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.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
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Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
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