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Rapid Machines Are Now Ready for Prime Time

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Lots of people who write about robots say they give us jobs, instead of taking them away from humans. Based on the evidence in some recent studies, I'm not so sure.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Purdue researchers have used a commercial sewing machine to quickly create stretchable electronics from conventional thin wire and a silicone elastomer used for making special-effect movie masks.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
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