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Robotics, 3-D Printing, Drones Lead 2015 Tech Innovations

时间:2016-01-01 15:44来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Robotics, 3-D Printing, Drones Lead 2015 Tech Innovations

The waning1 year’s advances in computer hardware and software, mechanical devices, sensors3 and artificial intelligence brought the world another step closer to the robotic future.

Electric cars were a big hit in 2015. Most large manufacturers introduced higher mileage4 models; some, such as Honda, pushed for alternate energy sources.

"We want to create a society that produces uses, and connects with hydrogen power," said the company's CEO, Tahakiro Hachigo.

Self-driving vehicles were also getting closer to everyday use. Even an autonomous5 truck, built by Mercedes, demonstrated its ability to safely navigate6 on a busy highway.

Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler AG’s trucks and buses division, showed how he could "take my hands off the wheel and, as you can see, the steering7 is smooth and the vehicle remains8 on track." 

3-D printing ideas abound9

On another front, 3-D printing technology has emerged as a cheaper way of manufacturing almost anything – from pastries10 to cars.

Divergent Microfactories, a startup company in Palo Alto, California, rolled out a 3-D printed chassis11 that weighs "only 102 pounds and has the same strength and safety protection as a frame made out of steel," chief designer Brad Balzer said.

The 3-D technology soon could play a role in resolving the global housing shortage, said Ma Yihe, CEO of China’s WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co.

"We use urban construction waste, mine tailings and urban solid wastes as raw materials," said Ma, whose company is headquartered in Shanghai. "We sort them by category and we transform them into a special printing ink."

Robots step forward

Robots also gained new ground, serving as human-like receptionists and robotic barmen or providing exoskeletons that help paralyzed people walk again.

Cheng-Hua Wu, an inventor for Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute, touted12 the Walking Assistive Exoskeleton Robot as a potential boon13 to people with severe spinal14 cord injury, for instance.

Certain patients paralyzed from the chest down "are able to use our robot to stand, walk and sit down," Cheng-hua said. The device, made of aluminum15 and carbon fiber16, weighs 20 kilograms (44 pounds).

Mind-controlled prostheses continue to promise great help for amputees.

The Icelandic firm Ossur introduced a bionic prosthetic leg that’s paired with a tiny sensor2 placed in residual17 tissue. The sensor conducts electrical impulses from the amputee’s brain to the bionic leg, allowing a more natural gait.

"We put sensors into the muscles, and the muscles would pick up the signals, and the signals move their way into the prosthetics, and then the prosthetics react as your brain wants," said Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, an orthopedic surgeon and Ossur’s research director.

High-flying drones

Drones also made a big mark in 2015. Pilotless floating and flying vehicles have started exploring marine18 hydrology and biology, fighting big-game poachers in Africa, helping19 farmers survey and analyze20 their crops, and even inspecting large aircraft for possible damage.

Meanwhile, software developers are finding more and more practical uses for smartphones.

Samuel K. Sia, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, helped develop an inexpensive accessory that can detect several infectious disease markers from a droplet21 of blood in just 15 minutes.

"Instead of doing a blood draw and getting that sample sent to a lab, you can actually [analyze] it on the spot with just a finger prick22 of blood and you get the result in 15 minutes with a very similar quality as doing the test in a lab," Sia said of the device. A pilot model is being used to test for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and syphilis.

Virtual reality also made big splash in the gaming industry and beyond with sophisticated headsets that transport users to different worlds.

"Virtual reality is definitely the most exciting technology in the industry right now," said Jon Hicks, a journalist working for the Gamer Network.

Also worth noting: In 2015, Microsoft introduced the newest version of the most popular operating system, Windows 10. For the first time, the company made the OS available for download free of charge.


