The XL-80 interferometer from Renishaw Inc. is lighter and more portable than its predecessors, making it simpler for quality control and maintenance technicians to calibrate manufacturing and laboratory equipment. The instrument can measure distances as long as 260 ft, yet it still provides measurement speeds of up to four meters per second.
Both speed and accuracy have been upgraded substantially. It runs at 50 kHz, compared to only 5 kHz for Renishaw units that are now in the field. Resolution is 1 nanometer, while accuracy is 0.5 ppm, substantially better than its predecessor's 0.7 ppm. Weight including cables, power supplies and sensors is under seven lbs. The unit can employ optics from previous generation hardware, helping keep costs down.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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