For 22 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has run the Energy-Related Inventions Program (ERIP). Now, the Department of Energy has taken complete charge of ERIP and made it a part of a newly created Inventions and Innovations Program. Under ERIP, the standards agency got first crack at assessing new technologies and ideas submitted by businesses and individual inventors hoping to get government support. Now the Energy Department holds all stages of approval. NIST processed 33,430 requests for evaluations before it stopped taking them last August. Of these, 17,482 were rejected before evaluation. Inventors interested in the new program should access the World Wide Web site at www.oit.doe.gov/ and click on "Inventions and Innovations" under the heading "Technology Access."
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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