This week’s top 5 interesting engineering technology news articles looks at the 64th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards, the trouble with lithium-ion batteries and 8 ways electric engineering is changing medicine, to name a few!
- Lithium-ion Batteries Pack a lot of Energy – and Challenges
- The 64th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards
- NHTSA Wants Hybrinds, EVs to be Noisier
- 8 Ways Electric Engineering is Changing Medicine
- New Robotic Fish Glides Indefinitely
The Seattle Times
Lithium-ion Batteries Pack a lot of Energy – and Challenges
Everyone who has watched the news over the past several days has probably seen or heard something about Boeing’s issues with their 787 Dreamliner aircrafts. But this isn’t the first time that lithium-ion batteries are causing concerns for consumers. Do you remember when overheated lap tops caught fire – yep, lithium-ion batteries were the culprit here too.
The Seattle Times looks at the 787 news from the perspective of the typical challenges associated with the lithium-ion battery – mainly, even though they’re great at doing their job (lightest package at an affordable price), they’re also extremely prone to overheating and catching fire. I smell an engineering challenge!
In the early 90s, we started to see lithium-ion batteries everywhere from our phones, power tools and nearly all other consumer gadgets. Because the devices themselves were small, the heat was dissipated pretty easily. That’s not the case when you’re talking about batteries that are nearly twice the size of a car battery (like the ones in the 787 Dreamliner).
The National Academy of Television
The 64th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards
While this isn’t exactly an article per say, I wanted to raise this up for you all to see because I think it’s really important to recognize those who are doing cool things in the engineering technology space. On Thursday the 17th, the 64th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards were presented to a group of companies and individuals to honor their development and innovation in broadcast technology that have a significant effect on television engineering.
Categories like video-on-demand two-way infrastructure and signaling, or development of 3D software engines and HDMI bring a wide range of potential winners to the table. Past winners include big name companies such as Sony Corporation, Apple, Microsoft, DirecTV, Toshiba and others. This year, Apple is rumored to walk away with an award connected to the company’s cloud infrastructure.
Check back later for the full list of the winners!
NHTSA Wants Hybrinds, EVs to be Noisier
“Be vewy, vewy quite – I’m hutting wabbit.” Elmer Fudd might be able to catch Bugs Bunny if he jumped into one of today’s hybrid or electric vehicles as they are almost noiseless. However, that could change thanks to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA).
Over the past five years, pedestrian crash rates are higher among hybrids and electric vehicles (EV), sparking the NHTSA to order all manufacturers to make the cars noisier. However, manufacturers maintain the flexibility to design the sounds and how to implement the noise on these cars. Toyota already uses a Vehicle Proximity Notification System under the hood that emits engine like sounds while traveling under 15 MPH. NHTSA determined that for around $30 per vehicle, manufacturers could add an external speaker system which could help prevent about 2,800 injuries over the life of each vehicle model year.
As other manufacturers add their own systems, it will be interesting to see how they design, test and implement the new systems on hybrids and EVs to keep costs low for consumers while improving the safety for pedestrians. And, if Elmer Fudd ever got his hands onto a hybrid, Bugs would still be able to get away.
8 Ways Electric Engineering is Changing Medicine
Healthcare is a hot button issue for many people. But why should an engineering simulation company like ANSYS care? Easy – our software can be used to help progress much of the technology and instruments in the medical field.
This article discusses eight ways electrical engineering is changing medicine. Simulation greatly affects robotic systems, including the design and testing of new systems, and contact, flow and touch sensors, which all need to be tested prior to being used in surgeries and other medical tools.
As the medical industry continues to improve its technology and help people live healthier and longer lives, simulations will be right there helping to create and improve medical technology.
New Robotic Fish Glides Indefinitely
You’ve probably heard the saying: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck.” However, Michigan State University scientists and engineers are really trying to confuse you with their fish. Although it looks like a combination between a WWII plane and a fish, this fish can swim underwater autonomously for an indefinite period of time while measuring water conditions.
Grace (Gliding Robot ACE) was built to adapt to different environments, including shallow streams to deep lakes and calm ponds to rapid river currents. Tests have already been successfully tested, as Grace swam at three test sites, wirelessly submitting readings including water temperature, quality and other information.
As underwater gliders become more heavily used in oceanography, Grace may play an important part in furthering our understanding of water conditions, and simulations will be there to help.