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  • richardmitnick 5:48 pm on December 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Computational system streamlines the design of fluidic devices", , , , Fluidics, Mechanical Engineering, , , , With a new system the user only needs to specify the locations and speeds at which fluid enters and exits the device.   

    From The Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) At The Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Computational system streamlines the design of fluidic devices” 

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    From The Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

    at

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    12.9.22
    Adam Zewe

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    Researchers created a computational optimization pipeline that can automatically generate smooth designs for complex fluidic devices. Here, the pipeline uses 3D blocks which can vary their shape to produce a fluidic diffuser that channels liquid from one large opening to 16 smaller ones. Credit: Yifei Li/MIT CSAIL.

    Combustion engines, propellors, and hydraulic pumps are examples of fluidic devices — instruments that utilize fluids to perform certain functions, such as generating power or transporting water.

    Because fluidic devices are so complex, they are typically developed by experienced engineers who manually design, prototype, and test each apparatus through an iterative process that is expensive, time consuming, and labor-intensive. But with a new system, user only need to specify the locations and speeds at which fluid enters and exits the device — the computational pipeline then automatically generates an optimal design that achieves those objectives.

    The system could make it faster and cheaper to design fluidic devices for all sorts of applications, such as microfluidic labs-on-a-chip that can diagnose disease from a few drops of blood or artificial hearts that could save the lives of transplant patients.

    Recently, computational tools have been developed to simplify the manual design process, but these techniques have had limitations. Some required a designer to specify the device’s shape in advance, while others represented shapes using 3D cubes, known as voxels, that result in boxy, ineffective designs.

    The computational technique developed by researchers from MIT and elsewhere overcomes these pitfalls. Their design optimization framework doesn’t require a user to make assumptions about what a device should look like. And, the device’s shape automatically evolves during the optimization with smooth, rather than blocky, inexact boundaries. This enables their system to create more complex shapes than other methods.

    “Now you can do all these steps seamlessly in a computational pipeline. And with our system, you could potentially create better devices because you can explore new designs that have never been investigated using manual methods. Maybe there are some shapes that haven’t been explored by experts yet,” says Yifei Li, an electrical engineering and computer science graduate student who is lead author of a paper [ACM Transactions on Graphics (below)] detailing this system.

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    The researchers’ system uses 3D blocks that can vary their shape to smoothly generate a design for a fluidic diffuser that channels liquid from one large opening to 16 smaller openings. Credit: Yifei Li/MIT CSAIL.

    Co-authors include Tao Du, a former postdoc in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) who is now an assistant professor at Tsinghua University; and senior author Wojciech Matusik, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, who leads the Computational Design and Fabrication Group within CSAIL; as well as others at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, LightSpeed Studios, and Dartmouth College. The research will be presented at ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2022.

    Shaping a fluidic device

    The researchers’ optimization pipeline begins with a blank, three-dimensional region that has been divided into a grid of tiny cubes. Each of these 3D cubes, or voxels, can be used to form part of the shape of a fluidic device.

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    Fig. 1. The authors present a topology optimization pipeline for designing Stokes-flow fluidic systems with flexible and accurate boundary conditions. Our method automatically creates the structure of this fluidic twister on an 100 × 100 × 100 grid after optimizing nearly four million decision variables. The goal of this device is to generate a swirl flow at its outlet given a constant inflow. Left: our final design is made of spatially-varying anisotropic material which we
    visualize as a small disk in each voxel colored based on its anisotropic direction (bottom-left inset). Our method automatically synthesizes a propeller-like structure (top-right inset) to facilitate the vortex generation near the outlet. Middle: the flow simulated from the final design, visualized as streamlines. A vortex emerges near the outlet (top-right inset). Right: visualization of flows from the fluidic device after 1, 10, 20, and 50 iterations of topology optimization.

    One thing that separates their system from other optimization methods is how it represents, or “parameterizes,” these tiny voxels. The voxels are parameterized as anisotropic materials, which are materials that give different responses depending on the direction in which force is applied to them. For instance, wood is much weaker to forces that are applied perpendicular to the grain.

    They use this anisotropic material model to parameterize voxels as entirely solid (like one would find on the outside of the device), entirely liquid (the fluid within the device), and voxels that exist at the solid-fluid interface, which have properties of both solid and liquid material.

    “When you are going in the solid direction, you want to model the material properties of solids. But when you are going in the fluid direction, you want to model the behavior of fluids. This is what inspired us to use anisotropic materials to represent the solid-fluid interface. And it allows us to model the behavior of this region very accurately,” Li explains.

    Their computational pipeline also thinks about voxels differently. Instead of only using voxels as 3D building blocks, the system can angle the surface of each voxel and change its shape in very precise ways. Voxels can then be formed into smooth curves that enable intricate designs.

    Once their system has formed a shape using voxels, it simulates how fluid flows through that design and compares it to the user-defined objectives. Then it adjusts the design to better meet the objectives, repeating this pattern until it finds the optimal shape.

    With this design in hand, the user could utilize 3D printing technology to manufacture the device.

    Demonstrating designs

    Once the researchers created this design pipeline, they tested it against state-of-the-art methods known as parametric optimization frameworks. These frameworks require designers to specify in advance what they think the device’s shape should be.

    “Once you make that assumption, all you are going to get are variations of the shape within a shape family,” Li says. “But our framework doesn’t need you to make assumptions like that because we have such a high design degrees-of-freedom by representing this domain with many, tiny voxels, each of which can vary its shape.”

    In each test, their framework outperformed the baselines by creating smooth shapes with intricate structures that would likely have been too complex for an expert to specify in advance. For example, it automatically created a tree-shaped fluidic diffuser that transports liquid from one large inlet into 16 smaller outlets while bypassing an obstacle in the middle of the device.

    The pipeline also generated a propeller-shaped device to create a twisting flow of liquid. To achieve this complex shape, their system automatically optimized nearly 4 million variables.

    “I was really pleased to see that our pipeline was able to automatically grow a propellor-shaped device for this fluid twister. That shape would drive a high-performing device. If you are modeling that objective with a parametric shape framework, because it cannot grow such an intricate shape, the final device would not perform as well,” she says.

    While she was impressed by the variety of shapes it could automatically generate, Li plans to enhance the system by utilizing a more complex fluid simulation model. This would enable the pipeline to be used in more complex flow environments, which would allow it to be used in more complicated applications.

    “This work contributes to the important problem of automating and optimizing the design of fluidic devices, which are found almost everywhere,” says Karl Willis, a senior research manager at Autodesk Research, who was not involved with this study. “It takes us a step closer to generative design tools that can both reduce the number of human design cycles needed and generate novel designs that are optimized and more efficient.”

    Science paper:
    ACM Transactions on Graphics

    This research was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    4

    The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is a research institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) formed by the 2003 merger of the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab). Housed within the Ray and Maria Stata Center, CSAIL is the largest on-campus laboratory as measured by research scope and membership. It is part of the Schwarzman College of Computing but is also overseen by the MIT Vice President of Research.

    Research activities

    CSAIL’s research activities are organized around a number of semi-autonomous research groups, each of which is headed by one or more professors or research scientists. These groups are divided up into seven general areas of research:

    Artificial intelligence
    Computational biology
    Graphics and vision
    Language and learning
    Theory of computation
    Robotics
    Systems (includes computer architecture, databases, distributed systems, networks and networked systems, operating systems, programming methodology, and software engineering among others)

    In addition, CSAIL hosts the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory , the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory, as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst ). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:04 pm on December 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Deep reinforcement learning", "The smallest robotic arm you can imagine is controlled by artificial intelligence", , , , Mechanical Engineering, , Researchers used deep reinforcement learning to steer atoms into a lattice shape with a view to building new materials or nanodevices.,   

    From Aalto University [Aalto-yliopisto] (FI): “The smallest robotic arm you can imagine is controlled by artificial intelligence” 

    From Aalto University [Aalto-yliopisto] (FI)

    12.7.22

    Adam Foster
    Professori
    adam.foster@aalto.fi

    Peter Liljeroth
    Akatemiaprofessori
    peter.liljeroth@aalto.fi
    +358503636115

    1
    Researchers used deep reinforcement learning to steer atoms into a lattice shape with a view to building new materials or nanodevices.

    In a very cold vacuum chamber, single atoms of silver form a star-like lattice. The precise formation is not accidental, and it wasn’t constructed directly by human hands either. Researchers used a kind of artificial intelligence called “deep reinforcement learning” to steer the atoms, each a fraction of a nanometer in size, into the lattice shape. The process is similar to moving marbles around a Chinese checkers board, but with very tiny tweezers grabbing and dragging each atom into place.

    The main application for “deep reinforcement learning” is in robotics, says postdoctoral researcher I-Ju Chen. “We’re also building robotic arms with deep learning, but for moving atoms,” she explains. “Reinforcement learning is successful in things like playing chess or video games, but we’ve applied it to solve technical problems at the nanoscale.” 

    So why are scientists interested in precisely moving atoms? Making very small devices based on single atoms is important for nanodevices like transistors or memory. Testing how and whether these devices work at their absolute limits is one application for this kind of atomic manipulation, says Chen. Building new materials atom-by-atom, rather than through traditional chemical techniques, may also reveal interesting properties related to superconductivity or quantum states.

    The silver star lattice made by Chen and colleagues at the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence [FCAI] and Aalto University is a demonstration of what ‘deep reinforcement learning” can achieve. “The precise movement of atoms is hard even for human experts,” says Chen. “We adapted existing “deep reinforcement learning’ for this purpose. It took the algorithm on the order of one day to learn and then about one hour to build the lattice.” The reinforcement part of this type of deep learning refers to how the AI is guided—through rewards for correct actions or outputs. “Give it a goal and it will do it. It can solve problems that humans don’t know how to solve.”

