John W.M. Bush, an associate professor in mathematics at MIT, has studied the underlying hydrodynamics of the seemingly miraculous feat of walking on water (as some insects do). By using mathematics, high-speed photography, and flow visualization techniques, he discovered something short of a miracle: The insects use one set of legs like oars, sculling their way across the water's surface. A full report is in the August 7 issue of Nature Magazine.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.