Richard P. Wool, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, thinks that turning soy into industrial grade plastic is food for thought. As the director of Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources program at the University's Center for Composite Materials, he uses soy for manufacturing the doors for a John Deere tractor. He thinks that most of the tractor, including the tires, could be made from soy. Wool points out that the advantages of plastics made from soy include biodegradability, abundance, and the fact that soy is renewable. "Soy-based composites have better physical properties," says Wool. For more information, go to www.udel.edu.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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