Researchers have found that the band gap of semiconductor indium nitride is not 2 eV as previously thought, but a much lower 0.7 eV. Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Cornell University, and Japan's Ritsumeikan University have discovered that a single system of alloys incorporating indium, gallium, and nitrogen can convert virtually the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical current. Such a discovery could eventually lead to the delivery of the most efficient and relatively inexpensive solar cells. For more information, go to www.lbl.gov/science-articles/archive.
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.