Designers of machinery powered or controlled by hydraulics or pneumatics need to keep an eye on ISO's technical committee on fluid power. Called ISO/TC 131, the committee has been revamping several global guidelines. It has issued draft standards that specify dimensions for five-port, pneumatic-valve interfaces that are smaller than those currently standardized. ISO/TC 131 also is studying the performance of hydraulic filter elements, hoping to develop standards that will allow better choices of filters and closer monitoring of contamination in hydraulic systems. Under revision, too, are general rules for industrial fluid systems. A subcommittee is attempting to blend in European safety rules. In addition, the committee is updating the standard vocabulary for fluid power, adding definitions and terms in German. Comments Karen Boehme, secretary for ISO/TC 131: "The resulting international standards will make it easier to design, run, and maintain safer, more efficient hydraulic and pneumatic systems."
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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