Not content to let scientists figure out how to engineer animals and plants depending on the situation, DARPA wants to generalize the process, creating a manufacturing framework for all living things. The “Living Foundries” program sets up an assembly line paradigm for life and its constituent parts, and the DOD’s crazy-science arm just handed out its first research grants.
Along with annoyingly adhering to your TV screen and tabletops, dust can be a deadly material, exploding with enormously destructive force in places like coal mines, sugar refineries and grain silos. The explosive properties of normal dust are pretty well known, but what about non-traditional dust?
Foxconn, the Taiwan-based factory firm that makes nearly half the world’s electronics, aims to replace 1 million of its workers with robots within in the next three years, the company announced over the weekend.
Despite our best efforts, humans are still not as skilled at making life as life forms are themselves. So naturally, DARPA would like to take advantage of that skill. A new program called “Living Foundries” seeks to use biology as a manufacturing platform, enabling the creation of new materials that are impossible to make today.
Back in 2009, we told you about the skin factory concept at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, where scientists hoped to mass-produce skin at low cost for clinical testing and other uses. Now it’s come online, with robots squeezing pink solution into pipettes and turning out sheets of human flesh. Der Spiegel took a look inside.
A new cheerful factory robot aims to keep European industry competitive by working alongside humans, smiling when it accomplishes a task or when its bosses ensure it stays busy. The pi4_workerbot, developed at Fraunhofer labs, has fingertip sensitivity — it completes the perennially difficult robot task of grasping an egg — and a variety of facial expressions.
Cutting through solid steel with flaming bacon certainly has its appeal, but for large-scale industrial processes, the Fraunhofer institute thinks electromagnetic pulses may work better than the other white heat. Case in point: their new electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device that cuts through steel faster than a laser, and cheaper than a machine tool.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.