A newly patented invention avoids the cumbersome procedure of "fine tuning" electric motors. At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Ann M. Casper designed a brushless dc motor that dynamically times the commutation between the rotor and stator--without disassembling its housing. She put Hall-effect sensors on the commutation board to provide feedback on the rotor position. A tool inserted into the endcap, while the motor runs, "tunes" the motor for maximum operating efficiency. invention received United States Patent 5654599.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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