Boeing's long-haul 777X airplane took its first flight on Saturday. The 777X, which is the largest twin-engine plane ever produced, includes higher and bigger windows, folding wingtips to be more airport-friendly, improved lighting and a better cabin environment.
Collaborative robots, or cobots, can work safely around their human counterparts and expand the role of robotics in manufacturing. The recent FABTECH conference served as a platform for several companies to demonstrate their latest cobots for 2020 and how easily they can be trained for routine and complex tasks such as painting, cutting and welding.
Fu-Kuo Chang, a professor of aeronautics at Stanford University, believes engineers could apply tactile perception to aircraft wings that allows them to change their shape mid-flight. Sensors on a wing's surface would produce a "fly-by-feel" aircraft, and Chang believes the key lies in developing force-sensitive composite materials with embedded haptic sensors, electronics and batteries.
Engineering students at New Mexico State University are investigating the use of a small thermal grid to minimize energy use and costs for groups of buildings. The students studied the technology, which was developed by Swedish company Ectogrid, with the help of Assistant Professor Samah Ben Ayed, who teaches HVAC-related courses in thermodynamics, renewable energy and other topics.
Researchers at the University of Illinois used computer simulation to model the elastic response of the shear layer of a non-pneumatic tire. "The shear layer is where you get the most bang for your buck from a design perspective," said assistant professor Kai James.
Solid-state 3D printing allows manufacturers to build metal structures through friction, pressure and velocity instead of melting. The process also allows manufacturers to build parts out of various materials and feedstocks, connect legacy parts to the internet of things and use "smart" build plates to capture data, Stephanie Hendrixson writes.
Victoria Serrano, an engineering professor at Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, launched a program to help teach students in Panama about STEM. Serrano's outreach experiences go back to her days at Arizona State University, where she used to visit local schools on behalf of the university's chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Mechanical-Autonomous Vehicles Club.
The advantages of nuclear power for space rockets have been known for decades, and a NASA program that was shut down in 1973 produced a useful design. With interest growing in missions to Mars, NASA's Bill Emrich continues the research he began in the field in 1987 and is exploring different fuels and two possible designs: one with a nuclear reactor generating electricity to power ion thrusters and another, more potent option with a reactor creating thrust by heating cold hydrogen.
Vestas' wind turbines feature blades composed of nonrecyclable fiberglass composites, but the company intends to find new ways to recycle composite waste and decrease the amount of material it sends to landfills after decommissioning. The company will share its circular approach to the design, production, service and life cycle of its turbines within two years as part of a larger goal of producing no waste by 2040.
International researchers used nanotechnology, 3-D printing and tissue engineering to bioengineer living heart valves. The team injected a 3-D, nanofiber-based scaffold with living cardiac stem cells and cultured it in a tissue incubator.
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