What constitutes a smart city, and how do you make an existing city smart? Instead of just being a random collection of buildings and people, according to the Communications Industry Association TM Forum's new "City as a Platform" manifesto, it should be reshaped as a platform embracing 11 principles, prioritizing among other things the so-called sharing economy and sustainable development.
While microfluidic devices flushing fluids through tiny pipes are one way to make a lab on a chip, Michael Schertzer, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, is taking a markedly different approach. He's aiming for a credit-card-size device using digital technology with a "checkerboard of electrodes" that shift fluids around.
An unmanned aerial-aquatic vehicle developed by Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory transitions smoothly from underwater mode to airborne using a unique delta wing design. The electric UAAV navigates with its nose down while under water and tilts its nose up to achieve flight and airspeeds up to 30 mph.
Boeing has developed a 51-foot autonomous submarine and will be working on smaller versions in competition with other major contractors pursuing a Navy contract for robot subs. Another entrant, Ocean Aero, has a 13-foot model that can seek out and hide from threats on its own and surface to recharge its batteries from solar panels.
The Navy is accommodating the game-playing experience of younger sailors with the introduction of Xbox 360 controllers for periscopes on its Virginia-class submarines. The scopes themselves are far from the familiar tubes, instead consisting of two photonics masts with high-resolution cameras and large monitors.
Because naval engineering is vital to Connecticut's economic growth prospects, the University of Connecticut is launching an undersea engineering program that gives students hands-on experience with Navy submarines. It takes advantage of the presence of the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard and the company's plans to hire 14,000 employees over the next decade.
A particularly active wildfire season is straining resources across the West, leading to a harder look at preventive measures such as controlled burns and forest thinning. One problem, however, is that funding funneled into suppression efforts once fires start subtracts from budgets for needed efforts to prevent fires in the first place.
Industrial maintenance graduates of technical colleges in the Madison, Wis., area are having no problem finding jobs. The field is booming, and those who take advantage of the market find that their education and a little problem-solving ingenuity pay off in the form of good wages and engaging, non-repetitive work.
A new laser-powered device drills holes as small as 2.2 millimeters in diameter for brain surgery. The NeuroBlate System delivers heat to the targeted area while keeping itself and the surrounding area cool to avoid destruction of healthy tissue.
A tiny telescope implanted in place of an eye's lens has received federal approval as a possible remedy for age-related macular degeneration. The scope's pea-size sealed glass cylinder has air pockets on either side of a pair of lenses and works by magnifying images projected onto the retina.
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