    Applying this approach to the world of nanoscience materials is new. Nanotechniques can become more powerful with the injection of machine learning, says Chen, because it can accelerate the parameter selection and trial-and-error usually done by a person. “We showed that this task can be completed perfectly through reinforcement learning,” concludes Chen. The group’s research, led by professors Adam Foster and Peter Liljeroth, was recently published in Nature Communications [below].

    Science paper:
    Nature Communications
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Aalto University [Aalto-yliopisto] (FI) is a university located in Espoo, Finland. It was established in 2010 as a merger of three major Finnish universities: the Helsinki University of Technology (established 1849), the Helsinki School of Economics (established 1904), and the University of Art and Design Helsinki (established 1871). The close collaboration between the scientific, business and arts communities is intended to foster multi-disciplinary education and research. The Finnish government, in 2010, set out to create a university that fosters innovation, merging the three institutions into one.

    The university is composed of six schools with close to 17,500 students and 4,000 staff members, making it Finland’s second largest university. The main campus of Aalto University is located in Otaniemi, Espoo. Aalto University Executive Education operates in the district of Töölö, Helsinki. In addition to the Greater Helsinki area, the university also operates its Bachelor’s Programme in International Business in Mikkeli and the Metsähovi Radio Observatory Metsähovi Radio Observatory [Metsähovin radiotutkimusasema] Aalto University [Aalto-yliopisto](FI) in Kirkkonummi. in Kirkkonummi.

    Aalto University’s operations showcase Finland’s experiment in higher education. The Aalto Design Factory, Aalto Ventures Program and Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (Aaltoes), among others, drive the university’s mission for a radical shift towards multidisciplinary learning and have contributed substantially to the emergence of Helsinki as a hotbed for startups. Aaltoes is Europe’s largest and most active student run entrepreneurship community that has founded major concepts such as the Startup Sauna accelerator program and the Slush startup event.

    The university is named in honour of Alvar Aalto, a prominent Finnish architect, designer and alumnus of the former Helsinki University of Technology, who was also instrumental in designing a large part of the university’s main campus in Otaniemi.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:33 am on December 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A transformable robot with an omnidirectional wheel-leg", "OmniWheg": a robotic system that can adapt its configuration while navigating its surrounding environment seamlessly changing from a wheeled to a legged robot., "Whegs": Wheel-legs or wing-legs, , Mechanical Engineering, Quadruped and biped robots have been growing in popularity and the reason for that might be the search for “anthropomorphization” that the general audience commonly engages in., , , The system used an omnidirectional wheel., Worcester Polytechnic Institute   

    From Worcester Polytechnic Institute Via “TechXplore” at “Science X”: “A transformable robot with an omnidirectional wheel-leg” 

    1

    From Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Via

    “TechXplore” at “Science X”

    12.7.22

    1
    Credit: Andre Rosendo and Ruixiang Cao.

    Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute recently created “OmniWheg”, a robotic system that can adapt its configuration while navigating its surrounding environment, seamlessly changing from a wheeled to a legged robot. This robot, introduced in an IEEE IROS [below] 2022 paper, is based on an updated version of the so-called “whegs,” a series of mechanisms design to transform a robot’s wheels or wings into legs.

    “Quadruped and biped robots have been growing in popularity, and the reason for that might be the search for ‘anthropomorphization’ that the general audience commonly engages in,” Prof. Andre Rosendo, one of the researchers who developed the robot, told TechXplore. “While ‘being capable of going everywhere we go’ sounds like an exciting appeal, the energetic cost of legs is very high. We humans have legs because that is what evolution gave us, but we wouldn’t dare to create a ‘legged car,’ as we know that this ride wouldn’t be as comfortable or energy efficient as a wheeled car ride.”

    The key idea behind the recent work by Rosendo and his colleagues is that while legs make robots more relatable, giving them a human- or animal-like quality, they are not always the optimal solution to ensure that robots complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Instead of developing a robot with a single locomotion mechanism, the team thus set out to create a system that can switch between different mechanisms.


    OmniWheg: An Omnidirectional Wheel-Leg Transformable Robot.

    “Looking around our homes and workplaces we can see that our environments are 95% flat, with an eventual 5% of uneven terrain that we need to face when ‘transitioning’ between spaces,” Rosendo said. “With this in mind, why not develop a system that performs at a ‘wheel-like’ efficiency in these 95% of cases and specifically transitions to a lower efficiency in the remaining 5%?”

    Rosendo and his colleagues set out to create a wheel that could change its configuration to climb stairs or circumvent other small obstacles. To accomplish this, they explored the concept of “whegs” (i.e., wheel-legs or wing-legs), which has been around for over a decade and has since received considerable attention in the field of robotics.

    Several wheel-leg systems were developed and tested in the past few years. However, most of these systems did not perform particularly well, mainly due to difficulties in coordinating the right and left side of the wheel-leg system, which need to be perfectly aligned when a robot is climbing stairs.

    “To solve the coordination issues commonly associated with wheel-leg mechanisms, we used an omnidirectional wheel,” explained Ruixiang Cao, the leading student behind the creation. “This is the last piece of the puzzle, as it enables the robot to align on-the-fly without rotating its body. Our robot can move forward, backwards, and sideways at a very low energy cost, can remain in a stable position with no energetic cost, and can swiftly climb stairs when needed.”

    To operate correctly, the wheg system created by Rosendo and his colleagues requires the addition of one servo motor per wheel and a simple algorithm. Other than that, its design is basic and straightforward, so it could be easily replicated by other teams worldwide.

    “The advantages of this system are so abundant, and the drawbacks are so few that we can’t help but think that they pose a threat to the ‘legged robot hype’ seen in the robotics field,” Cao said. “Any robot application that has an eventual need to climb stairs could adopt this design, especially if paired with a robot manipulator to manipulate objects when running over the flat ground while shifting its center of gravity when climbing stairs.”

    The researchers evaluated their OmniWheg system in a series of experiments focusing on a multitude of real-world indoor scenarios, such as circumventing obstacles, climbing steps of different heights and turning/moving omnidirectionally. Their results were highly promising, as their wheel-leg robot could successfully overcome all the common obstacles it was tested on, flexibly and efficiently adapting its configuration to effectively tackle individual locomotion challenges.

    In the future, the system created by Rosendo and his colleagues could be integrated in both existing and new robots, to enhance their efficiency in navigating indoor environments. In addition, the team’s work could inspire the development of similar wheg systems based on omnidirectional wheels.

    “Our first design iteration adopted a fairly ‘expensive’ brushless motor, and we now think that a lighter motor, paired with a gear reduction, would have been more effective,” Rosendo added. “We also plan on adding a manipulator to the base of the robot so that we can test the dynamics of ascending and descending stairs with a higher center of gravity.”

    Science paper:
    IEEE IROS

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 9:37 am on December 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Soft Robots Gain New Strength and Make Virtual Reality Gloves Feel More Real", , , Mechanical Engineering, , ,   

    From The School of Engineering and Applied Science At The University of Pennsylvania: “Soft Robots Gain New Strength and Make Virtual Reality Gloves Feel More Real” 

    From The School of Engineering and Applied Science

    At

    U Penn bloc

    The University of Pennsylvania

    11.30.22
    Melissa Pappas

    Soft robots, or those made with materials like rubber, gels and cloth, have advantages over their harder, heavier counterparts, especially when it comes to tasks that require direct human interaction. Robots that could safely and gently help people with limited mobility grocery shop, prepare meals, get dressed, or even walk would undoubtedly be life-changing.

    However, soft robots currently lack the strength needed to perform these sorts of tasks. This long-standing challenge — making soft robots stronger without compromising their ability to gently interact with their environment — has limited the development of these devices.

    With the relationship between strength and softness in mind, a team of Penn Engineers has devised a new electrostatically controlled clutch which enables a soft robotic hand to be able to hold 4 pounds – about the weight of a bag of apples – which is 40 times more than the hand could lift without the clutch. In addition, the ability to perform this task requiring both a soft touch and strength was accomplished with only 125 volts of electricity, a third of the voltage required for current clutches.

    1
    In a demonstration, the clutch was able to increase the strength of an elbow joint to be able to support the weight of a mannequin arm at the low energy demand of 125 volts. (Image: Penn Engineering Today)

    Their safe, low-power approach could also enable wearable soft robotic devices that would simulate the sensation of holding a physical object in augmented- and virtual-reality environments.

    James Pikul, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM), Kevin Turner, Professor and Chair of MEAM with a secondary appointment in Materials Science Engineering, and their Ph.D. students, David Levine, Gokulanand Iyer and Daelan Roosa, published a study in Science Robotics [below] describing a new, fracture-mechanics-based model of electroadhesive clutches, a mechanical structure that can control the stiffness of soft robotic materials.

    Using this new model, the team was able to realize a clutch 63 times stronger than current electroadhesive clutches. The model not only increased force capacity of a clutch used in their soft robots, it also decreased the voltage required to power the clutch, making soft robots stronger and safer.

    Current soft robotic hands can hold small objects, such as an apple for example. Being soft, the robotic hand can delicately grasp objects of various shapes, understand the energy required to lift them, and become stiff or tense enough to pick an object up, a task similar to how we grasp and hold things in our own hands. An electroadhesive clutch is a thin device that enhances the change of stiffness in the materials which allows the robot to perform this task. The clutch, similar to a clutch in a car, is the mechanical connection between moving objects in the system. In the case of electroadhesive clutches, two electrodes coated with a dielectric material become attracted to each other when voltage is applied. The attraction between the electrodes creates a friction force at the interface that keeps the two plates from slipping past each other. The electrodes are attached to the flexible material of the robotic hand. By turning the clutch on with an electrical voltage, the electrodes stick to each other, and the robotic hand holds more weight than it could previously. Turning the clutch off allows the plates to slide past each other and the hand to relax, so the object can be released.


