Micro Innovations, a company that imports and distributes computer accessories, introduced an environmentally friendly product line that includes surge protectors, a battery-free mouse and a low-power keyboard/mouse combo. The new surge protectors are designed to trim electricity waste. According to Micro Innovations President Jesse Grindeland, up to 75 percent of a computer’s electrical consumption comes via the surge protector while the computer is off. “The only way to cut power is to unplug the appliance and who will remember to do that?” says Grindeland. The new surge protector from Micro Innovations only comes on when power is required.
The battery-free mouse receives enough electromagnetic energy from the mouse pad to power the mouse. The company also rolled out a line of accessories for laptops that conserve energy and thus extend the laptop’s battery life.
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.