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.
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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