    Traditional models of clutches are based on a simple assumption of Coulombic friction between two parallel plates, where friction keeps the two plates of the clutch from sliding past each other. However, this model does not capture how mechanical stress is nonuniformly distributed in the system, and therefore, does not predict clutch force capacity well. It is also not robust enough to be used to develop stronger clutches without using high voltages, expensive materials, or intensive manufacturing processes. A robotic hand with a clutch created using the friction model may be able to pick up an entire bag of apples, but will require high voltages which make it unsafe for human interaction.

    “Our approach tackles the force capacity of clutches at the model level,” says Pikul. “And our model, the fracture-mechanics-based model, is unique. Instead of creating parallel plate clutches, we based our design on lap joints and examined where fractures might occur in these joints. The friction model assumes that the stress on the system is uniform, which is not realistic. In reality, stress is concentrated at various points, and our model helps us understand where those points are. The resulting clutch is both stronger and safer as it requires only a third of the voltage compared to traditional clutches.”

    “The fracture mechanics framework and model in this work have been used for the design of bonded joints and structural components for decades,” says Turner. “What is new here is the application of this model to the design of electroadhesive clutches.”

    The researchers’ improved clutch can now be easily integrated into existing devices.

    “The fracture-mechanics-based model provides fundamental insight into the workings of an electroadhesive clutch, helping us understand them more than the friction model ever could,” says Pikul. “We can already use the model to improve current clutches just by making very slight changes to material geometry and thickness, and we can continue to push the limits and improve the design of future clutches with this new understanding.”

    To demonstrate the strength of their clutch, the team attached it to a pneumatic finger. Without the researchers’ clutch, the finger was able to hold the weight of one apple while inflated into a curled position; with it, the finger could hold an entire bag of them.


    In another demonstration, the clutch was able to increase the strength of an elbow joint to be able to support the weight of a mannequin arm at the low energy demand of 125 volts.


    Future work that the team is excited to delve into includes using this new clutch model to develop wearable augmented and virtual-reality devices.

    “Traditional clutches require about 300 volts, a level that can be unsafe for human interaction,” says Levine. “We want to continue to improve our clutches, making them smaller, lighter and less energetically costly to bring these products to the real world. Eventually, these clutches could be used in wearable gloves that simulate object manipulation in a VR environment.”

    “Current technologies provide feedback through vibrations, but simulating physical contact with a virtual object is limited with today’s devices,” says Pikul. “Imagine having both the visual simulation and feeling of being in another environment. VR and AR could be used in training, remote working, or just simulating touch and movement for those who lack those experiences in the real world. This technology gets us closer to those possibilities.”

    Improving human-robot interactions is one of the main goals of Pikul’s lab and the direct benefits that this research presents is fuel for their own research passions.

    “We haven’t seen many soft robots in our world yet, and that is, in part, due to their lack of strength, but now we have one solution to that challenge,” says Levine. “This new way to design clutches might lead to applications of soft robots that we cannot imagine right now. I want to create robots that help people, make people feel good, and enhance the human experience, and this work is getting us closer to that goal. I’m really excited to see where we go next.”

    Science paper:
    Science Robotics

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The School of Engineering and Applied Science is an undergraduate and graduate school of The University of Pennsylvania. The School offers programs that emphasize hands-on study of engineering fundamentals (with an offering of approximately 300 courses) while encouraging students to leverage the educational offerings of the broader University. Engineering students can also take advantage of research opportunities through interactions with Penn’s School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.

    Penn Engineering offers bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degree programs in contemporary fields of engineering study. The nationally ranked bioengineering department offers the School’s most popular undergraduate degree program. The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, offered in partnership with the Wharton School, allows students to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. SEAS also offers several masters programs, which include: Executive Master’s in Technology Management, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Computer and Information Technology, Master of Computer and Information Science and a Master of Science in Engineering in Telecommunications and Networking.

    History

    The study of engineering at The University of Pennsylvania can be traced back to 1850 when the University trustees adopted a resolution providing for a professorship of “Chemistry as Applied to the Arts”. In 1852, the study of engineering was further formalized with the establishment of the School of Mines, Arts and Manufactures. The first Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering was appointed in 1852. The first graduate of the school received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1854. Since that time, the school has grown to six departments. In 1973, the school was renamed as the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    The early growth of the school benefited from the generosity of two Philadelphians: John Henry Towne and Alfred Fitler Moore. Towne, a mechanical engineer and railroad developer, bequeathed the school a gift of $500,000 upon his death in 1875. The main administration building for the school still bears his name. Moore was a successful entrepreneur who made his fortune manufacturing telegraph cable. A 1923 gift from Moore established the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, which is the birthplace of the first electronic general-purpose Turing-complete digital computer, ENIAC, in 1946.

    During the latter half of the 20th century the school continued to break new ground. In 1958, Barbara G. Mandell became the first woman to enroll as an undergraduate in the School of Engineering. In 1965, the university acquired two sites that were formerly used as U.S. Army Nike Missile Base (PH 82L and PH 82R) and created the Valley Forge Research Center. In 1976, the Management and Technology Program was created. In 1990, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Science were first offered, followed by a master’s degree in Biotechnology in 1997.

    The school continues to expand with the addition of the Melvin and Claire Levine Hall for computer science in 2003, Skirkanich Hall for Bioengineering in 2006, and the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology in 2013.

    Academics

    Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is organized into six departments:

    Bioengineering
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Computer and Information Science
    Electrical and Systems Engineering
    Materials Science and Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

    The school’s Department of Bioengineering, originally named Biomedical Electronic Engineering, consistently garners a top-ten ranking at both the undergraduate and graduate level from U.S. News & World Report. The department also houses the George H. Stephenson Foundation Educational Laboratory & Bio-MakerSpace (aka Biomakerspace) for training undergraduate through PhD students. It is Philadelphia’s and Penn’s only Bio-MakerSpace and it is open to the Penn community, encouraging a free flow of ideas, creativity, and entrepreneurship between Bioengineering students and students throughout the university.

    Founded in 1893, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is “America’s oldest continuously operating degree-granting program in chemical engineering.”

    The Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering is recognized for its research in electroscience, systems science and network systems and telecommunications.

    Originally established in 1946 as the School of Metallurgical Engineering, the Materials Science and Engineering Department “includes cutting edge programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology, biomaterials, ceramics, polymers, and metals.”

    The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics draws its roots from the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which was established in 1876.

    Each department houses one or more degree programs. The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics departments each house a single degree program.

    Bioengineering houses two programs (both a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science degree). Electrical and Systems Engineering offers four Bachelor of Science in Engineering programs: Electrical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Computer Engineering, and the Networked & Social Systems Engineering, the latter two of which are co-housed with Computer and Information Science (CIS). The CIS department, like Bioengineering, offers Computer and Information Science programs under both bachelor programs. CIS also houses Digital Media Design, a program jointly operated with PennDesign.

    Research

    Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is a research institution. SEAS research strives to advance science and engineering and to achieve a positive impact on society.

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 10:41 pm on December 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An automated way to assemble thousands of objects", A new algorithm for automatic assembly of products is accurate and efficient and generalizable to a wide range of complex real-world assemblies., , It remains in future work to plan for soft deformable assemblies., Mechanical Engineering, , , The manufacturing industry (largely) welcomed artificial intelligence with open arms., , The team cooked up a Spartan-level large-scale dataset with thousands of physically valid industrial assemblies and motions to test their method., With current manufacturing in a factory or assembly line everything is typically hard-coded.   

    From The Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) At The Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “An automated way to assemble thousands of objects” 

    1

    From The Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

    at

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    12.7.22
    Rachel Gordon | MIT CSAIL

    A new algorithm for automatic assembly of products is accurate and efficient and generalizable to a wide range of complex real-world assemblies.


    Assemble Them All: Physics-Based Planning for Generalizable Assembly by Disassembly

    1
    Researchers came up with a way to efficiently plan physically plausible assembly motions and sequences for real-world assemblies. Image courtesy of MIT CSAIL.

    The manufacturing industry (largely) welcomed artificial intelligence with open arms. Less of the dull, dirty, and dangerous? Say no more. Planning for mechanical assemblies still requires more than scratching out some sketches, of course — it’s a complex conundrum that means dealing with arbitrary 3D shapes and highly constrained motion required for real-world assemblies. 

    Human engineers, understandably, need to jump in the ring and manually design assembly plans and instructions before sending the parts to assembly lines, and this manual nature translates to high labor costs and the potential for error. 

    In a quest to ease some of said burdens, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Autodesk Research, and Texas A&M University came up with a method to automatically assemble products that’s accurate, efficient, and generalizable to a wide range of complex real-world assemblies. Their algorithm efficiently determines the order for multipart assembly, and then searches for a physically realistic motion path for each step.

    The team cooked up a Spartan-level large-scale dataset with thousands of physically valid industrial assemblies and motions to test their method. The proposed method is capable of solving almost all of them, especially outperforming previous methods by a large margin on rotational assemblies, like screws and puzzles. Also, it’s a bit of a speed demon in that it solves 80-part assemblies within several minutes. 

    “Instead of one assembly line specifically designed for one specific product, if we can automatically figure out ways to sequence and move, we can use a fully adaptive setup,” says Yunsheng Tian, a PhD student at MIT CSAIL and lead author on the paper. “Maybe one assembly line can be used for tons of different products. We think of this as low-volume, high-mixed assembly, opposed to traditional high-volume, low-mixed assembly, which is very specific to a certain product.” 

