A light at the end of the hearing tunnel | Device gets people with paralysis on their feet, walking | NextFerm partners with Mascoma on biofuel production
September 25, 2018
ASME SmartBrief
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Today's Tech Buzz
A light at the end of the hearing tunnel
Light, as opposed to electricity, may be the key to novel hearing prostheses that could one day outclass even the most cutting-edge cochlear implants. Two different approaches -- gene reprogramming and laser listening -- reveal a promising future for those with hearing impairments.
ASME (9/2018) 
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Reduce Power Loss with ‘Directed Lubrication’
'Directed Lubrication' reduces power loss and bearing temperatures for increased load capacity and improved bearing performance. The long-proven designs from Waukesha Bearings are custom engineered to optimize the delivery and flow of lubricant through the bearing. Explore the benefits for tilt pad journal and thrust bearings.
Innovations & Trends
Device gets people with paralysis on their feet, walking
An experimental device has enabled three patients paralyzed below the waist to walk without the assistance of an exoskeleton. The technology provides electrical stimulation to natural nerve circuits disconnected from the brain due to spinal injury, sending signals that, with a good deal of training, allow for simple movement.
CBS News (9/24) 
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NextFerm partners with Mascoma on biofuel production
Israel biotech startup NextFerm Technologies and Mascoma agreed to work together to develop ethanol from grain starch and fiber. "Our strategy is quite comprehensive and is specifically focused on developing novel or 'better than' active ingredients via a heavy investment in science and technology to provide a lasting edge for our products," says Elzaphan Hotam, vice president of global marketing at NextFerm.
Food Ingredients First (Netherlands) (9/24) 
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3D concrete sandwich panel could provide resilience
A type of 3D cementitious sandwich panel similar to one NASA has used in spacecraft construction for years could help provide resilience for homes during natural disasters. Austrian company EV Group has developed technology that could potentially make the panel, which consists of fire-retardant foam and wire mesh encased in concrete, suitable for mass production.
CNBC (9/22) 
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Digital technologies lowering industry costs
Digital technologies such as building information modeling are helping to lower construction costs despite an increase in unskilled workers. "The use of BIM, virtual reality, internet of things and modular technology in the design and management of housing and infrastructure is creating smart cities around the world," Assael Architecture director Dipa Joshi says.
Cadalyst online (9/20) 
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Girls explore STEM at engineering event
About 40 girls in Alaska got a taste of science, technology, engineering and math through a daylong event called Introduce a Girl to Engineering, held by ExxonMobil and Girls Scouts of Alaska. Girls explored the sciences through stations that included hands-on tasks, such as building a tower with balloons and tape.
Juneau Empire (Alaska) (9/22) 
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Siemens testing autonomous-vehicle tech in streetcars
Siemens Mobility has been conducting pilots of autonomous-vehicle technology on a 4-mile section of streetcar track in Germany. The track is less complex than the open road, and a key ultimate goal of the technology is to reduce train accidents.
Wired (tiered subscription model) (9/21) 
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Va. project uses SAM robot for 14 stories of brickwork
Va. project uses SAM robot for 14 stories of brickwork
(Hoar Construction)
Hoar Construction used a semi-automated mason to lay 70% of the bricks used to replace a 14-story brick facade on the Poff Federal Building in Roanoke, Va. The SAM robot laid an average of 3,000 bricks per day -- six times quicker than a human -- helping make the project efficient and safe.
Construction Dive (9/19) 
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Case Study: Cost Effective Measures to Protect Electronic Controls at the Factory
Electronic controls will stop performing at their best and slow down productivity as temperatures go up and processes become bogged down. This case study reports on how one company avoided these issues by identifying a cabinet cooler that was easy to install, compact in size, maintenance free, quiet and reliable. Download the case study.
Leadership & Development
The benefits of offering employees autonomy
Exercising strict control over how employees work may be counterproductive. It's important to give employees a degree of autonomy and for managers to connect with their workers regularly to set expectations and discuss tasks, write Kelly Palmer and David Blake in this book excerpt.
Fast Company online (9/21) 
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Janney Coupler named 267th ASME Landmark
ASME will mark this year's Rail Safety Week, which will be observed through Sept. 29, with the designation of the Janney Coupler as the society's 267th Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. Rail Safety Week was launched last year by rail safety education nonprofit Operation Lifesaver Inc. in partnership with the US Department of Transportation and other organizations.
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Tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift. To fail the test is a misfortune. But to refuse the test is to refuse the gift, and something worse, more irrevocable, than misfortune.
Lois McMaster Bujold, writer
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