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Maintenance


— Music

Grundorf releases folding guitar maintenance table

By - March 11, 2015 1 Picture
Though the tone of a guitar won't be affected by regular maintenance, removing the accumulated gunk, giving it a good polish and paying some attention to the hardware will not only help it retain its looks, but it should play better, too. Trying to find a suitable surface to perform these essential tasks, having all the necessary tools at hand and making sure that the instrument is adequately supported can be quite a challenge. Grundorf's portable GMT-004 folds out to accommodate acoustic or electric guitars, includes compartments for stowing away tools, strings and supplies, and features a pop-up support for the instrument's neck. Read More
— Robotics

Snake-like robot to help automate aircraft wing construction

By - May 4, 2014 1 Picture
Although modern jet airliners may be at the cutting edge of technology, assembling them is, in many ways, still as much of a craft as 18th century shipbuilding, requiring loads of skill and manual labor to get the job done. The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU) in Chemnitz, Germany wants to bring airplane construction into the 21st century with a snake-like robot that can assemble airplane wings by reaching into narrow, hard to reach cavities. Read More
— Science

Fiber optics on the right wavelength to prevent rail accidents

By - October 2, 2013 1 Picture
A team from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is to release details of a seven-year program to monitor a 36-km stretch of high-speed rail line using a series of special fiber optic sensors . According to a press release put out by the Optical Society, the system has detected "anomalous vibrations" on 30 occasions, allowing the early rectification of emerging problems that could conceivably have gone on to cause rail accidents. Read More
— Automotive

Compact laser system scans road surfaces at 100 km/h

By - May 1, 2013 2 Pictures
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques have come up with a car-mounted laser scanner the size of a shoe box, that can survey the contours of road surfaces at speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph). The system detects potholes and other road damage in need of repair. According to the Institute, the Pavement Profile Scanner (or PPS) has surveyed 15,000 km of road since mid-2012, in which time it has proven cheaper, faster and more accurate than existing systems which require hefty attachments to the carrier vehicle. Read More
— Robotics

Inching SkySweeper robot provides cheap way to inspect powerlines

By - April 21, 2013 3 Pictures
If you look up at a power line in a few years and see something skittering along the wires, it (hopefully) won't be a mutant crab monster, but a powerline inspection robot costing less than US$1,000. A prototype of such a robot, called SkySweeper, was presented this month at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering's Research Expo. The robot was built with off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer. Read More
— Robotics

Prototype robots autonomously strip paint from aircraft using lasers

By - November 26, 2012 15 Pictures
If you think stripping paint off an end table can be a messy, time consuming job, imagine removing paint and other coatings from an aircraft like the C-130 transport plane. Tasked with developing a robotic system that would take such a chore out of the hands of maintenance personnel, Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, developed a team of robots that gets the job done – using laser beams, no less. Read More
— Automotive

Lubricheck will let drivers know when their oil needs changing

By - May 10, 2011 2 Pictures
Imagine if every time you bought a pair of socks, you automatically threw them out after six months, regardless of their condition. While you would certainly always have newer socks, you would also likely end up throwing away quite a few pairs that could have lasted a while longer. When it comes to changing the oil in our vehicles, most of us do take the “every X miles” approach, however, as there’s no easy way of telling if that oil really needs to be changed ... or is there? The designers of Lubricheck claim that their device will save money and minimize discarded oil, by analyzing samples of engine oil and letting drivers know if it’s still good. Read More
— Science

A mechanical transmission with no touching parts?

By - September 21, 2010 1 Picture
Satellites and other spacecraft, like most machines, have parts that move against one another. Unlike most machines, however, they operate in extremely cold conditions, their power source is often very limited, and lubricating or repairing them are not exactly easy tasks. It is for these reasons that researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are coordinating the three-year MAGDRIVE project – an international effort to create a mechanical transmission with no touching parts, that doesn’t need any lubrication. Read More
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