    Given the objective of assembling a screw attached to a rod, for example, the algorithm would find the assembly strategy through two stages: disassembly and assembly. The disassembly planning algorithm searches for a collision-free path to disassemble the screw from the rod. Using physics-based simulation, the algorithm applies different forces to the screw and observes the movement. As a result, a torque rotating along the rod’s central axis moves the screw to the end of the rod, then a straight force pointing away from the rod separates the screw and the rod. In the assembly stage, the algorithm reverses the disassembly path to get an assembly solution from individual parts.

    “Think about IKEA furniture — it has step-by-step instructions with the little white book. All of those have to be manually authored by people today, so now we can figure out how to make those assembly instructions,” says Karl D.D. Willis, a senior research manager at Autodesk Research. “You can imagine how, for people designing products, this could be helpful for building up those types of instructions. Either it’s for people, as in laying out these assembly plans, or it could be for some kind of robotic system right down the line.” 

    The disassemble/assemble dance

    With current manufacturing in a factory or assembly line everything is typically hard-coded. If you want to assemble a given product, you have to precisely control or program instructions to assemble or disassemble a product. Which part should be assembled first? Which part should be assembled next? And how are you going to assemble this? 

    Previous attempts have been mostly limited to simple assembly paths, like a very straight translation of parts — nothing too complicated. To move beyond this, the team used a physics-based simulator — a tool commonly used to train robots and self-driving cars — to guide the search for assembly paths, which makes things much easier and more generalizable.  

    “Let’s say you want to disassemble a washer from the shaft, which is very tightly geometrically assembled. The status quo would simply try to sample a bunch of different ways to separate them, and it’s very possible you can’t create a simple path that’s perfectly collision-free. Using physics, you don’t have this limitation. You can try, for example, adding a simple downward force, and the simulator will find the correct motion to disassemble the washer from the shaft,” says Tian. 

    While the system handled rigid objects with ease, it remains in future work to plan for soft deformable assemblies.

    One avenue of work the team is looking to explore is making a physical robotic setup to assemble items. This would require more work in terms of robotic control and planning to be integrated with the team’s system, as a step toward their broader goal: to make an assembly line that can adaptively assemble everything without humans.

    “The long-term vision here is, how do you take any object in the world and be able to either put that together from the parts, using automation and robotics?,” says Willis. “Inversely, how do we take any object in the world that’s made up of many different types of materials and pull it apart so that we can recycle and get them into the correct waste streams? The step we’re taking is looking at how we can use some advanced simulation to be able to begin to pull apart those parts, and eventually get to the point where we can test that in the real world.” 

    “Assembly is a longstanding challenge in the robotics, manufacturing, and graphics communities,” says Yashraj Narang, senior robotics research scientist at NVIDIA. “This work is an important step forward in simulating mechanical assemblies and solving assembly planning problems. It proposes a method that is a clever combination of solving the computationally-simpler disassembly problem, using force-based actions in a custom simulator for contact-rich physics, and using a progressively-deepening search algorithm. Impressively, the method can discover an assembly plan for a 50-part engine in a few minutes. In the future, it will be exciting to see other researchers and engineers build upon this excellent work, perhaps allowing robots to perform the assembly operations in simulation and then transferring those behaviors to real-world industrial settings.”

    MIT professor and CSAIL principal investigator Wojciech Matusik is a senior author on the paper, with PhD students Yunsheng Tian, Jie Xu (now a research scientist at NVIDIA) and Yichen Li also noted as CSAIL authors. Research scientists from Autodesk Research Jieliang Luo, Hui Li, Karl D.D. Willis, and assistant professor of computer science at Texas A&M University Shinjiro Sueda also worked on the paper. The team will present their findings at SIGGRAPH Asia 2022, with the paper also being published in ACM Transactions on Graphics.

    Their research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    4

    The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is a research institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) formed by the 2003 merger of the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab). Housed within the Ray and Maria Stata Center, CSAIL is the largest on-campus laboratory as measured by research scope and membership. It is part of the Schwarzman College of Computing but is also overseen by the MIT Vice President of Research.

    Research activities

    CSAIL’s research activities are organized around a number of semi-autonomous research groups, each of which is headed by one or more professors or research scientists. These groups are divided up into seven general areas of research:

    Artificial intelligence
    Computational biology
    Graphics and vision
    Language and learning
    Theory of computation
    Robotics
    Systems (includes computer architecture, databases, distributed systems, networks and networked systems, operating systems, programming methodology, and software engineering among others)

    In addition, CSAIL hosts the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory , the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory, as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst ). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:07 pm on December 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Students design robot to collect microplastics from beaches", "The Chronicle", A land-based prototype to remove microplastics from the sand on beaches., A submersible robot that will remove microplastics from sea water., , , Designing and building an autonomous robot., , Mechanical Engineering, , , There are 50 trillion pieces of microplastics embedded in our sand; our marine life; our oceans and even in our drinking water.   

    From “The Chronicle” At Cornell University: “Students design robot to collect microplastics from beaches” 

    From “The Chronicle”

    At

    Cornell University

    12.6.22
    Linda Copman
    cunews@cornell.edu

    When Angela Loh ’23 was 10 years old, she and her family moved to Shanghai from Michigan. She was immediately struck by how much more pollution she saw in Shanghai.

    “When I stepped outside my home, the skies were grey and I could smell the stench of PM2.5 particles hanging in the air. I would walk on certain local streets and see litter everywhere,” she says. She noticed that most residents seemed complacent. “Nobody seemed to care.”

    But Loh did care, deeply, about environmental sustainability.

    As a freshman, Loh and Alan Hsiao ’21 founded Cornell Nexus, a group of students from diverse colleges and majors who are designing and building an autonomous robot that will remove microplastics from the sand on beaches. The team hopes to have a working land-based prototype built by spring 2023, when they will turn their attention to creating a submersible robot that will remove microplastics from sea water.

    “We are a team of individuals who want to step outside the boundaries of university competitions to make a difference on our planet,” Loh says.

    2
    Angela Loh ’23 wires a component of the autonomous robot prototype. Provided.

    Microplastics, tiny bits of plastic the size of a sesame seed or smaller, are proliferating and pose a significant risk to ecosystems and to human and animal health. “There are 50 trillion pieces of microplastics embedded in our sand, our marine life, our oceans and even in our drinking water,” Loh says. A recent survey of the sea floor in the Mediterranean west of Italy found 1.9 million microplastics in one square meter. “This is just one layer of sand in a single square meter of the Mediterranean,” she says. “Imagine how much microplastic has accumulated in all of our bodies, our water and our land.”

    Beach cleaning operations focus on removing the waste we can see, such as plastic water bottles and trash, often using gas-powered tractors that bury microplastics beneath the top layer of sand. In contrast, the Cornell Nexus robot will use renewable solar energy to collect and remove microplastic waste. “We believe that Nexus’ focus on autonomy and microplastics will revolutionize the technology for waste removal from beaches and bodies of water,” Loh says.
    ===
    Planting the seed

    Loh recalls making hand-drawn posters promoting recycling and distributing them to her neighbors when she was in elementary school. Moving to Shanghai – a city she loves – was a wake-up call. “I realized what big issues plastics, and pollution and waste in general, are on our planet,” she says, “and I really wanted to do something about them.”

    In the summer after graduating from high school, Loh read a biography of Elon Musk and the founding of Tesla. “Reading this allowed me to realize the boundless possibilities there are in the field of engineering,” she says. Loh spent the next few months binge-reading biographies about inventors, entrepreneurs and engineers, from Steve Jobs to Leonardo da Vinci and Nike founder Phil Knight. She realized that engineering would be her springboard for creating change.

    After perusing the College of Engineering website, Loh switched her major from environmental science to electrical and computer engineering and computer science. “Reading about the engineering project teams before I arrived at Cornell planted a seed in my brain that maybe one day it wouldn’t be impossible to start my own,” Loh says.

    Alan Hsiao was a junior and one of the first people Loh met as a freshman at Cornell. “When we first started Nexus, I didn’t know anything – not even basic knowledge about programming or wiring circuit boards – let alone building an entire vehicle that was going to traverse beaches and charge itself,” Loh says. “Alan would spend hours and hours mentoring me and teaching me concepts that I hadn’t even heard of. … Through his kindness, wisdom and compassion, he has definitely left his impact on me, our Nexus team, the Cornell campus and our planet.”

    Unleashing creativity, with help from alumni

    Nexus team members are now building a prototype with a multilayered filtering system to catch a range of different sizes of microplastics. When full, the robot will return to its docking station to offload the collected plastics and recharge.

    “Creating our robot requires knowledge about concepts and implementation mechanisms that are usually taught in graduate-level courses,” Loh says. Team members conduct their own in-depth research and seek out faculty who can guide their work. Joseph Skovira, Ph.D. ’90, senior lecturer in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the group’s faculty adviser, is helping them refine their product.Greg Whelan ’83 of Greywale Advisors and part of the McCarthy’s Venture Mentoring Network has been helping them navigate business outreach and fundraising.

    3
    Alan Hsiao ’21 solders a component of the autonomous robot prototype. Provided.

    To ensure they have funding to purchase specialized hardware and software components, Nexus members have been developing relationships with companies that might sponsor the project once they have a prototype. In spring 2021, Nexus won first prize in the Cornell Engineering Innovation Competition. The Yunni and Maxine Pao Social Innovation Award, funded by Carolyn Wang ’00 and Jeff Pao ’00, allowed them to buy better wheels, a more robust material for the robot’s frame, filtration nets and more accurate sensors.
    ===
    Doing the greatest good

    Nexus is testing and refining their prototype in the 2022-2023 academic year, using a sand bed to test the robot’s moving, digging and filtering mechanisms. Then they will place their robot at several beaches, including some recommended by alumni from the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration.

