Liquid Robotics' new Wave Glider robot, the SV3 (right, in red) is bigger than its predecessor, SV2 (left, in yellow), shown during sea trials in Hawaii. The SV3 uses stored solar energy for part of its propulsion system, combined with the Wave Glider's unique, wave-powered energy harvesting system. (Source: Liquid Robotics)
Ann, this is a remarkable integration of a number of technologies -- solar, battery, energy storage, conversion of ocean movement. If you gather a number of technologies together no sngle technology has to be perfect. This is a good example.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.