The train safety topic has always interested me. After a horrific crash here in DC on the metro a few years back a thought occurred to me why there could not be a system where a sensor laden light vehicle could run ahead of a train to alert it to bad track, obstacles, hazards ahead and could even take the brunt of a collision before the rolling stock got there. I even did a patent search and found a European patent already exists for almost what I had in mind. See EP1037788 A1. This idea may be off the wall but as an engineering manager this sure would be a great project to manage.
Jon, thank you for your viewpoint from the conference. I wish I could be there.
Communication technologies are key to improving so many areas of our lives. Making transportation safer is a very important goal. Ensuring the safety of rail transport is a great goal as well. Some of those trains, especially in Southern Europe, were kind of slow, but it was a very flexible way for me to get around.
In my teens I have the opportunity to tour Eurpoe by train. It was a wild ride, but I could get from city to city easily. This encouraged me to try to live without a car for a time. It did not really work for me, so I finally got a car. I am not sure that was a good thing.
Several years back I lived in the UK for a few years. I took trains all over the UK. We also had cars, but many trips were fun on the train. For my work I often went from the UK to Paris. I took the Eurostar, and it was wonderful. I never drove in Paris, and never would.
In the US, when I lived in the East Coast, I often took the train between Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City. This was great, and I would ride the Metro Club most of the time. This was a much more civilized way of getting between those cities than driving.
They are talking about some high speed lines here in Illonis and the surrounding states. I take the train sometimes to Springfield or Detroit. It is much easier and cheaper.
I look forward to your next post from the conference.
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.