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Manufacturing.net Rewind: NASA Makes A Robot For Mars; Tesla Fights With Auto Dealers

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 2:21pm

Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from a NASA robot that is six feet tall and has an 80 inch wing span, to Tesla's latest battle.

 

Why Can You Shut Off An Airplane's Transponder?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ever since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, a fascinated public has asked: Why can somebody in the cockpit shut off the transponder?

It turns out there are several legitimate reasons why a pilot might want to shut off this key form of communication that allows air traffic controllers to identify and track airplanes.

Authorities believe that Flight 370's transponder was intentionally shut off, delaying search and rescue efforts and helping to conceal the plane's location — a mystery unsolved more than 10 days after the Boeing 777 vanished. Continue reading...

 


 

Ohio Auto Dealers Fight Tesla Over Sales Model

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio auto dealers are sparring with California-based automaker Tesla, which is selling its electric cars from two Ohio storefronts.

Ohio is among states proposing to block Tesla from setting up additional direct-sales galleries on grounds they undercut traditional auto dealerships. Last Tuesday, New Jersey officials approved a regulation effectively prohibiting automakers from going straight to customers. Tesla vice president Diarmuid O'Connell visited Ohio legislative leaders that same day to try to discourage them from passing similar restrictions. Continue reading...

 


 

NASA Designs A Robot For Mars

Valkyrie stands more than six feet tall, weighs 286 pounds, and has an 80 inch wingspan. “It feels human-like, you can look her in the eyes,” says Reg Berka, deputy project manager of Valkyrie, the NASA built robot destined for the red planet. 

Designed at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Valkyrie competed in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) [See sidebar] trial round in December 2013, with hopes of one day setting foot on Mars. Continue reading...

 


 

Manufacturing & The Decline Of The Middle Class

In 1988 while doing research for my first book, I came across a 1987 report titled “Technology and the American Economic Transition” that predicted:

“During the next two decades, new technologies, rapid increases in foreign trade, and the tastes and values of a new generation of Americans are likely to reshape virtually every product, every service, and every job in the U.S. These forces will shake the foundations of the most secure American businesses”. [1]

This was the very first report in my research that predicted the potential problems associated with the start of globalization and the transition to the “Post Industrial” economy. I saw the predictions in this report as not only a threat to manufacturing but a threat to the middle class. Continue reading...

 


 

What If The Missing Plane Is Never Found?

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- The plane must be somewhere. But the same can be said for Amelia Earhart's.

Ten days after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people aboard, an exhaustive international search has produced no sign of the Boeing 777, raising an unsettling question: What if the airplane is never found?

Such an outcome, while considered unlikely by many experts, would certainly torment the families of those missing. It would also flummox the airline industry, which will struggle to learn lessons from the incident if it doesn't know what happened. Continue reading...

 


 

Toyota Shutters Indian Plants Over Wage Lockout

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Toyota said Monday it has shut down production at its two auto-assembly plants in India, locking out 6,400 workers amid testy wage negotiations and allegations of threats against management.

A statement from the Indian unit of the world's largest automaker said that "under the instigation of the union, certain sections of the employees have resorted to deliberate stoppages of the production line, abuse and threatening of supervisors." It said the company had no other option but to declare a lockout "to ensure the safety" of workers and management. Continue reading...

 

Every Friday, we will be rounding up the most popular news items of the week based on site traffic. Feel free to share your thoughts, questions or concerns by sending an email to amy.lawrence@advantagemedia.com.

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