Think Mechanical Engineering is Just Cars? Think Again.

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Prosthetic limbs. They’ve been 3D Printed, they’ve been automated, and now? Now they can feel, too.

Researchers in Bradley Greger’s Neural Engineering Lab at Arizona State University are creating an interface between neural nerves and prosthetic limbs to give patients a heightened level of control.

The goal is to create limbs that patients will use as true extensions of themselves. To accomplish this, the team is seeking to establish two-way communication between a user and a new prosthetic limb so that it is capable of controlling more than 20 different movements.

It gets even more exciting as virtual reality is integrated into the next phase of their study. The aim is to create a neural code that not only maps brain signals to hand movements, but creates a real synergy in movement.

…markers will be applied to the patient’s healthy hand to record its movements, and then these measurements will be used to direct the virtual hand, with the patient using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Another team member, Kevin O’Neill, a doctoral student at ASU, is developing technology that allows the patient to see what the virtual limb is doing and decodes the neural messages that enable the motion to happen.

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CEO of Rolls-Royce incorporates 3D printing strategy to increase sales

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In 2016 Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the CEO of Rolls-Royce, shared how embracing new technologies, including 3D printing, is his strategy for the company’s survival. Sales figures for 2016 show just how successful this custom-made approach is, as Rolls-Royce sold over 4,000 cars for only the second time in history. Total sales of Rolls-Royce cars are a 6% increase on 2015, the UK being the highest increase in demand by in 26%, and the US by 10%.

The personal touch  

According to Rolls-Royce“Today, practically every motor car that leaves the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England is Bespoke.” In a retrospective of the best Rolls-Royce models of 2016, custom touches to their models include everything from the exterior paintwork, to the interior dashboard, fittings and upholstery.

As of July 2016, BMW had 3D printed 10,000 parts for the of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. 3D printed parts of the Phantom for the moment seem exclusively to be plastic components; holders for hazard-warning lights, lock buttons, parking brakes and sockets, though for Rolls-Royce clientele these components would not be beyond customisation.

The custom Nautical Dawn Photo via: RollsRoycemcna on Twitter.

A new Phantom approaches

The House of Rolls-Royce campaign is a video series exploring the company’s history. In Chapter I: The Spirit of Ecstasy Rolls-Royce use 3D scanning to render the first Silver Ghost model.

In 1907, this car was dubbed ‘The Best Car in the World’ after completing the 14,371-mile Alpine Trial motorcar endurance rally. These videos track 110 years in car manufacturing, leading up to the launch of a new Phantom saloon model.

Animation of the Silver Ghost. Clip from Chapter I: The Spirit of Ecstasy.

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Article by Beau Jackson

WeekZero Build 2016

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About ASME

ASME York is a non-profit, student-run organization, that will be comprised of executive team members as well as faculty members. Our main goal is to create an environment in which engineering, technology matters, as well as policies at all levels can be fostered in a continuing dialogue.