1 waning waning     
adj.(月亮)渐亏的,逐渐减弱或变小的n.月亏v.衰落( wane的现在分词 );(月)亏;变小;变暗淡
  • Her enthusiasm for the whole idea was waning rapidly. 她对整个想法的热情迅速冷淡了下来。
  • The day is waning and the road is ending. 日暮途穷。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
2 sensor sz7we     
  • The temperature sensor is enclosed in a protective well.温度传感器密封在保护套管中。
  • He plugged the sensor into a outlet.他把传感器插进电源插座。
3 sensors 029aee483db9ae244d7a5cb353e74602     
n.传感器,灵敏元件( sensor的名词复数 )
  • There were more than 2000 sensors here. 这里装有两千多个灵敏元件。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Significant changes have been noted where sensors were exposed to trichloride. 当传感器暴露在三氯化物中时,有很大变化。 来自辞典例句
4 mileage doOzUs     
  • He doesn't think there's any mileage in that type of advertising.他认为做那种广告毫无效益。
  • What mileage has your car done?你的汽车跑了多少英里?
5 autonomous DPyyv     
  • They proudly declared themselves part of a new autonomous province.他们自豪地宣布成为新自治省的一部分。
  • This is a matter that comes within the jurisdiction of the autonomous region.这件事是属于自治区权限以内的事务。
6 navigate 4Gyxu     
  • He was the first man to navigate the Atlantic by air.他是第一个飞越大西洋的人。
  • Such boats can navigate on the Nile.这种船可以在尼罗河上航行。
7 steering 3hRzbi     
  • He beat his hands on the steering wheel in frustration. 他沮丧地用手打了几下方向盘。
  • Steering according to the wind, he also framed his words more amicably. 他真会看风使舵,口吻也马上变得温和了。
8 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
9 abound wykz4     
  • Oranges abound here all the year round.这里一年到头都有很多橙子。
  • But problems abound in the management of State-owned companies.但是在国有企业的管理中仍然存在不少问题。
10 pastries 8f85b501fe583004c86fdf42e8934228     
  • He gave a dry laugh, then sat down and started on the pastries. 杜新箨说着干笑一声,坐下去就吃点心。 来自子夜部分
  • Mike: So many! I like Xijiang raisins, beef jerky, and local pastries. 麦克:太多了。我最喜欢吃新疆葡萄干、牛肉干和风味点心。
11 chassis BUxyK     
  • The new parts may include the sheet metal,the transmission,or the chassis.新部件可能包括钢壳,变速器或底盘。
  • Can chassis and whole-vehicle manufacturers co-exist peacefully?底盘企业和整车企业能相安无事吗?
12 touted 00151f908b31d984fd20d8b48dba34f3     
v.兜售( tout的过去式和过去分词 );招揽;侦查;探听赛马情报
  • She's being touted as the next leader of the party. 她被吹捧为该党的下一任领导人。
  • People said that he touted for his mother and sister. 据说,他给母亲和姐姐拉生意。 来自辞典例句
13 boon CRVyF     
  • A car is a real boon when you live in the country.在郊外居住,有辆汽车确实极为方便。
  • These machines have proved a real boon to disabled people.事实证明这些机器让残疾人受益匪浅。
14 spinal KFczS     
  • After three days in Japan,the spinal column becomes extraordinarily flexible.在日本三天,就已经使脊椎骨变得富有弹性了。
  • Your spinal column is made up of 24 movable vertebrae.你的脊柱由24个活动的脊椎骨构成。
15 aluminum 9xhzP     
  • The aluminum sheets cannot be too much thicker than 0.04 inches.铝板厚度不能超过0.04英寸。
  • During the launch phase,it would ride in a protective aluminum shell.在发射阶段,它盛在一只保护的铝壳里。
16 fiber NzAye     
  • The basic structural unit of yarn is the fiber.纤维是纱的基本结构单元。
  • The material must be free of fiber clumps.这种材料必须无纤维块。
17 residual SWcxl     
  • There are still a few residual problems with the computer program.电脑程序还有一些残留问题。
  • The resulting residual chromatism is known as secondary spectrum.所得到的剩余色差叫做二次光谱。
18 marine 77Izo     
  • Marine creatures are those which live in the sea. 海洋生物是生存在海里的生物。
  • When the war broke out,he volunteered for the Marine Corps.战争爆发时,他自愿参加了海军陆战队。
19 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
20 analyze RwUzm     
vt.分析,解析 (=analyse)
  • We should analyze the cause and effect of this event.我们应该分析这场事变的因果。
  • The teacher tried to analyze the cause of our failure.老师设法分析我们失败的原因。
21 droplet Ur7xl     
  • The rate of droplet growth under different conditions can be evaluated.可以计算在不同条件下的云滴增长率。
  • The test results showed that increasing droplet size was associated with better stability.试验结果表明,增加液滴尺寸将使稳定性提高。
22 prick QQyxb     
  • He felt a sharp prick when he stepped on an upturned nail.当他踩在一个尖朝上的钉子上时,他感到剧烈的疼痛。
  • He burst the balloon with a prick of the pin.他用针一戳,气球就爆了。
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