Category Archives: Engineering

SpaceX, the pioneer of reusable rocket

As most people say, the improvement of science and technology changed our society in many ways. Human lives have attained a higher level of convenience, variety, and vividness. Also, the curiosity of human nature influenced scientists, and the scientists pioneered the new field of science: the aerospace. This field is all about launching the manned spacecraft, sending the space satellites, creating the space shuttles and developing the aerospace technology. However, these works spend a lot of money. The weight of fuel and expendable launch system are the major factors of an expensive launch cost. To solve this problem, many international aerospace science institutes and private aerospace company have researched the way to decrease the weight of the rocket and improve the fuel-efficiency.

 

Depending on the type of fuel, spaceships are classified as a solid-fuel rocket or liquid-fuel rocket. The rocket using solid-fuel can radiate stronger thrust than the rocket using liquid-fuel can. Moreover, using solid-fuel rocket has fewer parts to manufacture than that of a liquid-fuel rocket, and it is easy to launch instantly after long-term storage. However, it is hard to control the rocket during the flight. On the other hand, the liquid-fuel rocket can control the magnitude of thrust. Therefore, most of the rockets use both solid and liquid type engines. By using them, aerospace science organization efficiently launch the rockets. Although these kinds of means are developed, reducing the launch cost is a hard problem to solve. Among other institutes and organizations, the company called ‘SpaceX’ came up with an innovative solution: using a reusable rocket.

‘SpaceX’ is a company that substitutes for transporting space freight such as space satellites, parts of space stations, and daily necessities for astronauts. It is the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft. In addition, it is the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, and the first to reuse an orbital rocket. Common rockets that use expendable launch system are launched once and then discard after the end of the flight. However, this company’s rockets use the reusable rockets that apply the reusable launch system (RLS, or reusable launch vehicle, RLV). RLS is a launch system that can launch a payload into space more than once. Most reusable rockets can be reused when the parts of them assemble again after their flight. Also, the reusable rocket of ‘SpaceX’ can take off and land vertically to its original launch center. Through these mechanisms, ‘SpaceX’ could save the launch cost by a factor of 6 compared to that of other institutes and organizations.

 

‘SpaceX’ has contracted with National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) and other international aerospace science institutes. Also, it has developed many other rockets and dragon capsules such as Falcon 9 v1.2, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon V2. The prospect of this company seems very good.

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Science of cycling remains still largely mysterious

 

Recently, a bicycle has become not only a transportation but also a trend item. Environmental issues contributed to the growth of bicycle market. As the bicycle market grew, more and more people started to buy and ride their own bicycle. However, there are only a few people who understand the intricacies of how cycling actually works. Let’s take a look at some questions about the bicycle.

What do we know about the bicycle? We know one simple principle: pedal turns a gear that turns a wheel. But it’s physics that is really fascinating. As we think more deeply, more and more mysteries appear — how the bicycle goes straight, what factors work to balance when it moves, etc. Quantum physicist Michael Brooks summed it up nicely in a 2013 article in the New Statesman: “Forget mysterious dark matter and the inexplicable accelerating expansion of the universe; the bicycle represents a far more embarrassing hole in the accomplishments of physics.”

Then, you might think that the design of bicycle has the key of the physics. The answer is, it actually not. Indeed, bicycle manufacturers put a lot of effort and energy in designing bicycles. They put new carbon fiber frames, different sized wheels or tires with different thicknesses. But these are the result guessed by a lot of tests, not mathematically calculated theories.

Although scientists don’t know the exact factor, we know some simple basics. Bike going straightly isn’t just because of the force of momentum pushing it there. First, the bike can’t go straight if the handlebar is fixed. Second, one of the key figures is handlebar angle. The angled handlebar makes an effect of sliding from tilted wall. This is because the steering axis and the contact point are at different places, so the front tire moves towards the steering axis. That helps the bike self-steer and makes the bicycle stable when a rider is on it. What we still don’t know is how these forces, as well as the gyroscopic effect of the tires turning, interact with one another.

