Cooling is a constant design challenge. To meet that challenge, researchers at Bell Labs/Lucent are experimenting with a nanostructured surface that reduces viscous drag on cooling fluid. The intention is to use billions of silicon posts to aid in transferring heat from the silicon surface to the liquid coolant. Each post has a water-repellent, Teflonlike surface, so fluids flow without wetting. When researchers apply a small electric current to the posts, the droplets on the surface slick down and wet the surface. This technology allows researchers to study the details of fluid flow and heat transfer across such superhydrophobic surfaces. The nanograss also provides a tenfold increase in the effective surface area of a flat silicon surface, which also facilitates heat transfer.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.