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.
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.
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.