The reality is that bike design really hasn’t improved in decades, says Jim Papadopoulos. People have just tried to improve the appearance and reduce the weight of bicycles. So, what we can improve now is change the rider. To bicycles, riders are the most important factor for getting balanced. The aerodynamic position of a rider is certainly important if the road is not really smooth. We can credit the bike for a lot of things, but the real machine that we have to think about more is the rider driving the bicycle forward.

Reference: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/science-of-cycling-still-mysterious-1.3699012

TECHS FOUND IN CELL PHONE COULD SAVE LIVES

On rough seas, the stability of ships can be a matter of life and death. If a ship loses balance, then it could shrink, which would effect the life of all the people who are on the ship. To prevent these ships from upsetting, a new ship-stabilizing mechanism called ‘Gyroscope’ is now applied to many ships.

It’s actually hard to call this technology a “brand new tech.” because it was already invented in 1850s by a Frenchman Leon Foucault. A gyroscope is a spinning wheel, called the rotor, that rotates around an axis. The rotor is mounted between two gimbals that turns around their own axes. This means that when pressure is exerted on the gimbals, the rotor is unaffected, making it a useful tool to measure compass headings and pitch, roll, or yaw angles—useful for sailors trying to find the horizon on a foggy morning, or in a spacecraft which headed to the ISS.

Other than ship-stabilizing and guiding, gyroscope is used in many important tools like the Hubble Space Telescope, race cars, airplanes, and cell phones. Pokemon Go’s augmented reality also uses gyroscope.

In a boat, the natural rocking of the water moves the spinning gyroscope, producing pressure known as ‘torc.’ As the boat rolls, the gyro tilts fore and aft. This motion comes from the stabilizers which use the energy produced by pushing the spinning gyroscope off its vertical axis to correct the boat’s heel. It’s basically the same principle with a surfer adjusting his body’s position on his board to match a wave’s surface

The problem, though, is that until recently, gyroscopic stabilizers were too heavy and big that it weighted about 100 tons because their power depended on their size and mass. Huge space was needed to take stabilizer, so only huge ships could apply it. However, In 1970s new kind of stabilizer called ‘fin stabilizer’ was invented for the small ships. It looked like fins, and they moved up and down like wing airplane so that it can push the water and stabilize the ship. But fins, though effective, required a lot of power, and changed the direction of the ship a bit.

Researchers are still working on scaling the stabilizer down so that every boats in every sizes can use it. Researchers revealed their next goal that is to make a stabilizer for 20-foot boats. While the early adapters might be luxury ships, the company is seeing an uptick in commercial adoption too.

Widespread usage of stabilizers, Semprevivo hopes, will help improve safety conditions on the sea. “We have an opportunity,” Semprevivo says, “to see what our product can do.”

Reference : http://www.popsci.com/stabilizing-gyroscopes-cure-motion-sickness-save-lives

Charac-IOT

     The world has began the 4th industrial revolution with internet of things, or the method for connecting the objects around us using internet and thus making them easy for us to control. However, the problem of it is that objects related to  ioT (internet things) seem so mechanical, angled, and unfriendly. Thus, the character industry, which is much friendly with people but has limitation with growth itself was collaborated with ioT by a company named KT(Korea Telecom).
     The two characters used in this company are named IO (for the black one) and IT (for the white one). For advertisement, new webtoon and short videos have been made for these two characters. These two machines contain speaker, home camera, lamp, and gas valve. Moreover, since they are characterized machines, they are not only useful for their mechanical function, but also as pretty interior decorations.

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     In my opinion, character-ioT is such an innovating technology that has loads of possibilities. For example, if robot engineering is added on this technology, the bound of functions of the characterized machines are going to get wider. Also, if 3D printing skills are added on it, mass production of machines will be supported by making hardware of the machines faster and easier.
     If you want more specific information, you can watch a video below explaining about charac-ioT.

Personal robots

Have you ever heard about one of the Japanese animations named ‘Doraemon’? In this animation, a cat-bot named ‘Doraemon’ lives with a main character called ‘Novita’.

To summarize the story briefly, Doraemon is the one who came from 22nd century and he can find anything he wants in his pocket. One day he gives a clone of Novita to Novita. Then Novita just make his clone to do every work for him, and he rests.

