A shark-shaped autonomous underwater vehicle unveiled in China is said to have exceptional speed and stealth characteristics with its fish-tail propulsion. The Robo-Shark is designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and can also be used for fast approach intercepts or tracking underwater targets.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says more than half of the state's waterways don't meet water-quality standards for aquatic life and human health. Problems cited across the 3,416 impaired waterways include the presence of mercury, bacteria, phosphorous, nitrate and other pollutants.
Houston officials are seeking federal funds for a project to dredge a mouth bar in the San Jacinto River that contributes to periodic flooding in the Kingwood area. Funds are available for dredging sand deposited by Hurricane Harvey, but city officials and the US Army Corps of Engineers disagree on how much sand the storm left on the bar.
Nebraska's Department of Agriculture is offering financial incentives to farmers who install buffer strips to curtail sediment flowing into waterways. Payments are available for narrow grass filter strips or riparian forest buffer strips near intermittent, seasonal or permanent streams, wetlands and ponds.
A Siemens Gamesa project in Hamburg, Germany, will test the viability of volcanic rock as a storage medium for electrothermal energy. The system uses a resistance heater and blower to convert electrical energy into hot air to heat 1,000 metric tons of rock to 650 C, and then reconverts the heat into electric energy via a steam turbine.
An ASME Infographic goes back to 1961 and the 4,000-pound Unimate industrial robot to trace the development of robotics over the decades. Other pioneering robots include Shakey, the first autonomous robot; ABE, a pioneering autonomous underwater vehicle; General Atomics' Predator aircraft; and the first Mars rover.
As autonomous unmanned ground vehicles become more widely used in the workplace, standards are being developed to better understand their use. A committee evaluating A-UGVs is coming up with guidelines regarding terminology, performance and effects on the environment.
Eleven recently published books can bring mechanical engineers up to date on the latest in technology, materials and design. Mark Crawford explores titles that touch on structural dynamics, aerospace, bifacial photovoltaics, forensic engineering, flow control and more.