It happened the week of November 14th and helped show us just how responsive the Design News readership could really be.I am pleased to say that Design News has officially launched Slack Variable – our new feature within the magazine that was designed to both entertain and educate – and what a reaction it has drawn!Our readers have stormed us with praise and criticism as loads of readers sent us feedback through our email and our websites talk-back feature.
Before I tell you what caused the big stir, let me give you some background on Slack Variable. Slack is the new caffeine addicted hero of our engineering-focused comic strip. The twist is that Slack is a mutant engineering super Monkey who uses his engineering acumen to fight crime and rid the world of treacherous villains. Engineers responded immediately to the feature for a variety of reason – the engineering point of view it establishes, the gritty language it uses (you'll have to read the strip to understand the “Monkey Pee” comment) and the humor (or according to many, the lack of it) that it deploys.
Slack was built from the ground up to pull readers closer to him. The program starts with a print feature in the publication and this same information is pushed to readers in an email newsletter. Both print and online readers are invited back to a microsite where readers can review the comic online AND are offered a host of additional information. The microsite serves up everything from character biographies to reader feedback to special editorial commentary and additional comic strip mouse-over information to delight our readers.
I invite you to check out Slack for yourself at www.designnews.com/slack. Consider this a living case study for the power of integrated marketing and check out the controversial things being said by our readers. If you are interested in sponsoring Slack or would like to work together to develop your own integrated program, please contact your Design News sales person or give me a call directly.
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.