After more than 130 years of being tied to the measurement of a specific metal cylinder's mass, the kilogram has been redefined in terms of the Planck constant, a number without variance that's central to quantum physics. The change, which takes effect May 20, is intended to streamline research and development pertaining to extraordinarily precise mass measurements.
Electric power is far from the constant in may appear to be. Three big trends include the transition from coal to natural gas, allowing for two-way power flows and the ability to please customers through the use of digital technology.
Artificial intelligence is coming to factories and will likely first take root in equipment that can use the technology to guide operational improvements, says Harmonic Drive CEO Doug Olsen. Watch for embedded "machines on the factory floor that can predict failures, gathering data about daily use to determine when systems need [preventive] maintenance," he says.
If ignored, the short circuit current rating (SCCR) of an industrial VFD panel might just go away, meaning the panel may self-destruct when a short circuit event occurs. What will be discussed in this whitepaper not only applies to VFD panels but to all industrial panels. Download the whitepaper.
Turkish researchers are developing a lightweight, bionic prosthetic hand that uses electromyography to control its movements. The prosthesis, which extends to the elbow, weighs about the same as a human arm and is battery operated.
The next generation of biotech foods, which have been modified to provide improved health benefits, will start hitting grocery stores next year. "If the consumer sees the benefit, I think they'll embrace the products and worry less about the technology," genetic engineering professor Daniel Voytas says.
San Francisco-based Openwater, a startup founded by former Google and Facebook executive Mary Lou Jepsen, is developing portable, miniature imaging systems for detecting tumors in any organ using infrared, cell-penetrating laser beams plus camera and ultrasonic chips. Jepsen said the technology, which could also help observe real-time medication effects and monitor diseases, is being tested on rats.
A transparent window coating developed by mechanical engineers at MIT could reduce reliance on air conditioning, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and slash cooling costs. The coating reflects up to 70% of the sun's heat.
BASF and Essentium are building on a project to develop high-strength 3D-printing materials, seeking to create a global supply chain that is compatible with Essentium's High Speed Extrusion printing technology. Materialise will create software for the system.
Tata Consultancy Services launched its TCS goIT program in 2009 and has since educated about 20,000 middle- and high-school students in the US and Canada about science, technology, engineering and math, executive Surya Kant says. "We've had great results so far -- on average, 70 percent of the youth who participate say they would like to take STEM courses in higher education," Kant says.
Iowa State University has been pledged $6 million from airplane manufacturer Boeing to support the construction of an innovation center and to help students pursuing engineering degrees. The innovation center, set to be completed in January 2020, will serve as a hub for student collaboration and hands-on learning, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said.