USA Today reported today that a joint venture between Toyota Motor Co. and Panasonic will start making lithium-ion batteries next year, reportedly for use in plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Toyota-Panasonic joint venture previously made nickel-metal hydride batteries for Toyota’s hybrids. Automakers are looking to lithium-ion for future hybrids because it offers higher energy density.
Could our view of distant galaxies be obstructed by a lawnmower? That unlikely question is at the heart of a growing debate between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a robot manufacturer that seeks to build self-guided lawnmowers.
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
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