Robotic innovations like Rail-Veyor's conveyor system for hauling materials in and out of mines are taking some of the human factor out of mining, making it more efficient and safe for workers. (Source: Rail-Veyor Technologies)
It isn't only the safety issue that drives the need for robotics in the mining industry. I used to work in the industry for a number of years and another disadvantage is that the minerals are in the middle of nowhere. (Actually, you fly into the middle of nowhere and then drive another 100 miles). The personnel costs are astronomical because the miners have to be located at the site and their families are elsewhere. In some instances, even infrastructure (such as water systems) need to be brought out to the mine, so the less people actually there, significant reduce the costs.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.