Even small children know better than to put anything metal inside a microwave oven. But automotive engineers at Dana Corp. are doing just that as they look for more efficient ways to heat metals. Normally, metals placed in a microwave oven would reflect the microwaves, thereby damaging the microwave source. Surrounding the metal with microwave-absorbing plasma, however, prevents the microwaves from reflecting, making microwaves a much more sensible heat source. Researchers estimate that using microwaves to heat metal will improve part quality and cut processing times for metal processing. For more information, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/3853-527.
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
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