Flagstaff, AZ--Although fascinating, Romance to Reality
(RtR) is not a website where you can buy lingerie. Instead it's geared to
chronicling lunar and Mars expedition and settlement plans hatched since the
Author and historian David Portree set up the site in 1996 and it
now contains 270 annotations of Moon and Mars project plans. NASA and contractor
personnel, as well as students, visit RtR for reference information. Portree
recently overhauled the site to coincide with the NASA History Office's
publication of Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mars Planning, 1950-2000, written
by Portree, which details Mars mission design approaches. His future upgrade
plans for RtR include: primers and background papers by experts on space
exploration; a search engine; downloadable original public domain documents;
biographies of Moon and Mars pioneer planners; original artwork; and an
annotation collection devoted to student design projects.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.