The first automated fiber placement machine in the UK, shown here with employee Tim Smith of GKN Aerospace, will help speed production of complex composite aircraft structures like wings. (Source: National Composites Centre)
williamlweaver, thanks for quoting Twain, one of my favorite authors. The image that quote always gives me is the idea of the spiral path of time and change. I think your comparison with the automated loom invention is a good one. Automating carbon composite production could have effects at least as far-reaching.
As Mark Twain famously said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." This sure looks similar to the invention of the automated loom that produced textiles using patterns of holes placed on punch cards. That development helped to spur the Industrial Revolution. Solving the problem of long composite lay-up time may spark a similar revolution in materials...
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.