Dr. Jeffrey Moore found a way of directing fluids to their
destinations without walls. Instead of walls, the University of Illinois
professor of chemistry uses layers of materials that are hydrophilic (having an
affinity towards water) and hydrophobic (not having an affinity towards water)
for creating virtual walls.
The walls are created by an attraction between the liquid and the
top and bottom surfaces. As aqueous solution is injected into the multi-layer
cartridge, it spans the gap from top to bottom, but confines itself to the
hydrophilic pathways and does not spill into adjacent areas.
"One advantage of our approach is the simplicity in fabrication
and the fact that our devices can be manufactured in parallel via lithography"
says Moore. "Our ultimate goal is low-cost, easy-to-make microfluid devices that
require no external power supply, but that are still capable of complex
functionality," he explains.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.