Want to build a really tough robot? Forget about Terminator . Instead, watch a tadpole turn into a frog. Or at least that’s not too far off from what Univ. of Vermont roboticist Josh Bongard has discovered . In a first-of-its-kind experiment, Bongard created both simulated and actual robots that, like tadpoles becoming frogs, change their body forms while learning how to walk. And, over generations, his simulated robots also evolved, spending less time in “infant” tadpole-like forms and more time in “adult” four-legged forms.
Scientists at Los Alamos National Lab, N.M., have achieved a remarkable breakthrough with the Office of Naval Research's Free Electron Laser (FEL) program, demonstrating an injector capable of producing the electrons needed to generate megawatt-class laser beams for the Navy's next-generation weapon system.
Researchers at Northwestern Univ. have created a robotic fish that can move from swimming forward and backward to swimming vertically almost instantaneously by using a sophisticated, ribbon-like fin.
Using a common metal most famously found in self-cleaning ovens, Sossina Haile hopes to change our energy future. The metal is cerium oxide—or ceria—and it is the centerpiece of a promising new technology developed by Haile and her colleagues that concentrates solar energy and uses it to efficiently convert carbon dioxide and water into fuels.
The maker of the popular Prius hybrid car is developing a new type of electric motor to cut its dependence on rare earth metals and lower costs. The world’s No. 1 automaker hopes the new technology will free it from reliance on China, which produces 97% of the global output of rare earths.
We live in a world almost completely dependent upon machinery. Since the creation of the simple wheel, humans have found ways to increase quality of life and advance scientific knowledge using these devices. Though the prevalence of machinery has benefited us, our dependence upon them has limitations. Everything that moves can and will break, especially metals under strain. And when they fail, the consequences can be catastrophic. LSU's Michael Khonsari has developed and proven a novel method to avoid the danger that comes with reaching the breaking point.
Lasers have revolutionized the communications and medical industries. However, the physical length of an ordinary laser cannot be less than one half of the wavelength of its light, which limits its application in many industries. Now the Spaser, a new invention developed in part by Tel Aviv Univ., can be as small as needed to fuel nano-technologies of the future.
A new type of mechanical hand developed by researchers at Harvard and Yale promises to solve the issue of overthinking. In a makeover inspired by cockroach legs, the engineers chose not to make their robotic hand smarter, but to redesign its form to suit a dumb robot.
Industry hates the cost of prototyping, but when it does need to create one, it needs to do so quickly. The rise of rapid prototyping machines, such as 3-D printers, has gone some way to address this problem, but it might instead transform manufacturing methods themselves.
GTI Spindle Technology is partnering with InCheck Technologies to demonstrate InSite – a new online wireless predictive maintenance system – at a conference at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, Ill., Sept. 13-18. InSite provides data collection, storage, and processing facilities for condition and performance monitoring.
Hybrid vehicles have the ability to stop an engine at idle and restart again automatically to contribute considerably to overall fuel economy. Toyota Motor Corp., with development assistance from a number of companies, has engineered the Permanently Engaged Gear Starting Mechanism for Stop & Start system to help streamline the integration of this capability into future vehicles.
Today’s large machine tools must be carefully calibrated to perform increasingly complex tasks, but diagnosing errors can be frustrating. A partnership led by Automated Precision Inc. has pioneered a methodology, Volumetric Error Compensation (VEC), to address the need for improving close tolerance and working accuracy.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Mobility Lab has developed the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), which is both maneuverable within the home and can travel long distances on rough roads rural or developing areas.
TriboMAM, from M4 Sciences LLC and Purdue University, is an industrial drilling system for computer-controlled machine tools that is based on the theory of modulation-assisted machining, which involves the introduction of a sinusoidal motion into the physics of mechanical drilling.
Requirements for efficient, high-speed, photon counting receivers have driven communication waveform and receiver design. MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has introduced a Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector Array that is able to substantially improve this ability by using multiple nanowires.
The goal of the National Ignition Campaign is to produce small thermonuclear explosions from material compressed to conditions near those at the centers of stars. GATOR - Grating Actuated Transient Optical Recorder was developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to capture 2D images in trillionths of a second.
Building a better crash dummy requires sophisticated data management tools and methods.
The high-vacuum market is difficult to comprehend from a brief glance. Segmentation is substantial, as would be expected from a billion-dollar industry. But what really challenges manufacturers of this type of equipment are the differing requirements of the customers.
Imec Virtual Camera turns the input from fixed cameras into a 3D space where a director or cameraman has total freedom to choose any angle or distance to the action.
A fine sail off the coast of Spain is hardly the reality for most Americans, who have been locked in a snowy wonderland for months. But that's apparently where the technology is: the USA 17 that brought home the America's Cup for the first time in 23 years could be the most advanced sailboat ever built.
Computer-based machining systems make basic metalcutting a largely plug-and-play process. In most cases, a 3-D CAD file run through a CAM package and posted to a CNC machine tool will produce a part that resembles the original model.
In life science applications, sample preparation is crucial to any research project. With that knowledge, Symyx (Sunnyvale, Calif.) created a benchtop platform system that excels in doing complex sample preparation for a variety of life science analytics.
While some companies make the decision to take floor-standing instruments down to the benchtop, other companies market their analytical products for the benchtop initially. One such company is Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. Benefiting the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, environmental, biochemistry, and polymer industries, the new UV-1800 is part of Shimadzu’s natural progression of spectrophotometers.
Smaller seems to be the trend in laboratories today. Because many laboratories are scrambling for space, or have become cramped due to large instrumentation, microscopes are getting smaller and more complex, being taken to the benchtop.
The one thing I enjoy after a day at work is a nice, long walk or jog. Once the endorphins kick in everything seems perfect. Anything that happened previously that may have stressed me out or affected me negatively gets wiped away, or at least decreases, and I get lost in the rhythm my feet make as they rush across the dark pavement of the road.