Engineer Dave Bloomquist may make the people living and working in buildings surrounding Ground Zero in New York City feel a little safer. The University of Florida professor is assessing the structural integrity of buildings surrounding the World Trade Center, providing more detailed and accurate information than has ever been available to recovery workers. The entirely new technique uses airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM) and ground-based laser scanning. Bloomquist's technique combines millions of laser measurements with aerial and digital images of New York City into a three-dimensional model. "Several surrounding buildings near Ground Zero may not be structurally salvageable," says Bloomquist. "There is concern that several are slowly deteriorating." He is also analyzing the Pentagon for signs of structural damage. For more information, go to www.ufl.edu.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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