    4
    This rendering illustrates what the Cornell Nexus robot will look like when completed. Provided.

    Once the land-based robot is completed, the team hopes to launch their robot into the water, where the vast majority of microplastics are. “Our vision is to expand our technology to address the heart of the microplastics problem, which is underwater,” Loh says. “Very few commercial robots are tackling this issue, on a macro and micro scale.”

    There are multiple design possibilities for a seafaring robot, including a water-based recharging and waste removal station, which could be more efficient than returning the robot to land.

    The Nexus team plans to make their design freely available to the public. “This includes all of our software code, mechanical CAD files, electrical circuit board designs, and so forth,” Loh says. “Our goal is to make an impact and do our part to save our planet.”

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

    Cornell University is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell’s founding principle, a popular 1868 quotation from founder Ezra Cornell: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

    The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its specific admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar, and Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in New York City, a graduate program that incorporates technology, business, and creative thinking. The program moved from Google’s Chelsea Building in New York City to its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island in September 2017.

    Cornell is one of the few private land grant universities in the United States. Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges through the SUNY – The State University of New York system, including its Agricultural and Human Ecology colleges as well as its Industrial Labor Relations school. Of Cornell’s graduate schools, only the veterinary college is state-supported. As a land grant college, Cornell operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but is much larger when the Cornell Botanic Gardens (more than 4,300 acres) and the numerous university-owned lands in New York City are considered.

    Alumni and affiliates of Cornell have reached many notable and influential positions in politics, media, and science. As of January 2021, 61 Nobel laureates, four Turing Award winners and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Cornell. Cornell counts more than 250,000 living alumni, and its former and present faculty and alumni include 34 Marshall Scholars, 33 Rhodes Scholars, 29 Truman Scholars, 7 Gates Scholars, 55 Olympic Medalists, 10 current Fortune 500 CEOs, and 35 billionaire alumni. Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission has not been restricted by religion or race. The student body consists of more than 15,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 119 countries.

    History

    Cornell University was founded on April 27, 1865; the New York State (NYS) Senate authorized the university as the state’s land grant institution. Senator Ezra Cornell offered his farm in Ithaca, New York, as a site and $500,000 of his personal fortune as an initial endowment. Fellow senator and educator Andrew Dickson White agreed to be the first president. During the next three years, White oversaw the construction of the first two buildings and traveled to attract students and faculty. The university was inaugurated on October 7, 1868, and 412 men were enrolled the next day.

    Cornell developed as a technologically innovative institution, applying its research to its own campus and to outreach efforts. For example, in 1883 it was one of the first university campuses to use electricity from a water-powered dynamo to light the grounds. Since 1894, Cornell has included colleges that are state funded and fulfill statutory requirements; it has also administered research and extension activities that have been jointly funded by state and federal matching programs.

    Cornell has had active alumni since its earliest classes. It was one of the first universities to include alumni-elected representatives on its Board of Trustees. Cornell was also among the Ivies that had heightened student activism during the 1960s related to cultural issues; civil rights; and opposition to the Vietnam War, with protests and occupations resulting in the resignation of Cornell’s president and the restructuring of university governance. Today the university has more than 4,000 courses. Cornell is also known for the Residential Club Fire of 1967, a fire in the Residential Club building that killed eight students and one professor.

    Since 2000, Cornell has been expanding its international programs. In 2004, the university opened the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. It has partnerships with institutions in India, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China. Former president Jeffrey S. Lehman described the university, with its high international profile, a “transnational university”. On March 9, 2004, Cornell and Stanford University laid the cornerstone for a new ‘Bridging the Rift Center’ to be built and jointly operated for education on the Israel–Jordan border.

    Research

    Cornell, a research university, is ranked fourth in the world in producing the largest number of graduates who go on to pursue PhDs in engineering or the natural sciences at American institutions, and fifth in the world in producing graduates who pursue PhDs at American institutions in any field. Research is a central element of the university’s mission; in 2009 Cornell spent $671 million on science and engineering research and development, the 16th highest in the United States. Cornell is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    For the 2016–17 fiscal year, the university spent $984.5 million on research. Federal sources constitute the largest source of research funding, with total federal investment of $438.2 million. The agencies contributing the largest share of that investment are The Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation, accounting for 49.6% and 24.4% of all federal investment, respectively. Cornell was on the top-ten list of U.S. universities receiving the most patents in 2003, and was one of the nation’s top five institutions in forming start-up companies. In 2004–05, Cornell received 200 invention disclosures; filed 203 U.S. patent applications; completed 77 commercial license agreements; and distributed royalties of more than $4.1 million to Cornell units and inventors.

    Since 1962, Cornell has been involved in unmanned missions to Mars. In the 21st century, Cornell had a hand in the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Cornell’s Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator for the Athena Science Payload, led the selection of the landing zones and requested data collection features for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. NASA-JPL/Caltech engineers took those requests and designed the rovers to meet them. The rovers, both of which have operated long past their original life expectancies, are responsible for the discoveries that were awarded 2004 Breakthrough of the Year honors by Science. Control of the Mars rovers has shifted between National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s JPL-Caltech and Cornell’s Space Sciences Building.

    Further, Cornell researchers discovered the rings around the planet Uranus, and Cornell built and operated the telescope at Arecibo Observatory located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico until 2011, when they transferred the operations to SRI International, the Universities Space Research Association and the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico [Universidad Metropolitana de Puerto Rico].

    The Automotive Crash Injury Research Project was begun in 1952. It pioneered the use of crash testing, originally using corpses rather than dummies. The project discovered that improved door locks; energy-absorbing steering wheels; padded dashboards; and seat belts could prevent an extraordinary percentage of injuries.

    In the early 1980s, Cornell deployed the first IBM 3090-400VF and coupled two IBM 3090-600E systems to investigate coarse-grained parallel computing. In 1984, the National Science Foundation began work on establishing five new supercomputer centers, including the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing, to provide high-speed computing resources for research within the United States. As a National Science Foundation center, Cornell deployed the first IBM Scalable Parallel supercomputer.

    In the 1990s, Cornell developed scheduling software and deployed the first supercomputer built by Dell. Most recently, Cornell deployed Red Cloud, one of the first cloud computing services designed specifically for research. Today, the center is a partner on the National Science Foundation XSEDE-Extreme Science Engineering Discovery Environment supercomputing program, providing coordination for XSEDE architecture and design, systems reliability testing, and online training using the Cornell Virtual Workshop learning platform.

    Cornell scientists have researched the fundamental particles of nature for more than 70 years. Cornell physicists, such as Hans Bethe, contributed not only to the foundations of nuclear physics but also participated in the Manhattan Project. In the 1930s, Cornell built the second cyclotron in the United States. In the 1950s, Cornell physicists became the first to study synchrotron radiation.

    During the 1990s, the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, located beneath Alumni Field, was the world’s highest-luminosity electron-positron collider. After building the synchrotron at Cornell, Robert R. Wilson took a leave of absence to become the founding director of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which involved designing and building the largest accelerator in the United States.

    Cornell’s accelerator and high-energy physics groups are involved in the design of the proposed ILC-International Linear Collider(JP) and plan to participate in its construction and operation. The International Linear Collider(JP), to be completed in the late 2010s, will complement the CERN Large Hadron Collider(CH) and shed light on questions such as the identity of dark matter and the existence of extra dimensions.

    As part of its research work, Cornell has established several research collaborations with universities around the globe. For example, a partnership with the University of Sussex(UK) (including the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex) allows research and teaching collaboration between the two institutions.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:51 pm on December 1, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Neutrino detector on the move", At 4:40 p.m. today the neutrino detection system was placed inside the SBND detector hall after a successful move., , Mechanical Engineering, , ,   

    From The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: “Neutrino detector on the move” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory-an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research worldwide.

    12.1.22
    Emily Ayshford

     At 4:40 p.m. today the neutrino detection system was placed inside the SBND detector hall after a successful move.

    After years of construction, testing and planning, an exciting move is currently underway at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    1
    Installation of a wire plane in the neutrino detection system for the Short-Baseline Near Detector. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    A neutrino detection system built for the Short-Baseline Near Detector traveled 3 miles today, Dec. 1, from the warehouse-like building in which it was constructed to its final home in the SBND detector hall.

    2
    The neutrino detection system built for the Short-Baseline Near Detector traveled 3 miles across the Fermilab site in Batavia, Illinois. Photo of detector in the transportation frame. Photo: Monica Nunes, Fermilab.

    There scientists will use a beam of particles called neutrinos to examine the collisions of these particles with atoms.

    Their goal is to learn more about the mysterious properties of neutrinos.

    Moving the system was no easy feat. As a nearly 20-foot cube, it’s the size of a small house. It weighs 20,000 pounds and contains delicate sensors and wiring that, if rattled too much, could compromise the integrity of the system.

    Scientists, engineers and Fermilab personnel have anticipated this move for years and spent countless hours preparing for it. Today was the day. The move began at 6 a.m., projected to take 8 to 10 hours. Staff began by rolling the detector system through a large roll-up door with just inches of clearance to spare. Next, they loaded it onto a flat-bed trailer using a crane. The public can get updates on the move through the lab’s social media platforms.

    Once in place on the trailer, the truck moved at a maximum speed of about 2.5 miles per hour on its 3-mile route through the Fermilab campus to the detector hall, where the crane lifted it from the trailer and back onto solid ground. Finally, crews rolled the detection system through a garage door into its new home.

    In the coming months, the system will be placed inside a large cryostat, a vessel to cool the system to low temperature that will be filled with liquid argon and complete the Short-Baseline Near Detector. In fall 2023, scientists expect to begin receiving data that will shed light on the strange behavior of the ghostly neutrinos.

