The U.S. Navy should place a high priority on development of new all-electric ships and associated drive, power conditioning, and distribution systems. So recommends the Committee on Technology for Future Naval Forces, a unit of the National Research Council. The committee attempted to identify technologies that will be of greatest importance to naval operations out to the year 2035. The panel's re-port contends that gas turbine propulsion units, modular rare-earth permanent magnetic motors, and power control module technologies have matured to the point that all-electric ships appear feasible. The direct electric drive for ships and submarines, the group adds, offers "unique advantages" in reduced volume, modular flexible propulsion, lower acoustic signatures, enhanced survivability, and new capabilities. Incorporation of superconductivity into motors, energy storage, and power distribution, the study states, will further increase capabilities of all-electric craft. The committee also advises the Navy to step up research into microelectromechanical systems.
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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