Nobody likes to find that a simple unplugged connector is the cause of a failure that shuts down a system for a long time. That's especially true when a hard-to-reach plug is on an orbiting spacecraft. NASA's hoping to avoid that type of problem with a rewrite of its Specification S-311-P-822, which addresses connectors. When Compact PCI connectors are selected for NASA space flights, Hypertronics Corp.'s cPCI connectors with the Hypertac “Basket of Wires” are now a connector of choice. Connectors from the subsidiary of the Smiths Group have already been used on the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Mars Science Lab., the Hubble Space Telescope and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
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 vehicle’s 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 that’s 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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