There are unsung heroes out there who have saved countless lives. Like a true superhero, their only response to those saved is a simple "I'm only doing my job."
They are the men and women of the Joint Robotics Repair Detachment (JRRD), and they keep the US military's robot armada up and running. These bots are almost exclusively tasked with handling IEDs, improvised explosive devices, and other traps and explosives.
The JRRD handles robots ranging from the single digit pound range to several tons. Repairs are not always for the IED-damaged robots. Normal wear-and-tear finds that the bots need replacement treads or wheels, cameras, motors, and faulty electronics. More extreme cases have the repair technicians replacing major portions of the bots, such as arms and other mutilated components.
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.
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