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March 7, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Energy system harnesses power of dust devils
    The forces that generate so-called dust devils in desert landscapes are being harnessed to generate energy in a system devised by Mark Simpson and Ari Glezer at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Solar Vortex takes advantage of rising columns of hot air caused by the sun's heat and falling cold air to spin blades that generate current. The system offers cost advantages over conventional wind turbines and a more even output of power through the day and into early evening. New Scientist (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mining the Moon the prize in latest space race
    With water discovered on the lunar surface, prospects for mining the Moon are looking brighter as 25 companies compete for $30 million in Google Lunar X Prizes. "Exploring the Moon commercially is a first step towards making the Moon part of our world, what humanity considers our world," said Bob Richards, CEO of Silicon Valley-based Moon Express, who also noted that "there could be more platinum-group metals on the surface of the Moon than all of the reserves of Earth." BBC (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Thermometer hardware offered for iPhones
    A modest bit of hardware from Danish startup Robocat will let iPhone users get a read on the local temperature wherever they are. The Thermodo device consists of a small temperature sensor in an audio jack that plugs in to the phone and transmits weather data as an audio signal to the phone that is translated into a temperature reading through an API. TechCrunch (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Dreambox offers 3D printing for everyone
    Dreambox provides a simple answer for those who would like to take advantage of custom 3D printing but don't have the skill, time or wherewithal to buy a machine for the home. Users can order up an item they'd like online and the remote Dreambox will print it and put the item in a locker for later pickup. Currently, the system works only in bioplastic but other materials will be available soon. DVice.com (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Allison Transmission unveils truck hybrid propulsion system
    Allison Transmission Holdings is introducing its H 3000 hybrid propulsion system, which will capture and use wasted energy and improve the flexibility and performance of medium- and heavy-duty trucks for use in distribution, refuse, shuttling and utility work. The system includes a motor-generator, power electronics and lithium-ion cell battery packs that enable vehicles to target the specific optimal amount of energy capacity. MFRTech.com (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New system cuts cost of cleaning up wastewater
    New technology from Baswood Corp. provided for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group provides a low-energy pretreatment for wastewater from bottling plants that rids the water of effluent. The BioViper system accomplishes this by lowering the biochemical oxygen demand. BiofuelsDigest.com (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Building system said to protect concrete buildings from earthquakes
    The Carmelo Group of Puerto Rico says its GCT Insulated Concrete Panel Building System for concrete buildings offers a fast and efficient way to build. In addition, it is "energy efficient, soundproof and resistant to termites and floods." It is also resistant to earthquakes of up to magnitude 8.5 and to winds of up to 250 mph. In a video taken at the World of Concrete, Edgar Figaro explains how the system works. DesignBuildSource.ca (Canada) (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Robots seen advancing in 6 key areas of our future
    Robots are an increasingly familiar presence in our lives, and their capabilities are expanding rapidly. Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics and head of the Robotics Masters Program at Carnegie Mellon University, identifies six areas -- some familiar, others less so -- in which robotics will be making inroads in the near future, including prosthetics, caregiving and even marketing. ASME.org (2/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
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  SmartQuote 
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."
--Isaac Asimov,
Russian-born American author and biochemist


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