In a first-of-a-kind cooperative effort, Ford Motor Co. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are developing a hydraulic hybrid automotive power train. "It's a little unusual," says Ford advanced-engineering spokesperson John Harmon. "The EPA actually holds the patent for the technology." Harmon said that it is too soon to determine how efficient the power train is. However, he did say it is somewhat like electric hybrid power trains, but instead of batteries it uses hydraulic reservoirs for storing power. Eaton Corp. is providing power train product development expertise. For more information, go to www.eaton.com, www.ford.com, or www.epa.gov.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.