Engineering Newswire: Snake robot enables automated aircraft wing assembly

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 8:19am
Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development

Today on Engineering Newswire, we're etching comics on human hairs, building wings with snakes, and cutting the PD and D Logo on a desktop CNC. Today's episode features:

Snake robot: Thanks to a snake-like robot produced by the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, automated aircraft wing assembly may be in the near future. Until now, aircraft assembly has involved a high proportion of manual processes, which limits production output.

The world's smallest comic strip: Hoping to show what microfabrication makes possible, a research team chose hair as their medium to create the world's smallest comic strip. Because it's a good electrical insular, the hair retained an electric charge that deflected the ion beam and made etching impossible.

Desktop milling wonder: The Nomad CNC Mill has taken Kickstarter by storm with successful funding in less than 15 hours. Though the Nomad is strictly a "desktop CNC," meaning there's no coolant and the max tool size is a quarter inch, it can handle soft metals and composites, and it can mill everything from aluminum to wood faster than bigger machines.


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