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February 5, 2013
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Essential news for the global engineering community

  Today's Tech Buzz 

  • How labels on machines can reduce energy use, downtime
    As manufacturers work to make their operations more sustainable and energy efficient, some have found that "judicious use of signs and labels" can play a vital role. For instance, operating-instruction labels can help machine operators use the tool correctly and labels can ensure that preventive maintenance is performed as needed, ensuring machine efficiency that in turn contributes to lower energy usage and less downtime. Manufacturing Digital (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovations & Trends 
  • Artificial muscle: As big a deal as piezoelectric materials?
    Researchers are working on coupling graphene with acrylic elastomer in an arrangement that contracts with an electric current. The idea is to create artificial muscles that could be used in a range of technologies including robotics and energy harvesting. "In particular, they promise to greatly improve the quality of life for millions of disabled people by providing affordable devices such as lightweight prostheses and full-page Braille displays," said Xuanhe Zhao, assistant professor at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers team up to work on innovations using tiny LEDs
    Several British university research teams will work together over the next four years to build a 1 Gbps broadcast network from micro LEDs, as well as using the tiny LEDs as pixels in huge light displays. The quest is to make the technology, which is being called "li-fi," a common capability. The Register (U.K.) (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Window 
  • Honda engine powers giant hedge trimmer in the Netherlands
    Source: Gizmodo Australia
    A 5.5-horsepower Honda engine helps power a giant hedge trimmer that maintains the form of shrubs at nurseries in the Netherlands, according to this article. The "Globus" consists of a wheeled platform that carries trimmer implements to shape plants into cones or orbs. A regular model can trim up to 600 shrubs per hour, but the industrial version can take on 5,000 evergreens per hour. Gizmodo Australia (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Badminton robot shows how energy-saving software can work
    To test its new ESTOMAD software for optimizing energy efficiency in machine design, Belgium's Flanders Mechatronics Technology Centre produced a robot that plays badminton. Using the ESTOMAD program, which detects unnecessary energy usage in mechatronic systems, "we were able to cut down the energy consumption of the badminton robot by 50%," said project chief Wim Symens. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Development 
  • Montel Williams credits engineering for building path to the top
    His career may be on a television screen, but Montel Williams says it was an engineering background, including a general engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, that laid the groundwork for his success. "My focus wasn't as much in building things as it was a way of thinking and a paradigm for problem solving. ... You learn to look at problems by breaking them into their component parts and then putting them back together in a sensible way," Williams said. (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASME News 
  • Next E4C webinar focuses on research
    This live, interactive, monthly series promotes emerging ideas and connects a community of passionate engineers who want to improve quality of life around the world. The next installment, on Wednesday, Feb. 6, focuses on strengthening humanitarian ventures through concurrent research initiatives. Learn more about the Engineering for Change Webinar Series, and register for the upcoming webinar. Visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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