Engineers who feel they are in the dark about how their products are working in the field now have Nlighten, a web-based product from Ninatek (www.ninatek.com) that delivers field-performance data to engineers for analysis. Josh Siler, Ninatek's director of technology, says the product lets engineers see field-service reports and monitor performance at the part level, as well as do financial and reliability studies. "Basically, with that information you can decide whether it's worth the effort to change the design or just keep replacing parts," he says.
Two different shape-shifting polymers have been announced from two different universities: Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Zhejiang University in eastern China. Both of them change their shapes when immersed in water, and the one from Wyss Institute was made with 3D-printing techniques.
When you think of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, you may imagine complex humanoid contraptions made of metal and wires that move like a Terminator Series T-90. But what actually happened at the much-vaunted event was something just a bit different.
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