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    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Tom_F, Aug 28, 2009.

    1. Tom_F

      Tom_F Member

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      I'm based in a business/engineering incubator in Sheffield. They are planning an event for engineering/manufacturing event featuring the most up to date and forward thinking techniques as the theme and I've been asked if I have any ideas on a specific theme. Any ideas people?! Sensible ones please!! :)
       
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    3. MechEngineer

      MechEngineer Member

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      A few options could be:

      1) Robotics - some pretty amazing adavances over the last few years.
      2) Nanotechnology.
      3) Prototyping methods advancing to become realistic manufacturing processes (e.g. SLA). How long before everyone has a 3D printer in their home?
      4) New user interfaces e.g. tough screen technology.
       
    4. Tom_F

      Tom_F Member

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      Thanks MechEngineer, some great suggestions, particularily the robotics idea. I'm going to avoid the prototyping idea for now though as it's a little overdone at the moment, especially seeing as it's a LONG time before that kind of technology makes it into the domestic market.
       
    5. kenny82

      kenny82 Well-Known Member

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      Mech Engineer... I think your robots idea is a good one. did anyone see this robot? cHJJQ0zNNOM&feature=fvst
      It's a bit scary actually like it could be some kind of prototype terminator... check out the bit where the guy tries to kick it :shock:
       
    6. Pete

      Pete Well-Known Member

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      There's something quite creepy about that - especially when it loses its footing on the ice!

      That reminds me of a study I came across while at uni - how people will only trust technology so far. For example, cruise control in cars is fine, and people have come to terms with the fact that if you car gets to close to another it will break. But what if the car then sped up? Ok, so long as you have some space, but if you car could then pull out from lanes and go around corners... but what if it didn’t. What if you’d forget to turn it on or it broke. There is a massive amount of trust required which human nature seems to have trouble coping with.

      I wonder if the same might be said for robotics. Those legs and the fluidity and reactions to it falling over were extremely 'life-like'. Maybe there's a part of me / human's that need robots to remain slightly detached and ... robotic? Just me then?
       
    7. PeterB

      PeterB Member

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      Robotics could be a useful starting point as there are some interesting developments in that field recently, including in the prosthetic area as well as in potential domestic products.

      Bio-mechanics and neural-computing (is that the right word?) seem to be fairly high on the agenda of university research and computer science departments.

      So, give it a go?
       
    8. PeterB

      PeterB Member

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      As a follow up to my previous posting, I attended a KTN event yesterday, during which a company from Sheffield presented some very interesting metal/polymer composite nanomaterials, with fascinating properties.

      They looked like just the kind of topic to introduce to your event, because not only were these properties useful in general mechanical engineering/design, but had characteristics that would be highly useful in robotics and prosthetics fields too.
       

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