The holiday season brings two questions: "Isn't it time to put up the Christmas lights?" and "When do we take down the Christmas lights?" Edward Nauman designed retractable icicle lights that go up or down with a flick of a switch. He used rotating lengths of metal conduit to wrap up lights and keep them out of sight behind a facia board. Ed's invention brought peace to his holiday season. The design involves a bracket, a motor, micro-switches, conduit and a few other odds and ends, plus some metalworking experience.
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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