Dick "Spe" Spehalski leads the engineers who designed the most complex interplanetary spacecraft ever created: Cassini. The spacecraft--including its orbiter and Huygens probe to the moon Titan--is currently winging its way towards a rendezvous with Saturn in 2004. But for five years prior to its October '97 launch, Spehalski championed the mission past cancellation threats by cutting weight, lowering power requirements, and putting the project back on track. And when it came to resolving complex engineering issues with the project's 16 international partners, Spehalski was the man everyone turned to. This isn't the first time NASA tapped him to lead one of the agency's flagship programs; he also served as project manager for the Galileo mission to Jupiter. Following a term as project manager for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, Spehalski retired in June 1998, but not before NASA awarded him its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.