With the concern over bioterrorism in the air, physicists and biologists at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL) have teamed up to incorporate biological matter into nanoscale machines. One project involves the cretion of a hybrid biological/mechanical actuator. Researchers plan to power a nickel rod, 100 nanometers in diameter, with the same proteins that muscles use to move. This tiny motor would travel through the body, performing such functions as delivering medicine to the center of a tumor or controlling the flow of blood in a damaged artery. A second project involves the development of a nano-sized biological sensor that can detect a single molecule of specific substances in the body or viruses in the air. From this, scientists hope to develop a portable blood chemistry test kit that doctors could carry in their pockets, for example, to immediately determine whether or not someone has suffered a heart attack. For more information, contact Bryant Chase at (850) 644-0056 or Stephan von Molnar at (850) 644-2246.
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these.
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.