Sounds great that energy efficiency is coming to the mobile hydraulics world. I would think this market would be a natural for EV technology. Even though this is "mobile" hydraulics, much of its use is in a relatively small area, small enough that a plug running to the equipment would be reasonable in many instances.
In reality, a lot of mobile hydraulics work in areas where electrical power would be rather inconvenient. BUT adding a start-stop function to the driver as well as a system to only deliver the required power could be a good start. Using variable speed drive and on/off control valves instead of servo valves offers a good improvement in efficiency, and also has the potential for better performance. The best part is that the biggest new development would be in the controls, not in the hardware. Of course, design for minimum loss is the other requirement, but it is not new at all. These are the ways to double hydraulic system efficiency.
Don't underestimate the benefits of fluid power technology, especially the power densities that are possible when it comes to control of heavy equipment like excavators. A lot is also being done to optimize these systems for greater fuel efficiency.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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