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The returns and production practices for organic and conventional corn production are compared for 2010. The returns from organic corn production exceeded those from conventional production due mainly to higher organic prices that more than offset lower organic yields. Total operating and ownership costs per acre were not significantly different.
Production has shifted to larger farms in most agricultural commodity sectors over the last two decades. This is especially true for dairy farms, where a major transformation of the sector has reduced the number of dairy farms by nearly 60 percent over the past 20 years, even as total milk production increased by one-third.
The idea of a bike with pedal assistance is very old, dating back to 1860, when pedal assistance was thought of as a steam machine that would give power to the back wheel of a bike. In 1895, the first direct-drive hub motor was developed, which, as a concept, still remains today. In 1897, the first idea for a mid-drive system was born, but wasn’t quite a finished idea. In 1898, the idea was developed of a direct-drive motor that is concentric with a shaft that powers a rotor atop the rear tire to make a friction drive. Read more »
Not too long ago, the idea of bringing intelligence to physical objects in our world and interconnecting them might have seemed like science fiction. Yet it is happening right now, as the phenomenon we call the Internet of Things (IoT) takes shape.
Since the first demonstration of a radio-controlled car in 1925, the automotive industry has been seeking to build a reliable driverless vehicle. The safety of robot-quick reflexes and predictive algorithms, combined with the convenience of effortless travel, is appealing. For those who cannot physically drive, an autonomous car allows a new level of freedom. Read more »
The military has used and experimented with robots that perform functions such as scouting and surveillance, carrying supplies and detecting and disposing of improvised homemade bombs. However, when it comes to integrating lethality, such as a weapon capable of firing 10 rounds per second onto an unmanned ground vehicle, issues arise such as safety, effectiveness and reliability, as well as military doctrine on how much human involvement is required.
Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center recently gave the Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) the ability to detect explosive materials. The original JCAD was developed and fielded to U.S. Forces nearly 25 years ago, to serve as a portable, automatic chemical warfare agent detector. Currently there are approximately 56,000 chemical warfare agent detecting JCADs in service within the Department of Defense. Read more »
When an Army Special Forces officer‑turned engineer puts his mind to designing a military riflescope, he doesn’t forget the importance of creating something for the soldiers who will carry it that is easy to use, extremely accurate, light‑weight and has long‑lasting battery power. The result is the Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR) prototype, developed by Sandia National Laboratories optical engineer Brett Bagwell. Read more »
Research scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have demonstrated a new technique for generating electrical energy. The method can be used in harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations of the environment and converting it into electricity. Energy harvesters are needed in wireless self-powered sensors and medical implants, where they could ultimately replace batteries. The technology could be introduced on an industrial scale within three to six years.
A car powered by its own body panels could soon be driving on our roads after a breakthrough in nanotechnology research by a Queensland University of Technology (Australia) team. They developed lightweight supercapacitors that can be combined with regular batteries to dramatically boost the power of an electric car. The supercapacitors were made into a thin and extremely strong film with a high power density.