 17 cm across, 42 cm high, and 29 cm deep. They are considerably more pricey than comparable speakers made from non-recycled materials--about 40% more--but Sony is confident European demand for environmentally friendly products will move units off store shelves. Sales will begin in Switzerland, Austria, and Holland and the speakers will be generally available throughout Northern Europe as 1998 progresses. For more information, visit the Sony Web site at www.sony.com.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.