United Defense Industries Inc. (www.uniteddefense.com) reports that it has fired the first round from its fully automated 155-mm Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) 12 months after the Army contracted with it to build the demonstrator. In August 2002, Congress mandated the Army to field a self-propelled NLOS-C by 2008, and the United Defense demonstrator signifies the Army's next-generation cannon artillery. A 23-ton, hybrid-electric self-propelled howitzer, the demonstrator features an advanced band-track system, a fully automated ammunition loading system, as well as a magazine capable of holding 24 100-lb artillery projectiles.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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