Earthrace is designed to highlight the benefits of renewable fuels, particularly biodiesel, during a 24,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation of the earth. The ship uses Xilinx FPGAs in its radar and night vision systems, employing the company's MicroBlaze processor to help the ship travel in any weather. Its unusual trimaran hull also helps meet that goal, letting Earthrace pierce through waves, even submerging at times. New Zealander Pete Bethune heads the international effort and skippers the craft, which is powered by two fuel-efficient Cummins Mercruiser QSC-540 engines.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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