A Dutch company has used a 3D printer that welds metal to produce an artful bicycle frame of stainless steel. Amsterdam-based MX3D used the Mataerial 3D printer to expel a daub of molten metal that hardens before another blob is laid on top, thus creating metal columns that require no external support.
Autonomous cars can be safely tried and tested in a town that's void of inhabitants. It's the University of Michigan's Mcity, a ghost town containing nearly every imaginable traffic and road situation a digitally driven vehicle is likely to encounter in wider, human-occupied world.
An electrically powered jet that can take off vertically may be one of the upcoming projects for SpaceX pioneer Elon Musk. Speaking at Texas A&M on the development of a passenger pod for his envisioned Hyperloop, Musk broached the idea of electric flight and said he's "quite tempted to do something about it."
Vision-guided robots are graduating from simple assembly tasks to such challenging jobs as autonomous flying and driving as their processing and sensor technology improves. One key is the development of inexpensive 3D vision systems that allow robots and their operators to maintain a more human-like awareness of the surrounding environment and avoid the awkward tendency toward tunnel vision common to simpler camera-based systems.
A new exoskeleton aims to achieve lightness both in financial and physical terms, enabling more paraplegics to walk. The SuitX device weighs 27 pounds and is projected to cost $40,000, offering a top speed of 1.1 mph and up to four hours of battery life.
Advances in technology, including 3D printing, microprocessors and advanced sensors, enable wounded service members to receive customized devices that allow them to engage in activities they enjoyed before they were injured, says Peter Liacouras, director of service for the 3D Medical Applications Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As part of that effort, Walter Reed piloted a 3D-printed leg cover developed by startup UNYQ and defense contractor Medical Center Orthotics & Prosthetics that can endure harsh physical conditions.
Wearable devices that sense drivers' drowsiness or stress may communicate with their cars in the future to make for safer driving. That's the idea behind a Ford project to integrate wearables with in-vehicle technologies that help keep a moving car in its lane and safely spaced away from other vehicles.
Engineers now have a handy way to integrate circuitry into 3D-printed parts for electronics. Daniel Oliver, co-founder of Massachusetts-based Voxel8, explains the process his company offers and what it means for 3D-printed electronics in an ASME video recorded at ASME's AM3D 2015.
Solar-powered electrodialysis combined with prefiltration is the tidy solution found by MIT researchers for India's off-the-grid population needing their drinking water to be desalinated. "The target population meant you had to run technology off renewable energy, and it turned out the areas with the most salty ground water were also areas with the highest sun exposure," said Amos Winter, an assistant professor in MIT's mechanical engineering department.
Structures that sway in the wind create vibrations and could eventually produce electrical energy. Researchers at Ohio State University are looking into the possibility of creating "mechanical trees" to convert movement into power with the use of electromechanical materials like polyvinylidene fluoride.
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