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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Surgical Robots Fold Tiny Paper Airplanes

April 6, 2011 7:38 am | Videos

Dr. James Porter, the medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish hospital in Seattle, has used their da Vinci surgical robot for a little after-hours challenge: folding a tiny paper airplane with the incredible precision and dexterity the system provides. One can only imagine the possibilities if this sort of technology finds its way into manufacturing someday.

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A Cruelly Effective Alarm Clock

April 6, 2011 7:36 am | Videos

Most of us don't like waking up in the morning, but an alarm clock (or two) is enough to get us out of bed and to work in time. YouTube user stampmaille , on the other hand, is a pretty deep sleeper. Luckily, he has the technical prowess to build himself the world's most brutal alarm clock, which includes some air compressors and one big air cylinder.

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The New Global Economy

April 6, 2011 7:27 am | Videos

The recession is over and economies across the globe are awakening to a new reality: The recoveries are uneven, and the United States isn't the fastest growing economy. In the past, countries like China and India have come to depend on the U.S. and other Western economies for growth. Not anymore. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Building A Better, Stronger Mankind

April 6, 2011 7:23 am | Videos

Eythor Bender, the CEO of Berkeley Bionics , has been working hard on exoskeletons, which attempt to fuse the boundaries between humans and robots, in order to supplement users' natural abilities. The HULC allows soldiers to carry more gear into battle without experiencing chronic back injuries, while the eLEGS could serve both regular Americans and wounded veterans.

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The Science Of Beer

March 30, 2011 6:58 am | Videos

Grant Wood, a brewmaster with Sam Adams, discusses the chemistry involved in producing one of the world's most popular beverages. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you’d like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.

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Playing Catch With Helicopters

March 30, 2011 6:58 am | Videos

At the ETH Flying Machine Arena in Switzerland, researchers are figuring out all-new ways for robots to play "catch." These quatrocopters are paired with a motion-sensing camera above, and some complex computer software that allows them to predict the ball's trajectory for accurate bouncing.

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Our Greatest Invention: The Washing Machine

March 30, 2011 6:54 am | Videos

Hans Rosling, famous for previous TED Talks featuring data presented in interesting ways, claims that the washing machine is one of the greatest inventions of industrialization, not because it's particularly sophisticated or innovative, but rather because it provides time to do other things than wash clothes by hand.

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The Ultimate Slingshot

March 30, 2011 6:53 am | Videos

We all know true genius when we see it. Joerg Sprave , known on YouTube for his slingshot-based R&D efforts, has developed one more bizarre and completely unnecessary slingshot. Instead of the usual lead balls, it launches machetes . Yes, that's right. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Merging Man And Machine

March 24, 2011 4:22 am | Videos

Will man and machine actually merge at some point in the future? Some people think so, if only to compete in a increasingly technology-oriented world. Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that corporations, as well as other large entities, will be created and destroyed based on whether or not they embrace the fusion of humanity and technology.

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The New King Of DIY

March 24, 2011 4:14 am | Videos

A lot of people like to do a little "home-grown" science, but Ben Krasnow takes that tendency to a whole new level with a homemade scanning electron microscope. The video is a little long, but the dedication and eye for precision are quite impressive, to say the least. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Boeing's Newest Jumbo Jet Takes Flight

March 21, 2011 9:12 am | Videos

On Monday, Boeing first flew its new 747-8 jumbo jet, which can hold up to 467 passengers and fly 8,000 nautical miles. The first video shows the four-engine beast lift into the air, and the second, of course, shows its successful landing back to the ground. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Tearing Down The Beauty Of LCDs

March 21, 2011 6:46 am | Videos

Surprise, surprise — Bill is back with a tear-down and explanation of how liquid crystal displays (LCDs) work. Chances are you're looking at one right now. The technology behind them — which involves diffusing light across the entire width and length of the screen, followed by unique polarizers and "sub-pixels" — is nothing short of incredible.

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How Smoke Detectors Work

March 16, 2011 10:41 am | Videos

Once again we turn to Bill, the “Engineer Guy,” to explain how the world works. This time? Smoke detectors. It turns out, a miniscule piece of radioactive material, Americium, works in conjunction with a special integrated circuit, called a MOSFET (or Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor).

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The New American Dream

March 16, 2011 10:14 am | Videos

CNN's Fareed Zakaria explores the future potential of America's workforce and the new American dream. According to Zakaria, Americans need to focus on acquiring skills that will allow them to become mobile, dynamic, and entrepreneurial workers. The old American Dream doesn't work anymore, so it's necessary to change with the times.

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Relying On A Smarter Supply Chain

March 16, 2011 9:57 am | Videos

For those businesses who import or export goods from Japan, particularly those that rely upon Japanese-based suppliers, the supply chain is about to get a bit trickier. CNBC sat down with Jeffrey Schwartz of Global Logistic Properties, and Jon Langenfield of Robert W. Baird & Co. Despite a massive recovery effort, many businesses have sprung back extraordinarily quickly, as Schwartz reports, and with a more integrated global supply chain, perhaps things aren't as bad as many had originally thought.

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Are U.S. Nuclear Plants Safe From Disaster?

March 16, 2011 9:56 am | Videos

With the cascading issues at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant gaining much international press attention, many are starting to wonder whether or not America's own nuclear plants are safe from disaster. CBS sat down with Cham Dallas, professor at the University of Georgia, to discuss some of the concerns.

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A Whole New Kind Of Flight

March 8, 2011 8:12 am | Videos

Keeping on track with this week’s videos of innovative technology, we offer Yves Rossy, a Swiss military and commercial pilot. He is the inventor of a jet-propelled wing, and he remains the only man to pilot one of these machines. The craft uses four model turbine engines for power, and carbon fiber wings to provide enough lift to keep Rossy — also known as Jetman — from plummeting to the earth.

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'Making' Trash Into Art

March 8, 2011 4:48 am | Videos

Two weeks ago, we featured a video of Dale Dougherty, publisher of MAKE magazine, talking about how we are all "makers." Well, this video shows almost exactly what Dougherty — and we — were talking about there. Reuben Margolin creates kinetic sculptures, which are a form of artwork he builds using found materials, such as cardboard tubes and scrap metal.

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The Blind Leading... Themselves?

March 8, 2011 4:18 am | Videos

Today's technology is being leveraged to actually help people, which is one of the most exciting and inspiring aspects of this most recent age of tech innovation. CBS News reports on an artificial retina that could restore partial vision to the blind and may soon be approved by the FDA. Then, the network discusses how the device works and how it could change the lives for people with certain types of blindness.

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Bill Gates Wants Energy Miracles

March 8, 2011 3:19 am | Videos

Bill Gates, well-known for being the founder and main proprietor of Microsoft for many years, now heads a foundation that invests in forward-thinking technology to help propel the world into a better future. As he explains in this talk, the key to solving the world's energy crisis isn't in making Americans use less, or taking away the services that we hold dear, but rather using technology that creates energy with little environmental backlash.

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