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.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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