How comfortable is it?

Like Novita in this story, Ishiguro Hiroshi, a professor of Osaka University, made a clone of his own. He is now using his clone (called Geminoid)  as his substitute – doing lecture, speak with others, and even flies on the airplane together. For a long time, scientists have researched and studied about humanoids. Now, developed humanoids can act almost same as human. They blink their eyes, speak, smile, and even heave their chests when they are breathing!!!

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Some scientists predict that this clone technology can be helpful in not only psychologically comfort humans, but also will benefit human economically. To be specific, as mention in the short story above, humanoids can act similar with human, but they do not get tired like humans. Therefore, we can save our time and money by making clones to do our work, or work with clone in same time, which can double the income.

When computer was invented, nobody thought that computers will be used in our daily life. However, now, almost everyone has at least one computer at their houses. About 10 years ago, most people might have thought that it’s impossible to have their own clones, but scientist predict that in near future, it would be possible for people to use humanoids and clones in their daily lives.

 

(The video below shows the other humanoid that Ishiguro Hiroshi invented. Named ‘Geminoid F’. You will be able to know how elaborate their actions are.)

 

New 3D Printers with New Materials

As time goes, development of the technology in this world coincides. One of the examples of world’s development is 3D printing skill. 3D printers make us to print out not only papers, which are 2 dimensional, but also print out some 3 dimensional objects using computer.

생활 용품 & 플라스

 

Like the pictures above, 3D printer will make humans’ lives better by letting them get some supplements in their lives by printing out them in own houses. We can save our money by printing out objects instead of buying them in markets.

However, there were some problems in 3D printing. For common 3D printers, which are not expensive and therefore people can use it publicly, many things such as color, material, and size were limited. On the other had,  expensive 3D printers, which are used in large companies, have less limitation than that of the cheap ones. Diversity of materials for printing, however, were also limited to the large and expensive printers, and most materials were plastic and sometimes paper.

Than lately, a 3D printer company called ExOne made a 3D printer that is capable of using metal and ceramic as materials for printing.

모래로 금속 주물용

For plastics, printers were able to use them as materials by melting  them. And for papers, printers cut them into slices and used them in printing. However, how can metals be used as materials when we cannot cut or melt them? The 3D printer of ExOne discovered the solution for the problem.

First, the printer spreads metal (or ceramic) powders on its floor. Then, when a certain laser lights the specific area, that area solidifies suddenly. So, by solidifying an object by floors (by lifting the base floor of the printer up and down), result came out finally!!

I thought that 3D printers will not be so much useful since I only knew that printers use some simple materials such as plastic. Of course I thought that 3D printers will develop the world much since it has been constructed houses, but by recognizing that 3D printers also use metal, I was able to get more interest in 3D printers and printing skills.

We might be to spend most of our money on recharging 3D printers in the future. Since people uses such programs for 3D designing on computer and spread the files using internet, other people are also able to use that saved files of specific objects to print out.

Ecological Monitoring Using Advanced Drones


In simple
words, if defined a drone is “A flying camera which clicks the pictures from the air”. So it has basically changed the way we see or screen the biological system of the whole globe. Researchers have found that using the technology or we can say by automation have a great deal or we can say have an exact checking over the measure of seabird provinces in tropical and polar situations as compared to ground numbers. The technology is growing so fast that it has been said that drones were utilized as a part of the past. As we noticed that it may happen that specialist has neglected to test whether drones are the correct source of observing creature populace over ground checks or not.

Airborne observation robots are preffered to be more exact than conventional studying methods of following changes in creature populace and the more extensive environment. This information has been researched by the Monash University. The university made the study, which looked at footage taken from drones flying over tropical and sub arctic islands with the data which has been accumulated by the human counter checking populace starting from the early stage. The main researcher Jarrod Hodgsonwho did all the research while he was at Monash, clarified how the exploration contrasted with the picture tallies and those made by the people on the ground.

Things were like what they see in the pictures taken by the drone did not startle with the winged creatures. The autonomous pictures that were taken were reliably more comparable than those pictures which are taken from the beginning.

Reference site: http://www.eurekalert.org/offline.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160317105111.htm