    A large group of people — including scientists, engineers, riggers and safety personnel — have meticulously planned the move for years — even from the very conception of the detector. Now they are excited that the process is finally coming to fruition.

    “It’s like taking your baby to the first day of school,” said Fermilab’s Shishir Shetty, a mechanical engineer who helped design the transport system. “So many people have put their time and effort into building the detector and planning for the move, and now we are finally at the point where we get to see the results of those efforts.”

    Measurements that have never been done before

    SBND will play a key role in understanding neutrinos: subatomic particles that have very little interaction with matter but that could hold the answers to many mysteries surrounding our universe. So far, scientists have discovered three types of neutrinos. SBND, as part of Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program, will help confirm or refute the existence of a potential fourth kind, called a sterile neutrino.

    The Short-Baseline Neutrino Program analyzes a neutrino beam with three liquid-argon time projection chamber detectors, including the new SBND. (It is the same technology that scientists will use for the much larger detectors of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.) The three detectors measure the neutrinos as they travel along a straight path, searching for signs of oscillations — the way neutrinos transform into various types as they travel. At 110 meters from the beam source, SBND is the closest detector and will help scientists better understand the original composition of the neutrino beam. (The other detectors are MicroBooNE at 470 meters away and ICARUS at 600 meters away.)

    Scientists can predict how many neutrinos and which types of neutrino they should expect to see if they know the original beam composition with high precision. A discrepancy could provide evidence for the existence of sterile neutrinos, or it could lay the groundwork for the discovery of new particles in beyond-the-standard model physics.

    “This will give us a dataset that will be 20 to 30 times larger than the current neutrino-argon interaction data set, which will allow us to do measurements that have never been done before,” said Ornella Palamara, a neutrino scientist at Fermilab and co-spokesperson for the international SBND collaboration.

    Building the detector within a transport frame

    SBND was first proposed in 2014. Construction of the detection system, which involved scientists from around the world, began in the following years. Parts began to arrive at Fermilab in 2018.

    From the beginning, scientists and engineers knew the detection system couldn’t be built in the detector hall. They needed a large assembly building to construct the system — which consists of anode and cathode wire planes, as well as light detection systems — before it would be placed in the experiment’s large cryostat, located inside Fermilab’s Booster Neutrino Beam. The cryostat will be filled with liquid argon.

    So the team began to assemble the system in the DØ Assembly Building at Fermilab and designed and built a transport frame that would house the system from the start. To build the steel frame, the engineering team had to ensure it both supported the heavy detector system, which hangs from the top beams of the frame, while also ensuring it could be easily moved when the time came. The frame includes outriggers for support, a towbar for pulling, transport stops to prevent the detector from swinging, and a hinged door to remove the system once it arrives in the detector hall.

    To help with transport, the detector system itself sits on moving devices called Hilman rollers. In the days before the move, Fermilab staff laid down steel plate tracks for the rollers to ensure minimal friction. To move it out of the building, the frame was pulled out with a fork truck onto the plates, up a ramp, and out of the building, while another fork truck acted as a brake behind the frame. A specially designed guiding system along the ramp ensured that the rollers didn’t deviate from their tracks.

    The frame with the detection system — completely wrapped in black plastic to protect the light-sensitive detector components — moved through the building’s garage door with only inches of clearance. Once outside the building and lifted onto a flatbed trailer, the frame was driven to its new home.

    Finding the right route

    This past summer, scientists and engineers conducted three trial runs to find the best transport route. They loaded up the trailer with 66,900 pounds of concrete blocks, corresponding to the weight of the detector and transportation frame. They then used accelerometers and inclinometers, including iPads, to monitor the route’s bumps, as well as the trailer’s roll and pitch around turns.

    Because the detector system has a high center of gravity — about 10 feet up — engineers needed to ensure that the route did not include any inclines or turn angles that would change the level of the trailer more than 5 degrees.

    “During transportation, we needed to keep everything aligned,” said Monica Nunes, a guest scientist who coordinated the SBND assembly. “The detector was built to be transported, but a move like this — with a system that has such a high center of gravity — has never been done at Fermilab before.”

    4
    The detector was wrapped in protective coverings prior to its move. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    The data showed that the preferred route was along Fermilab’s Ring Road. At a maximum speed of about 2.5 miles per hour, and with an escort from Fermilab security, this part of the transport was expected to take about 90 minutes. Scientists and engineers walked alongside the truck as it moved, monitoring the load real-time with accelerators and inclinometers that transmitted data to their cell phones.

    The route had been well prepared. In the days before the move, Fermilab’s Infrastructure Services Division inspected the road for potholes, trimmed trees and removed powerlines to ready the route.

    “Many people at Fermilab have worked together to make this happen — physicists, students, technical staff, administration, procurement,” said Anne Schukraft, neutrino scientist and SBND technical coordinator. “It has been great to get everyone’s input and to learn from everyone’s expertise. It has been a true team effort.”

    After the move

    Once the detector system arrived at the detector hall, the crane unloaded it from the trailer and placed it on steel tracks for it to be rolled 82 feet into the detector hall. That completed the move for the day.

    In the coming days and weeks, Fermilab scientists and engineers will unwrap the detector, set up outriggers, and install fall protection to be able to work safely on top of the detector. They will also test each of the subsystems to ensure they were not compromised during the move.

    In the coming months, the detector will be fitted with a top cap and placed inside the cryostat. Next summer, the cryostat will be filled with liquid argon. Scientists will test the system to characterize the signals it receives before it begins receiving real data from the neutrino beam in the fall of 2023. Ultimately, SBND will record over a million neutrino interactions per year.

    “To finally have data will be really exciting,” Palamara said. “We have been working toward this for eight years.”

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Since 2007, Fermilab has been operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago, and the Universities Research Association. Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.

    Fermilab’s Tevatron was a landmark particle accelerator; until the startup in 2008 of the The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral][Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL)[CERN] Large Hadron Collider(CH) near Geneva, Switzerland, it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, accelerating antiprotons to energies of 500 GeV, and producing proton-proton collisions with energies of up to 1.6 TeV, the first accelerator to reach one “tera-electron-volt” energy. At 3.9 miles (6.3 km), it was the world’s fourth-largest particle accelerator in circumference. One of its most important achievements was the 1995 discovery of the top quark, announced by research teams using the Tevatron’s CDF and DØ detectors. It was shut down in 2011.

    NOνA (NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance)

    and Seaquest

    .

    Completed neutrino experiments include MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search), MINOS+, MiniBooNE and SciBooNE (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment).

    The MiniBooNE detector was a 40-foot (12 m) diameter sphere containing 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1,520 phototube detectors. An estimated 1 million neutrino events were recorded each year.

    SciBooNE sat in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but had fine-grained tracking capabilities. The NOνA experiment uses, and the MINOS experiment used, Fermilab’s NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota and the Ash River, Minnesota, site of the NOνA far detector.

    The ICARUS neutrino experiment was moved from CERN to Fermilab.

    In the public realm, Fermilab is home to a native prairie ecosystem restoration project and hosts many cultural events: public science lectures and symposia, classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. The site is open from dawn to dusk to visitors who present valid photo identification.

    Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.

    The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory campus.

    The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory/MINERvA. Photo Reidar Hahn.

    The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator LaboratoryDAMIC | The Fermilab Cosmic Physics Center.

    The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator LaboratoryMuon g-2 studio. As muons race around a ring at the Muon g-2 studio, their spin axes twirl, reflecting the influence of unseen particles.

    The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Short-Baseline Near Detector under construction.

    The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Mu2e solenoid.

    The Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    Weston, Illinois, was a community next to Batavia voted out of existence by its village board in 1966 to provide a site for Fermilab.

    The laboratory was founded in 1969 as the National Accelerator Laboratory; it was renamed in honor of Enrico Fermi in 1974. The laboratory’s first director was Robert Rathbun Wilson, under whom the laboratory opened ahead of time and under budget. Many of the sculptures on the site are of his creation. He is the namesake of the site’s high-rise laboratory building, whose unique shape has become the symbol for Fermilab and which is the center of activity on the campus.

    After Wilson stepped down in 1978 to protest the lack of funding for the lab, Leon M. Lederman took on the job. It was under his guidance that the original accelerator was replaced with the Tevatron, an accelerator capable of colliding protons and antiprotons at a combined energy of 1.96 TeV. Lederman stepped down in 1989. The science education center at the site was named in his honor.

    The later directors include:

    John Peoples, 1989 to 1996
    Michael S. Witherell, July 1999 to June 2005
    Piermaria Oddone, July 2005 to July 2013
    Nigel Lockyer, September 2013 to the present

    Fermilab continues to participate in the work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); it serves as a Tier 1 site in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid and hosts 1000 U.S. scientists who work on the CMS project.

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 5:01 pm on November 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Mechanical Engineering, , , "Tiny Swimming Robots Can Restructure Materials on a Microscopic Level", Microrobots, Since they’re too small for their own onboard computers microrobots move about by means of an external magnetic force.   

    From The School of Engineering and Applied Science At The University of Pennsylvania: “Tiny Swimming Robots Can Restructure Materials on a Microscopic Level” 

    From The School of Engineering and Applied Science

    At

    U Penn bloc

    The University of Pennsylvania

    11.15.22
    Melissa Pappas

    1
    The researchers’ microrobots use “physical intelligence” to exert control over nearby objects. By spinning and disrupting the alignment of the liquid crystal surrounding them, the robots can attract smaller particles to their edges, then precisely deposit them.

    Controlling microscopic processes is inherently challenging. The everyday tools we use to manipulate matter on the macroscale can’t simply be shrunk down to the size of cell, and even if they could, the physical forces they rely on work differently when their targets are measured in nanometers. But while it’s no easy feat, attaining this type of control would pay enormous dividends: whether it’s transporting drugs to tumors for precise therapies, or making functional materials out of the liquid-suspended building blocks known as colloids, Penn Engineers are working to make these processes faster, safer and more reliable.

