January 25, 2022
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Today's Tech Buzz
Research into human blood vessel disease currently uses animals, but that could change with the development of 3D-printed vessels that accurately mimic their human counterparts. The development by researchers at Texas A&M University uses a special nano-engineered bio-ink with embedded human endothelial cells to achieve greater strength and improved printing qualities than current alternatives.
Full Story: ASME (1/25) 
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Innovations & Trends
Users of above-the-knee prostheses may have to exert less energy during walking when using a lightweight exoskeleton prototype designed by researchers at the University of Utah. The artificial intelligence-based exoskeleton adapts to the user's cadence and gait speed and assists with flexion and extension in the residual limb, says lead researcher Tommaso Lenzi.
Full Story: O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (January 2022) 
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Natural rubber nanocomposites reinforced with carbon nanotubes show potential for prosthetic devices in terms of wear resistance and energy dissipation. The idea could be used to help the growing number of people worldwide needing prostheses, improve quality of motion and life for users, and give low-income countries a path to addressing causes of amputation such as diabetes.
Full Story: AZoNano (1/24) 
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Factorial Energy is developing a solid-state battery for electric vehicles that the company says improves safety while offering a 50% better driving range. The US company, which is working with Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis, has raised $200 million in funding and is building a factory in New England.
Full Story: ElectricCarsReport (1/24) 
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Room-service robots are helping hotels safely serve customers amid staffing shortages. Robots from Savioke deliver items to guests so staff can remain at the front desk.
Full Story: Business Insider (tiered subscription model) (1/23) 
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Berkshire Hathaway Energy-owned utility MidAmerican Energy plans to add 2,042 megawatts of wind generation and 50 megawatts of solar generation, and study small modular reactors, carbon capture and other clean energy technologies as part of a proposed $3.9 billion project in Iowa. "MidAmerican's Wind PRIME is a commitment and investment on a whole new level, cementing Iowa's clean energy leadership for many years to come," said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Full Story: Power Magazine online (1/20) 
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Robotic gyms and trainers in smart cities could serve as cost-effective alternatives to expensive human trainers, writes Naveen Joshi. Robotic kitchens and companions are other examples of underrated uses of the technology for smart cities and homes, Joshi writes.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (1/20) 
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Philadelphia is collaborating with Comcast, Juganu, and US Ignite on a pilot program that is using optical sensors on 14 streetlights along a block in Center City to glean real-time data on how motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are using the sidewalk. The SmartCitiesPHL team says the project will uphold the "highest standards of civil liberties and data privacy" and will not be a conduit for surveillance.
Full Story: Billy Penn (Philadelphia) (1/20) 
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Leadership & Development
Augusta University worked with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions to give high-school students an opportunity to learn about nuclear science careers and apply their problem-solving skills to a real-world challenge. The students worked with volunteer SRNS engineers to come up with secure, cost-effective options for transporting nearly 3,000 construction workers to and from the Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site and presented their solutions in December.
Full Story: The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) (tiered subscription model) (1/22) 
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