Want to see some nifty fluid applications measured in drops rather than gallons? Visit www.amtec.com/contours/issue17/pom.html to see Amtec's Plot of the Month using the companies Tecplot data plotting and visualization software. Recent visualizations have included an animation of fluid flow carrying DNA through a microchip reaction chamber. The chamber has several 20-micron diameter pillars to increase surface area available for "probe" molecules bound to the chamber surface. This plot came from Coventor, a Cary, NC-based provider of MEMS design tools. Other Coventor images include a programmable electric-potential fluid processor for droplets and a microfluidic mixer for mixing reagents on a biochip.
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.