All members of the United Nations are being asked to sign an agreement to develop global regulations for the safe performance of motor vehicles and motor-vehicle equipment and parts. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe sponsors the undertaking. Representatives from Japan, the European Communities, and the U.S. in March wrote the text for the agreement, and those countries formally signed on this summer. All stakeholders will be given ample opportunities to comment on candidate standards at each stage of their development. The auto standards committees are to meet in open sessions in Geneva. For details, write the Director of International Harmonization, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20590.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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