IBM and NASA scientists are collaborating on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) expeditions. NASA is developing "MERBoards" to allow mission scientists and engineers to display, capture, annotate, and share information through large interactive displays. The software that facilitates this collaboration operates on a large stand-alone plasma display with a resistive touch screen. The "board" includes a PC with a web browser and custom workspace application for data and file sharing. "It's like having a very large PDA and having instant access to the content you value most," says Daniel M. Russell, the senior manager of the User Sciences and Experience Research group at IBM's Almaden Research Center. IBM's MERBoards will provide the capability to view data, share it on multiple displays in different locations, sketch and make annotations, and distribute that data. The boards supports the team's work-practice of developing scientific hypotheses and related rover activity. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab manages the Mars Exploration Rover mission. For more information, go to www.ibm.com.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Automakers are adding greater digital capabilities to their design and engineering activities to promote collaboration among staff and suppliers, input consumer feedback, shorten product development cycles, and meet evolving end-use needs.
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