Credit is due to former-Intel chairman, Andrew Grove, who, according to the Wall Street Journal, is pushing Intel Corp. to diversify itself and become a manufacturer of batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Grove’s idea isn’t just smart, it’s in the best interest of the country. Many in the auto industry are currently worried that by breaking our oil dependency and moving toward electric cars, the U.S. may be exchanging one imported dependency for another. The reason: Japanese and Chinese companies appear to be positioning themselves to dominate the emerging EV battery market.
The only downside to Grove’s idea is the difficulty of the task. Scores of companies have tried and failed over the past 80 years. MIT-based battery expert Donald Sadoway has described EV battery design as “the scientific equivalent of quicksand, deceptively simple, yet enormously complex.” Still, Grove’s idea is apparently to target the plug-in hybrid market, rather than the pure EV market, which makes the task decidedly easier.
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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