Parker Hannifin engineers state that they are seeing heavy interest in hydraulic valve technology from the marine industry (including those people who make those several-hundred-foot-long yachts) in applications as wide-ranging as bow thrusters and tugboat control to sail and winch control. The reason? Recent advancements in proportional valve technology, allowing for quicker and more accurate holding of an actuator's position. "At one point, the marine industry thought that electric motors would be the panacea that would solve all of their problems from reducing cost to lowering power consumption, and obviously eliminating the issue of hydraulic leaks," says Michael Gudhe, industrial product manager for the company's Hydraulic Valve Division. "Now they're rethinking hydraulics and recognizing the benefits they bring to the table," he says. Or perhaps he should say deck.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
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.
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.