Driverless Trucks More Man Than Machine
Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology will put their driverless Volvo FH16 to the test this week at the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge, a collaborative competition that pits autonomous vehicles from various universities against one another.
But the Chalmers team has taken a different approach to the self-driving vehicle, making the FH16 to be more like an animal than a technical system. Because, as they say, biological systems are the best autonomous systems we know of ... for now anyway.
All of information that the truck pulls in from sensors and cameras is converted into a format that resembles the way in which humans and animals interpret the world via their senses. This enables the truck to adapt to unexpected situations in its basic design.
Instead of just one large program with dedicated functions for all conceivable situations, the team is working on small behavioral blocks that aim to make the truck react to various stimuli, just like an animal.
Their software is called OpenDLV, and is being developed as open source code. The group hopes that researchers around the world will join the project by running and developing the software in their own vehicles.
Lockheed Gets $425M for Torpedo Sonar Systems
Under a contract valued up to $425 million, Lockheed Martin will provide the U.S. Navy the latest advancements in sonar systems for the MK 48 Mod 7 torpedo. The deal is part of a five-year effort to increase the amount of heavyweight torpedoes for the submarine fleet to more than 250.
The guidance and control systems will give the torpedoes better targeting and tracking capabilities. It will also provide advanced counter-measure capabilities.
The bulk of the work will be performed by Lockheed’s employees in Marion, Massachusetts, and the Santa Barbara, CA-based Channel Technologies Group will provide the acoustic arrays.
3D Printed Fashion Show
I flew down to Orlando last week for RAPID 2016. And while I saw some great new technology, it also gave me my first shot at a fashion show.
French 3D-printing service bureau Sculpteo sponsored the event and after I saw Anouk Wipprecht’s Spider Dress 2.0 walking the tradeshow floor before the event, I couldn't miss it. The Spider Dress is a 3D-printed bodice with spines that are activated by motion sensors.
The Virus Collection from Anastasia Ruiz was the first to hit the catwalk. The garments were 3D printed by Sculpteo, and the designer said she wanted to use her collection, which was inspired by cells, as a metaphor of the world today. A world that is constantly evolving and adapting.
Danit Peleg's collection was next. The designer was inspired to create pieces that could be printed at home on a consumer 3D printer and boasted more color than any others in the show. Just a bit more cheery.
Next up was Rachel Nhan's collection that combined large 3D printing pieces that were added to fabric.
And finally Sabina Saga's collection hit the stage. A mix of fabric and 3D printed parts, her all white collection showed how intricate designs can be designed and printed; they resembled almost a near future wedding dress. It also showed how they have a little less give, because that was a tight fitting mask. Tight fit all around.
This is Engineering By Design.