    One approach for controlling these processes is through the use of microrobots.

    We typically think of robots as computerized machines like those on assembly lines or in warehouses, programmed to move cargo and to build complex structures like automobiles and cellphones. However, programming a machine smaller than a microchip presents another kind of challenge. Too small for computerization, robots on this scale need to be designed in a completely different way — and adhere to completely different sets of physical and chemical laws — than their bigger counterparts.

    Since they’re too small for their own onboard computers microrobots move about by means of an external magnetic force. And to manipulate equally small cargo, they need to take advantage of the different physical and chemical laws that rule the microscale.

    At those sizes, every object is greatly influenced by the molecules surrounding it. Whether they are surrounded by gas, like the ambient atmosphere, or immersed in a liquid, microrobots must be designed to exploit this influence through a concept known as “physical intelligence.”

    By understanding the system, the surrounding media and the particles within it, physically intelligent microrobots can perform diverse tasks.

    Kathleen Stebe, Richer & Elizabeth Goodwin Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Tianyi Yao, a former Ph.D. student in her lab, Qi Xing Zhang, a current Ph.D. student, and collaborators in the group of Professor Miha Ravnik at the University of Ljubljana are conducting fundamental research that will lay the groundwork for understanding these small-scale interactions in a colloidal fluid of nematic liquid crystals (NLCs), the fluid that makes up each pixel in a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen.

    “Nematic liquid crystals exist as a special phase, a structured fluid that is neither liquid nor solid,” says Stebe. “NLCs consist of elongated molecules that self-align in a configuration that requires the least amount of energy. Think of shaking a pan of rice; the grains all align. When you disturb the nematic alignment by introducing microrobots or colloidal cargo, you get really interesting dynamics that you don’t see in water, for example. It is the physics of NLCs that allow us to investigate these unique interactions.”

    In one study, published in Advanced Functional Materials [below], the research team describes a four-armed, magnetically controlled microrobot that can swim, carry cargo and actively restructure particles in this complex fluid.

    “We started with a complex shape, which produced complex behaviors,” says Stebe. “Here, the microrobot is being controlled by an external magnetic field and is using its physical intelligence to pick up a microparticle as cargo, then it bats it around as it swims to the textured surface. The grooves in the surface material are the perfect size to attract and hold the particle. In fact, it was that surface design that inspired the design of the four-armed microrobot. We took advantage of the physical shape, surface chemistry and special dynamics of the colloid in NLCs to control it.”

    “But, the more we observed these sophisticated functions, the more we didn’t understand,” she adds. “We had to turn back to the fundamentals to actually explain what was going on here.”

    How was this robot able to swim? How was it able to hold and move particles? In another study, published in Science Advances [below], the team answered those questions with a microrobot of a simpler shape.

    “The disk shape allowed us to better understand the microbot’s swimming ability,” says Stebe. “Here we can see that as one side of the disk tilts upwards, there is a topological defect that is created underneath it. The interaction between the topological defect and the disk itself creates an energy gradient that allows for self-propulsion of the disk.”

    The reason for the topological defect which allows for the swimming function of the robot is because of the complex organization of the NLCs, which differs dramatically from disorganized liquids like water.

    “Using physics of nematic liquid crystals,” says Yao, the lead author of both studies, “we can build physically intelligent microrobotic systems. We can make long-range interactions, tune binding strengths and reconfigure the space. While we have proven these interactions on the microscale, the prevailing physics are also effective on very small scales, on the order of 30–50 nanometers.”

    Being able to manipulate processes on this level is groundbreaking, and understanding how robotic systems are able to perform tasks in an indirect way, considering the fluid dynamics and physical interactions of the media as a part of the microrobot’s design, is key.

    Stebe and her team are now able to imagine real-world applications for this technology in the optical device industry as well as many other fields. Smart materials, aware of their environment, may be designed using temperature and light as controls for microrobotic tasks.

    “Together with dedicated colleagues and graduate students, we have been working hard on this technology, and are excited to see years of work come to fruition,” she says. “We are now standing on the edge of real applications and ready to explore.”

    Science papers:
    Advanced Functional Materials
    Science Advances
    See the science papers for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The School of Engineering and Applied Science is an undergraduate and graduate school of The University of Pennsylvania. The School offers programs that emphasize hands-on study of engineering fundamentals (with an offering of approximately 300 courses) while encouraging students to leverage the educational offerings of the broader University. Engineering students can also take advantage of research opportunities through interactions with Penn’s School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.

    Penn Engineering offers bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degree programs in contemporary fields of engineering study. The nationally ranked bioengineering department offers the School’s most popular undergraduate degree program. The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, offered in partnership with the Wharton School, allows students to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. SEAS also offers several masters programs, which include: Executive Master’s in Technology Management, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Computer and Information Technology, Master of Computer and Information Science and a Master of Science in Engineering in Telecommunications and Networking.

    History

    The study of engineering at The University of Pennsylvania can be traced back to 1850 when the University trustees adopted a resolution providing for a professorship of “Chemistry as Applied to the Arts”. In 1852, the study of engineering was further formalized with the establishment of the School of Mines, Arts and Manufactures. The first Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering was appointed in 1852. The first graduate of the school received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1854. Since that time, the school has grown to six departments. In 1973, the school was renamed as the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    The early growth of the school benefited from the generosity of two Philadelphians: John Henry Towne and Alfred Fitler Moore. Towne, a mechanical engineer and railroad developer, bequeathed the school a gift of $500,000 upon his death in 1875. The main administration building for the school still bears his name. Moore was a successful entrepreneur who made his fortune manufacturing telegraph cable. A 1923 gift from Moore established the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, which is the birthplace of the first electronic general-purpose Turing-complete digital computer, ENIAC, in 1946.

    During the latter half of the 20th century the school continued to break new ground. In 1958, Barbara G. Mandell became the first woman to enroll as an undergraduate in the School of Engineering. In 1965, the university acquired two sites that were formerly used as U.S. Army Nike Missile Base (PH 82L and PH 82R) and created the Valley Forge Research Center. In 1976, the Management and Technology Program was created. In 1990, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Science were first offered, followed by a master’s degree in Biotechnology in 1997.

    The school continues to expand with the addition of the Melvin and Claire Levine Hall for computer science in 2003, Skirkanich Hall for Bioengineering in 2006, and the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology in 2013.

    Academics

    Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is organized into six departments:

    Bioengineering
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Computer and Information Science
    Electrical and Systems Engineering
    Materials Science and Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

    The school’s Department of Bioengineering, originally named Biomedical Electronic Engineering, consistently garners a top-ten ranking at both the undergraduate and graduate level from U.S. News & World Report. The department also houses the George H. Stephenson Foundation Educational Laboratory & Bio-MakerSpace (aka Biomakerspace) for training undergraduate through PhD students. It is Philadelphia’s and Penn’s only Bio-MakerSpace and it is open to the Penn community, encouraging a free flow of ideas, creativity, and entrepreneurship between Bioengineering students and students throughout the university.

    Founded in 1893, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is “America’s oldest continuously operating degree-granting program in chemical engineering.”

    The Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering is recognized for its research in electroscience, systems science and network systems and telecommunications.

    Originally established in 1946 as the School of Metallurgical Engineering, the Materials Science and Engineering Department “includes cutting edge programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology, biomaterials, ceramics, polymers, and metals.”

    The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics draws its roots from the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which was established in 1876.

    Each department houses one or more degree programs. The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics departments each house a single degree program.

    Bioengineering houses two programs (both a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science degree). Electrical and Systems Engineering offers four Bachelor of Science in Engineering programs: Electrical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Computer Engineering, and the Networked & Social Systems Engineering, the latter two of which are co-housed with Computer and Information Science (CIS). The CIS department, like Bioengineering, offers Computer and Information Science programs under both bachelor programs. CIS also houses Digital Media Design, a program jointly operated with PennDesign.

    Research

    Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is a research institution. SEAS research strives to advance science and engineering and to achieve a positive impact on society.

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 7:43 am on November 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "CCM": The University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Materials, "The TuFF age", "TuFF": Tailored Universal Feedstock for Forming, A single layer of TuFF material is approximately 100 microns thick-about the diameter of the average human hair., , Boeing 747: 404600 pounds; B2 Stealth Bomber: 43000 pounds, Mechanical Engineering, Reducing a material’s weight will reduce fuel consumption and emissions and can result in thousands of dollars in savings over time., The carbon-nanotube sensors the engineers plan to integrate into the material are smaller still-one billionth the width of a human hair., The goal is to enable lighter-weight composites to become cost-competitive with aluminum for creating small parts found in air vehicles., , TuFF thermosets have a high temperature threshold making them useful for aerospace applications., University of Delaware researchers tackle new task in making complex material more viable for building aircraft.   

    From The University of Delaware : “The TuFF age” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware

    11.28.22
    Karen B. Roberts

    1
    The goal of Tailored Universal Feedstock for Forming — TuFF — is to enable lighter-weight composites to become cost-competitive with aluminum for creating small parts found in aircraft of many kinds. Photo illustration by Jeffrey C. Chase.

    University of Delaware researchers tackle new task in making complex material more viable for building aircraft.

    “TuFF” — Tailored Universal Feedstock for Forming — is a strong, highly aligned, short-fiber composite material that can be made from many fiber and resin combinations. Created at The University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Materials (CCM), it can be stamped into complex shapes, just like sheet metal, and features high-performance and stretchability up to 40%.

    Since its introduction, CCM researchers have explored applications for TuFF, from materials for repairing our nation’s pipelines to uses in flying taxis of the future.

