News: Video: Boston Dynamics’ robot SpotMini could make your life easier

I don’t mean to start out by inciting panic, but will robots replace humans?

Automation seems to be creeping into our daily lives. We now have driverless cars that may ultimately eliminate taxi and Uber drivers. Drones that deliver our online orders could eventually replace the UPS courier. And tablets are replacing wait staff at some restaurants.

A recent Forbes article cites research from McKinsey that says 45% of current jobs can be done by machines.

Of course, many jobs in the manufacturing sector have already been replaced by automation. But we still need humans for other jobs that machines cannot do, and I especially refer to those frustrating chatbots that large companies employ for customer service. (Who’s with me on this?!)

Posted: 2018-09-12

News: Other materials stories that may be of interest

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory induced a two-dimensional material to cannibalize itself for atomic “building blocks” from which stable structures formed. The findings could improve design of 2-D materials for fast-charging energy-storage and electronic devices.

Heat transfer surprise could lead to thermal transistors

As much as 100 times more heat than predicted by the standard radiation theory can flow between two nanoscale objects, even at bigger-than-nanoscale distances, researchers have reported. The results could have implications for better solar cells and materials that behave like one-way valves for heat flow.

Posted: 2018-09-12

News: Ceramics UK—Brexit inspires 2019 trade show in UK

The U.K. will have its own ceramics conference in 2019.

Ceramics UK, a one-off exhibition and free-to-attend conference highlighting manufacturing, technology, business, and investment opportunities, will take place July 10–11, 2019 at the Telford International Centre in Shropshire, England. 

Ceramics UK is an opportunity for key decision makers to gather for two action-packed days to take advantage of wider trading relationships, according to organizers.

The event will attract not only directors and managers from across the ceramic industry, but design engineers and buyers from the major end-user sectors—automotive, aerospace, heat treatment, e-mobility, medical, electrical/electronics, energy storage, communications, defense, rail, construction, renewables, oil and gas, and nuclear.

Posted: 2018-09-12
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