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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Would You Stick Tweezers In This Power Strip?

April 19, 2011 7:59 am

Products don't always perform as advertised. In some cases, that's a major concern. The $70 Wet Circuits 4-outlet power strip claims it is resistant to water and you can stick tweezers into the sockets without  electrocuting yourself to death. Techland's Doug Aamoth put those claims to the test.

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Unlocking A Locked-In Artist

April 19, 2011 7:54 am

The inventor Mark Ebeling showcases his collaborative creation, the EyeWriter . The project began to help paralyzed graffiti artist, TEMPT, create art again, and developed into an open-source project that anyone can help improve. Better yet, anyone can make one of the devices, giving other paralyzed patients an incredibly affordable and versatile option for communicating with the rest of the world.

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Get A Checkmate With CNC

April 19, 2011 7:51 am

I know many of you are familiar with CNC milling — perhaps you even do your fair share during the work day — but it's hard not to appreciate the incredible complexity, not to mention the engineering, that goes into these processes. According to Glacern Machine Tools, the process involves turning out of a 2.

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Deleting CDs With Electrocution

April 19, 2011 7:47 am

Need to delete the information from some CDs? You’d be hard-pressed to find a more over-the-top (or cool-looking) way to get the job done. 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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Saving Lives By Cutting Out Drivers

April 13, 2011 9:18 am

Sebastain Thrun helped build Google’s driverless car, which can navigate through almost any real-life driving scenario, all without any human interaction. At the end of the day, the project isn’t about the technology itself, but rather what it can do for everyone on the road. As Thrun explains, the benefits for machine-controlled motoring are numerous, if done correctly.

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Robots Master The Art Of Flying

April 13, 2011 6:55 am

The SmartBird — a development from Festo, a manufacturer and developer of automation technology for industrial markets — is an ultralight, robotic replica of a bird, down to the subtle motions that make natural flight possible. The bird can take off, fly, and land autonomousy thanks to wings that beat just like a real bird's.

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Manufacturing A 'Better' Putter

April 13, 2011 6:47 am

Robert Bettinardi takes us inside his manufacturing facility, where his company makes sophisticated milled putters from solid blocks of carbon steel. Some of you golfers might take offense to some of what Mr. Bettinardi says in regards to his own product versus the traditional putter, but it's not difficult to appreciate the engineering and dedication put into the manufacturing process itself.

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The Science Of Space Debris

April 13, 2011 6:46 am

Holger Krag, a space debris analyst for the European Space Agency, explains how a piece of space debris — even as small as a cherry — will strike a manned craft or a satellite with the force of a hand grenade. With so much at stake, how do we protect our astronauts from being pelted by the 16,000 bits of junk soaring through Earth's orbit? 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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Surgical Robots Fold Tiny Paper Airplanes

April 6, 2011 7:38 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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