    Now, armed with $13.5 million in funding from the U.S. Air Force, UD mechanical engineers and co-principal investigators Suresh Advani and Erik Thostenson along with industry collaborators Composites Automation and Maher and Associates are working on ways to improve manufacturing methods for TuFF. 

    “I am really excited at the opportunity to mature the TuFF pre-pregging process and demonstrate high-throughput composite thermoforming for Air Force relevant components,” said David Simone of the U.S. Air Force.

    The goal is to enable lighter-weight composites to become cost-competitive with aluminum for creating small parts found in air vehicles.

    Advani explained that when it comes to making aircraft materials more cost-efficient, reducing a material’s weight even a mere kilogram, just 2.2. pounds, will reduce fuel consumption and emissions and can result in thousands of dollars in savings over time. 

    This is because aircraft are heavy. A Boeing 747, for example, weighs a whopping 404,600 pounds. A B2 Stealth Bomber in the U.S. Air Force, meanwhile, tips the scale at over 43,000 pounds.

    “In general, the aerospace industry wants to reduce weight and replace metals,” said Advani, George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering. TuFF is a good option because the material can achieve properties equivalent to the best continuous fiber composites used in aerospace applications. 

    Advancing TuFF thermosets

    Until now, most of the work around TuFF has focused on thermoplastic composite materials that melt when heated, becoming soft and pliable, which is useful for forming. By contrast, TuFF thermosets have a higher temperature threshold, making them useful for aerospace applications. But TuFF thermosets have manufacturing challenges, too, including the long manufacturing times necessary to make a part. 

    In this new project, Thostenson and Advani will work on ways to improve the viability of thermoset TuFF composites. To start, the researchers will characterize the starting materials’ mechanical properties to understand how to make TuFF thermosets reliably and consistently. The research team will explore whether they can make the material in a new way, using thin resin films and liquid resins. They will test the limits of how the material forms and behaves under pressure and temperature, too.

    “How does it stretch during forming in a mold? What shapes can we make? When does it tear or thin or develop voids that can compromise material integrity?” said Advani.

    Having a database for such properties and behaviors will be useful in understanding TuFF material capabilities and limits, and to inform efforts to model and design parts with TuFF.

    Thostenson, professor of mechanical engineering, is an expert in structural health monitoring of materials. He will advance ways to embed sensor technology into TuFF thermosets. This would allow the researchers to see from the inside how the material is forming and curing during its manufacture, in hopes of being able to gauge—and improve— the material’s damage tolerance. 

    It’s intricate work. To give you an idea of scale, a single layer of TuFF material is approximately 100 microns thick, about the diameter of the average human hair. The carbon-nanotube sensors Thostenson plans to integrate into the material are smaller still—one billionth the width of a human hair. 

    “This would allow us to do health monitoring for the materials and parts during service life, but you could also imagine using sensor technology to detect a defect during manufacturing,” said Thostenson. 

    While it remains to be seen whether this is possible, Thostenson said having this ability could result in real cost savings for manufacturing methods, where real-time knowledge of how a material is curing could help the researchers speed up production. Additionally, if there is a material failure, such as a tear, the sensors could point the researchers where to look in the process.

    The research team also plans to develop a virtual modeling system to refine the material-forming process through computer simulation instead of by trial and error. In this way, the team will better understand each step in the material-forming process, enhancing the team’s ability to make TuFF materials consistently and reliably — a must for aerospace applications.

    “I am hoping this work will allow us finally to make composites cost competitive with the metal industry,” said Advani.

    In addition to Thostenson and Advani, the team includes, from CCM, Jack Gillespie, Dirk Heider, Shridhar Yarlagadda, Thomas Cender, John Tierney and Pavel Simacek, along with four to five graduate students.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The University of Delaware is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    The University of Delaware is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation, UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    The University of Delaware is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    The University of Delaware traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, The University of Delaware signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km^2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
  • richardmitnick 9:44 am on November 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New robots in Europe can be workers’ best friends", , , , Mechanical Engineering, More sophisticated robots are on the way accelerating a drive to ensure they help workers rather than take their place., Psychophysiology   

    From “Horizon” The EU Research and Innovation Magazine : “New robots in Europe can be workers’ best friends” 

    From “Horizon” The EU Research and Innovation Magazine

    11.23.22
    Gareth Willmer

    More sophisticated robots are on the way, accelerating a drive to ensure they help workers rather than take their place.

    1
    Researchers are ushering in a new way of thinking about robots in the workplace based on the idea of robots and workers as teammates rather than competitors. © BigBlueStudio, Shutterstock.

    For decades, the arrival of robots in the workplace has been a source of public anxiety over fears that they will replace workers and create unemployment.

    Now that more sophisticated and humanoid robots are actually emerging, the picture is changing, with some seeing robots as promising teammates rather than unwelcome competitors.

    ‘Cobot’ colleagues

    Take Italian industrial-automation company Comau. It has developed a robot that can collaborate with – and enhance the safety of – workers in strict cleanroom settings in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, electronics, food and beverage industries. The innovation is known as a “collaborative robot”, or “cobot”.

    Comau’s arm-like cobot, which is designed for handling and assembly tasks, can automatically switch from an industrial to a slower speed when a person enters the work area. This new feature allows one robot to be used instead of two, maximizing productivity and protecting workers.

    ‘It has advanced things by allowing a dual mode of operation,’ said Dr Sotiris Makris, a roboticist at the University of Patras in Greece. ‘You can either use it as a conventional robot or, when it is in collaborative mode, the worker can grab it and move it around as an assisting device.’

    Makris was coordinator of the just-completed EU-funded SHERLOCK project, which explored new methods for safely combining human and robot capabilities from what it regarded as an often overlooked research angle: psychological and social well-being.

    Creative and inclusive

    Robotics can help society by carrying out repetitive, tedious tasks, freeing up workers to engage in more creative activities. And robotic technologies that can collaborate effectively with workers could make workplaces more inclusive, such as by aiding people with disabilities.

    These opportunities are important to seize as the structure and the age profile of the European workforce changes. For example, the proportion of 55-to-64-year-olds increased from 12.5% of the EU’s employees in 2009 to 19% in 2021.

    Alongside the social dimension, there is also economic benefit from greater industrial efficiency, showing that neither necessarily needs to come at the expense of the other.

    ‘There is increasing competition around the globe, with new advances in robotics,’ said Makris. ‘That is calling for actions and continuous improvement in Europe.’

    Makris cites the humanoid robots being developed by Elon Musk-led car manufacturer Tesla. Wearable robotics, bionic limbs and exoskeleton suits are also being developed that promise to enhance people’s capabilities in the workplace.

    Still, the rapidly advancing wave of robotics poses big challenges when it comes to ensuring they are effectively integrated into the workplace and that people’s individual needs are met when working with them. 

    Case for SHERLOCK

    SHERLOCK also examined the potential for smart exoskeletons to support workers in carrying and handling heavy parts at places such as workshops, warehouses or assembly sites. Wearable sensors and AI were used to monitor and track human movements.

    With this feedback, the idea is that the exoskeleton can then adapt to the needs of the specific task while helping workers retain an ergonomic posture to avoid injury.

    ‘Using sensors to collect data from how the exoskeleton performs allowed us to see and better understand the human condition,’ said Dr Makris. ‘This allowed us to have prototypes on how exoskeletons need to be further redesigned and developed in the future, depending on different user profiles and different countries.’

    SHERLOCK, which has just ended after four years, brought together 18 European organizations in multiple countries from Greece to Italy and the UK working on different areas of robotics.

    The range of participants enabled the project to harness a wide variety of perspectives, which Dr Makris said was also beneficial in the light of differing national rules on integrating robotics technology.

    As a result of the interaction of these robotic systems with people, the software is advanced enough to give direction to ‘future developments on the types of features to have and how the workplace should be designed,’ said Dr Makris.

    Old hands, new tools

    Another EU-funded project that ended this year, CO-ADAPT, used cobots to help older people navigate the digitized workplace.

    The project team developed a cobot equipped adaptive workstation to aid people in assembly tasks, such as making a phone, car or toy – or, indeed, combining any set of individual components into a finished product during manufacturing. The station can adapt workbench height and lighting to a person’s physical characteristics and visual abilities. It also includes features like eye-tracking glasses to gather information on mental workload.

    That brings more insight into what all kinds of people need, said Professor Giulio Jacucci, coordinator of CO-ADAPT and a computer scientist at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

    ‘You find interesting differences in how much the machine and how much the person should do, as well as how much the machine should try to give guidance and how,’ Jacucci said. ‘This is important work that goes down to the nuts and bolts of making this work.’

    Still, cobot equipped workplaces that can fully tap into and respond to people’s mental states in real-life settings could still be a number of years away, he said.

    ‘It’s so complex because there’s the whole mechanical part, plus trying to understand people’s status from their psychophysiological states,’ said Prof Jacucci.

    Meanwhile, because new technologies can be used in much simpler ways to improve the workplace, CO-ADAPT also explored digitization more broadly.

    Smart shifts

    One area was software that enables ‘smart-shift scheduling’, which arranges duty periods for workers based on their personal circumstances. The approach has been shown to reduce sick leave, stress and sleep disorders among social welfare and health care workers.

    ‘It’s a fantastic example of how workability improves because we use evidence-based knowledge of how to have well-being-informed schedules,’ said Prof Jacucci.

    Focusing on the individual is key to the future of well-integrated digital tools and robotics, he said.

    ‘Let’s say you have to collaborate with some robot in an assembly task,’ he said. ‘The question is: should the robot be aware of my cognitive and other abilities? And how should we divide the task between the two?’

    The basic message from the project is that plenty of room exists to improve and broaden working environments.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

     
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