Bioplastics must compete on price as well as on functionality and service. The worldwide supply of hydrocarbons, long the base coponent in many plastics, is not in immediate danger of becoming a scarce resource. That means the bioplastics have to match or at least be very competitive with hydrocarbon based plastics. We all love to think green but when faced with a price discrepancy it sometimes cannot be ignored. The rising prices of the hydrocarbons needs to be taken into account as well as the ability to recycle.
The USA has huge reserves of oil and gas and if we can manage to utilize these without damaging the environment we can expect many more years of their availability at more or less reasonable costs..
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.