The huge role of microcontrollers in new cars continues to grow. Volkswagen’s 2009 Golf platform will extend its networking capabilities, implementing a communications gateway with six CAN interfaces and at least two LIN interfaces for simple elements like windows and door locks. The gateway is based on a 16-bit microcontroller from Infineon Technologies, the XC2200. The gateway handles all of the internal interfaces, including the engine, entertainment systems, instrument clusters and body and convenience control units. The chips also open the door to external communication so future software updates can be installed by auto dealerships.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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