Pneumatic machines—and their low maintenance costs, simple designs, and ease of use—are expected to overtake electric machines as the automation equipment of choice in years to come, according to a Frost & Sullivan research report. The integration of electronics and sensors with pneumatic motion control is driving the pneumatic market. But inaccuracy, price declines, and manufacturing facility relocation from Europe to emerging countries are considered to be limiting factors. Chances are, the report adds, manufacturers will see affordable pneumatic and electronic hybridized systems with better position control as well as information feedback.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
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