Manufacturing Trends of the Future

manufacturing trendsThe correlation between manufacturing trends and our economic growth is crucial. But how do we ensure innovation, competitiveness, higher income and improved quality of life? No surprise here as the answer lies in manufacturing. Investments in this sector impact the economy through job creation and career growth in other industries as well. Continue reading

The Future of Micro Drones with Mosquito Flight Patterns

Micro-Drones-MAV

Image source: IBTimes

The Future of Mini Drones or MAV’s (Micro Air Vehicles)

Drones have been around for some time but the on-going technological development in advanced engineering is astonishing. Can you imagine a swarm of robotic and autonomous insects?

When you think of mosquitoes, there really aren’t many good things to say. They often carry potentially lethal diseases such as malaria. Mosquitoes are annoying and their bites can be really painful, itchy and irritating.

This is not what Zoologists from the University of Oxford and the Royal Veterinary Hospital in Japan are focusing on though. In fact, they’ve discovered something very interesting. Continue reading

Robotic Arm to help Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Sufferers

robotic arm for duchenne

Image source: University of Twente

Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a robotic arm that improves the lives of people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The A-Gear robotic arm is the result of development work by a team of people from 4 different universities; the University of Twente’s MIRA research centre, the VU University Medical Centre Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and Radboud University Medical Centre. It is the first prototype that can support independent operation of the arm whilst still being discreet and body connected. The A-Gear can easily be worn under clothing and so there is less stigma attached to its use. Continue reading

Robotics and Research

a robotic armAll areas of engineering are evolving and developing and we like to keep an eye on what’s going on, reporting from time to time on innovative and sometimes controversial developments.

When it comes to robotics most of the things we’ve written about have been ground breaking developments that have meant that safety can be increased or that major improvements in quality of life can be achieved.

We even wrote about whether increased automation means that less skill will be required in the future. It seems the answer is no – operators still need to understand what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and what could go wrong. However, automation can and does help improve efficiency. Continue reading

Robotic arm controlled by thoughts

robotic-armThe sight of a paralysed woman controlling a robotic arm, using just her thoughts, was enough to dominate the headlines in 2012.

At the time, experts in the field said it was an “unprecedented performance” and a “remarkable achievement”.

Two years on, the same woman has taken another significant step towards restoring her natural movements by controlling the arm with a range of complex hand movements.

Jan Scheuermann, who has longstanding quadriplegia, is now able to give high fives and thumbs up.

The plaudits go to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, who have increased the manoeuvrability of the robotic arm from seven to 10 dimensions. Continue reading

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