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February 15, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Need to mow the lawn more quickly? Try a V-8 ride-on mower
    Source: Stuff
    When Colin Evans of New Zealand outfitted a Murray Sentinel riding mower with a 3.5-liter V-8 engine, he showed off his engineering prowess -- and created a mower that can get the job done in a flash. Evans needed to extend the mower chassis to accommodate the engine. It took almost a year to finish the work. Stuff (New Zealand) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Robot coaches French Rugby team on safer scrumming
    A robot is helping the French National Rugby Team scrum better and with greater safety. The six-legged, hex-axis training device developed by the Thales Group plays the role of the opposition as the French team pushes against it. As pressure builds, the robot can detect and raise an alert when a team member exerts unequal force, posing the danger of a spinal injury. Gizmodo Australia (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Spotlight on Biotechnology 
  • Robotics keeps cancer radiation focused despite patient movements
    Robotics that incorporate 3-D ultrasound can help keep radiation directed at cancerous tissue continually focused on the correct area even as a patient breathes or moves. Stanford mechanical engineering and bioengineering student Jeff Schlosser addressed the anatomical movement problem for radiologists as part of his Ph.D. project and now, in partnership with advisers, has launched the technology with a company called SoniTrack Systems. (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fully implanted artificial heart may be near
    Albert Starr, researcher and heart surgeon, co-invented the first successful prosthetic human heart valve. He thinks we may now have the technology needed to create a "total, permanent, and fully implanted artificial heart." Starr's friend, surgeon Alain Carpentier, is at work on a "battery-powered, two-pump design incorporating new biopolymers and an advanced electronics system that synchronizes pumping action with a patient's exertion level." (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Retrofits of nuclear-test sensors could analyze environment
    Raymond Jeanloz, an earth scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wants to repurpose some sensors used to monitor nuclear tests so that they could be used to monitor pollution, tsunamis and more. Currently, 34 member states of Open Skies Treaty fly aerial surveillance to collect military information. Jeanloz says retrofitting the sensors the aircraft uses could allow them to also "monitor air pollution or the spread of microorganisms (like those that cause diseases) across the globe." (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Energy harvested from waste sources may power future electronics
    Such obscure sources as mechanical vibrations, waste heat and human body movements could prove to be new founts of useful energy. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas believe these sources may eventually eliminate the need for batteries in various electronic devices. Nanowerk (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Adaptable, self-maintaining skyscrapers envisioned for 2050
    Smart, modular buildings plugging into smart urban infrastructure may be the future of architecture as envisioned by engineering firm ARUP. Built-in robots would maintain the structures, which would connect directly with urban transportation in the year 2050, when constant change in the city environment is the expected norm. Gizmag (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Metamaterials inspire earthquake bumpers for buildings
    Metamaterials used to manipulate electromagnetic waves are the inspiration behind a new method that could mitigate the effect of earthquakes on buildings. It would involve making strategically located holes in the earth around buildings to act as a kind of shock absorber. "It's very cool stuff. It's a step toward manipulating seismic waves and done in a genius way," said Ulf Leonhardt, a theoretical physicist at the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • Nominations open for four ASME awards
    The ASME Honors and Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for four ASME Society-level honors -- the Henry Hess Award, the Holley Medal, the Melville Medal and the Worcester Reed Warner Medal. The deadline to submit nominations is March 1. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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