Beth, activities like space exploration stimulate the economy much more than the construction industry and local government as was done in the recent stimulus. It also stresses engineering and gets innovation into the "civilian" economy fairly quickly.
You are correct also that we are steadily moving forward (21st century) despite the economic issues. This is some cause for optimism.
This is very cool. A great first step. These can also be used in deep sea diving reseach. SInce 1960, we've been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench 4 times. We could move faster and even stay down longer if decommpression sickness isn't an issue.
I thought the GM co-branding, on the chest in Nascar-style, was interesting.
Considering how complex the human body is, the limited mobility it has is impressive.
2 degrees of freedom in the wrist, and about 12 degrees of freedom in the hand ? Is this supposed to be the equivalent of 'axes of movement' ? I guess the wrist can rotate and bend = 2 axes of motion. The 'about 12' in the hand may be the finger segmants. Is it about 12 because they aren't sure how many ? Or because the individual joints have some interferences in certain movements ?
Wow, between this development and Chuck's slide show on intelligent highways and cars, it's quite a wake-up call to the 21st or maybe even 22nd century!
I definitely applaud the idea of sending robots into space to perform the tasks that humans can't or shouldn't. I'm assuming a lot had to go into the design to enable the humanoid machine to function properly despite the laws of gravity. Too bad we're pulling back on space exploration research at a time when we have all this new technology to help uncover valuable insights.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
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.
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.