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The Quest for Intelligent Robots

The Quest for Intelligent Robots Today, robots readily repeat routine assembly tasks, but what's needed for the future is more intelligence. The impetus toward the next generation of intelligent machines was recently addressed at a conference cosponsored by the European Science Foundation and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Toward making robots more like humans, cognitive science and robotics scientists presented the challenges. [Pictured: robot with its biological brain, AFP/DIEM Photo/Reading Univ.] In each area progress has been made, but more work needs to be done:

• Coordinating robotic movements to mimic smooth human actions
• Programming robots to walk via the Zero-Moment Point principle
• Empowering adaptable robots that learn from their mistakes
• Helping robots actively learn to perform certain tasks via imitation and coaching
• Communicating human knowledge more accurately to robots

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Bolting Solutions
Superbolt, Inc.

New Pressure Sensor Solution Starting at €97 National's high-performance series brings dramatically improved sound quality to high-fidelity consumer and professional audio equipment. National manufactures Class AB and Class D amplifiers and audio subsystems for speakers, headphones, and ceramic and piezoelectric speakers. National makes it easier to design better, richer-sounding systems with our acclaimed Boomer® and Overture® lines. With the capability to process an order, from order entry to shipping, in as little as 15 mins., Digi-Key processes more than 99% of its orders the same day.

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Electronic Components Distribution . . .
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National's Audio Solutions Available from Digi-Key
Digi-Key Corporation

New Pressure Sensor Solution Starting at €97 National's high-performance series brings dramatically improved sound quality to high-fidelity consumer and professional audio equipment. National manufactures Class AB and Class D amplifiers and audio subsystems for speakers, headphones, and ceramic and piezoelectric speakers. National makes it easier to design better, richer-sounding systems with our acclaimed Boomer® and Overture® lines. With the capability to process an order, from order entry to shipping, in as little as 15 mins., Digi-Key processes more than 99% of its orders the same day.

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Fasteners & Hardware . . .
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Research Fastening Options Early On

Research Fastening Options Early On In trying to implement lean manufacturing and increase automation for optimal cost savings, designers often overlook the importance of fastener selection until a product design is almost complete. Even though fasteners are only typically 3% of total assembly cost, their effect on assembly operations and overall quality can be significantly greater, according to Joe Greenslade, the Industrial Fastener Institute's director of engineering technology. Read how to avoid this scenario in this Design News article.

Floating Panel Fasteners Correct Alignment

Floating Panel Fasteners Correct Alignment Targeted for panels of any hardness, floating panel fasteners correct for mating thread misalignment up to 0.060 in. (1.52 mm). Designed for service access to an assembly, the fasteners feature anti-cross-threading technology and need only minimal squeezing force to install. The captive screws are available in thread sizes #4-40 to ¼-20 plus M3 to M6 and come with mating washers.

Design for Assembly . . .
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Not Your Father's Speedo
 

Not Your Father's Speedo The number of high-tech swimsuits that debuted at the 2008 Olympics is still uncertain as of this writing. The latest Speedo suit (NASA designed) with a hidden zipper is made of polyurethane panels ultrasonically bonded together to produce minimal drag. Read about the other supersuits. With all the records being broken, undoubtedly all the details will soon be available. Stay tuned! [Photo, Mike Stobe/Getty Images]

Computerized Assembly Confirms Correct Cable Connection

Computerized Assembly Confirms Correct Cable Connection Utilizing light fibers and very bright LCDs, a computer-assisted assembly method doubles the assembly rate vs manual for high-reliability circular connectors. In operation, the technique illuminates connector cavities. After a wire code for an unconnected wire is input, computer software lights up the corresponding cavity to guide the assembler. If assembled correctly, no light appears; if not, seeing flashing light indicates an incorrect assembly. [Access to this article may require a short registration.]

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North America's Largest Metal Forming, Fabricating, and Welding Exposition
FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show

North America's Largest Metal Forming, Fabricating and Welding Exposition Attend the FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, October 6 - 8 in Las Vegas to evaluate new technology, network, and compare products. It's the most cost-effective way to see more than 900 suppliers, problem-solve, and find ways to increase productivity and improve profits. Get your complimentary badge today at www.fmafabtech.com!

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Adhesives & Sealants . . .
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In Search of the Elusive Leakproof Joint

In Search of the Elusive Leakproof Joint As plastic components continue to replace their metal counterparts and multipart assemblies, adhesive bonding has become the joining method of choice. But to achieve the attendant performance advantages of leakproof adhesive bondlines — aesthetic appearance, improved resistance to stress concentrations, better vibration damping, etc. — over mechanical fasteners and spot welds — surface prep is key. Fortunately, this Machine Design article covers all the "tricks of the trade" for thermoplastic and thermoset plastics.

Locking Threads at 650° F

Locking Threads at 650 F Developed to endure both heat and stress up to 650° F, new threadlocking adhesives eliminate leakage and loosening of threaded fasteners via shock and vibration. One adhesive is designed for hand-tool disassembly at ambient temperatures; its high-strength counterpart needs a 650° F exposure before hand tools can remove nuts/bolts. Both are anaerobic, solidifying in the absence of air.

Welding & Joining Technologies . . .
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Double Digit Productivity Gains via GMAW-P

Double Digit Productivity Gains via GMAW-P If you haven't taken a close look at pulsed gas metal arc welding (GMAW-P) recently you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that the process is much simpler today and typically results in two-digit productivity improvements. It's heartily recommended for aluminum, highly alloyed metals, and thin materials. Read all about its impressive advantages in the Welding Journal.

Navy Opts for Electron Beam Welding

Navy Opts for Electron Beam Welding Electron beam welding of first reduction gears on Virginia Class submarines is expected to slash fabrication time and manufacturing costs, while delivering higher-quality welds than traditional welding. The process change will empower single-pass, full-penetration welds to replace current double-sided and multiple pass welding, thereby minimizing magnetic particle testing. The Navy Metalworking Center's 14-month project is also predicted to simplify machining and maximize fit up via narrow welds.

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Boker's Complimentary 2008 Washer
Catalog

Boker's, Inc.

Boker's Complimentary 2008 Washer Catalog

Boker's complimentary 2008 Washer Catalog has over 22,000 non-standard sizes available with no tooling charges. Outside diameters of 0.080 in. to 5.140 in., a wide range of IDs and thicknesses, and 2,000 material variations provide millions of possibilities. Materials include low-carbon sheet steel, five types of spring steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, nickel silver, and non-metallics. ISO 9001:2000 Registered.

Learn more.

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Careers & Commentary . . .
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Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online!
Villanova University Online

Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online! Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online!

Be among the first to receive PMBOK® Guide — Fourth Edition-based training. Learn 100% online from acclaimed Villanova University. Save up to $1,540 now!

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January 28, 2010 - Volume 5 Issue 1
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