There's little chance in the foreseeable future of a robot uprising as the machines become an ever greater part of our lives, but security is another matter, said Gill Pratt, program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge. Robots with the power to see may also enable others to access those images as well as other private information. "I don’t worry about the robot on the loose doing physical damage. The valuable stuff is the data," Pratt said.
The problem of storing solar energy for nighttime use may by on the way to a viable and cost-effective solution, thanks to researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington. Their system combines a solar cell with a redox flow battery, which uses a liquid electrolyte that stores energy in a tank that can be any size. The result is potentially enormous capacity.
Software and data analysis have been key in stepping up the efficiency and accuracy of hydraulic fracturing over the past few years. Nigel Yip-Choy, a consulting partner with Halliburton, explains how in an ASME video taped at the Hydraulic Fracturing Conference 2015 in Houston.
Children and adults with disabilities in the Columbus, Ohio, area who haven't experienced the pleasure of simple activities such as running or swimming are getting the chance to do so, thanks to May We Help. The organization, its volunteer engineers and others design customized devices, often using inexpensive materials, to help each person get past his or her particular disability.
A trellis frame made from a special alloy and the important ability to quickly switch from a hard-tail configuration for climbing to full suspension for speed distinguish the Bees Bike made by Germany's Altinsoy Manufaktur. The nearly $4,000 mountain bike also provides an ideal fit for each rider with an integrated systems of mounts and bolts.
Certain iron alloys heated to 760 degrees Celsius -- or 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit -- for 30 minutes and then cooled rapidly expand in volume, thus unseating a scientific principle in place since 1841 that states volume shouldn't change. The discovery by Harsh Deep Chopra, professor of mechanical engineering at Temple University, and Manfred Wuttig, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Maryland, holds potential in a number of applications, including development of compact and efficient magnetic actuators due to the non-Joulian magnets' negligible generation of wasteful heat during energy harvesting.
NASA has successfully 3D-printed a turbopump that can withstand the extreme stress of rocket thrust, and the pump has the added advantage of requiring 45% fewer parts. An engineer who worked on the project said 3D printing also cut development time to two years from the usual four years.
Doctors should be able to better gauge how to repair bone fractures by using 3D models of the injuries instead of 2D and paper models. That's the hope of bioengineering students at the University of California at San Diego, who have created 3D models of actual ankle fractures as part of their first-year program.
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $390,000 grant to a University of Akron professor to study 3D-printed biodegradable polymer scaffolds that could be used in craniofacial reconstruction. The scaffolds would be used as a framework on which new bone could grow to fix facial deformities caused by injury or birth defects. "What we're developing is the promise of a readily made and applied breakthrough medical solution that has life-changing potential for people who previously had no such option," said researcher Matthew Becker.
University of Illinois students Aadeel Akhtar, a doctoral student in neuroscience, and Patrick Slade, a senior in engineering, are co-founders of PSYONIC, a startup looking to manufacture prostheses that incorporate sensory feedback and pattern recognition at low cost. The prostheses will be produced using injection molding rather than 3D printing.
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