A team of four mechanical engineering students from the University of Pennsylvania won the 2013 Dyson Award competition, along with a $48,000 donation for their development of Titan Arm, a powered upper-body exoskeleton. An additional $16,000 was also awarded to UPenn’s engineering department.
The 43rd annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards gala held last week in Livonia, Mich., recognized automotive innovation and the use of plastics in ground transportation across eight categories. Teams made up of OEMs, polymer producers, and tier suppliers were nominated based on their criteria and why their part or system deserved the title of “Year’s Most Innovative Use of Plastics.” Click through the gallery for each winning design.
New research from Georgia Institute of Technology shows that when given the choice between robots with a human appearance, a mix of human and robotic appearance, or a strictly robotic appearance, 60% of older adults want robots with human faces, and only 6% want ones that have a mixed human-robot appearance.
Motion control equipment automates retractable shades inside a prize-winning sustainable smart house built by Virginia Tech University. The project is called Lumenhaus, an 800 sq. ft. solar powered home that features a linear motion control system from Thomson Industries (Wood Dale, Ill.), and servo motors by Kollmorgen Corp (Radford, Va.).
The Igor Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Award (a $250,000 engineering prize) was unclaimed for 33 years, but the University of Toronto recently claimed the prize with an aircraft called Atlas, which weighs 121.4 lbs., and spans 162 ft. The record-setting, pedal powered flight lasted 69.3 seconds and reached an altitude of 3.3 m (10.83ft). The U of T engineering team was led by former students Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert, who piloted the Atlas. But U of T was an underdog.