There has been no shortage of news reports and articles exploring the situation between the US and China over semiconductors. The recent CHIPS act is one such example of the US trying to bring chip manufacturing home while simultaneously encouraging US manufacturers to use locally sourced parts. Last month, Apple announced that it would be using a Chinese company for memory chips in its upcoming products, but the US government decided to flex and put Apple in its place. Why did Apple consider using Chinese-sourced memory chips, why did the US government flex, and what does this mean for tech companies in general?
Top Stories This Week
Hardware Business News
Tesla May Face Criminal Probe Over Self-Driving Tech
Despite Tesla promising full self-driving cars are only a year away every year for the past decade, they are yet to achieve a truly self-driving vehicle. The current system that Tesla offers requires drivers to be attentive at the wheel and maintain full control of the vehicle at all times, and yet, the system is named “Full Self Driving”. The increasing number of road fatalities come from the use of these systems is now seeing potential legal action as the Department of Justice looks to see if Tesla is at fault for false advertisement. What challenges does self-driving present, why does Tesla call their advanced cruise control “Full Self Driving”, and do they face legal issues?
Amazon Testing Robots To Transport Oversized Items In Fulfilment Centres
Amazon already has more than half a million robots working in its fulfilment centres every day. However, there are jobs on the fulfilment centre floor, like moving the 10% of items ordered from the Amazon Store that are too long, wide or unwieldy to fit in the company’s pods or on its conveyor belts. As such, Amazon has recently started to test new robotic systems to help with such goods by leveraging numerous technologies including AI, visions systems, and LiDAR. What challenges do robotics face in logistics, what is Amazon trying to solve, and how could such a solution help Amazon?
New York Lands Another Project Tied To Chip Industry
As the COVID pandemic comes to a close, the destruction left in its wake was something that no one could imagine. The devastation faced by the semiconductor industry showed just how reliant human civilizations are on technology, and this has seen numerous governments around the world introduce legislation to try and protect these delicate supply chains. Recently, a British company has announced that it will invest over $300 million in a new semiconductor manufacturing plant in Genesee Country thanks to aid provided by the CHIPS act. What challenges do semiconductors currently face, who is the company bringing in $300 million, and what kind of semiconductors will this factory produce?
Tesla Cybertruck Production Won’t Ramp Up Until Late 2023
While the Tesla Cybertruck was revealed in 2019, it is still yet to enter production. Despite numerous promises to get the vehicle out into production, Tesla has been faced with numerous setbacks including COVID, production issues, and reliance on future battery technologies not ready for production. Now, Tesla has recently suggested that production of the new EV will start to ramp up at the end of 2023, but whether this will happen or not is yet to be seen. What challenges have Tesla faced with their Cybertruck, when will the first vehicles roll out, and is this just hot air?
Hardware Engineering News
IoT Devices Can Undermine Your Security. Here Are Four Ways To Boost Your Defences
IoT devices can be massively helpful for automating processes, monitoring sensory data, and providing predictive analysis. However, for all the benefits that IoT devices present, they can also introduce serious security challenges due to their internet connectivity and simple design. In this article, learn about four different methods you can use to help improve security in your IoT devices, and by extension, improve the security of your network overall.
Point of Pivot: 3D Printing vs. Injection Molding
When it comes to choosing a production method, engineers have numerous choices whether it is 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, vacuum forming, and much more. But when it comes to plastic, engineers will almost always have to choose between plastic injection molding or 3D printing as these are by far the most common production methods available. Trying to choose between these two can be challenging, and so in this article published by Plastics Today, learn the diffrences between 3D printing and plastic injection molding, which one to choose, and problems to watch out for!
How to Install OctoPrint On Linux/Ubuntu
Many 3D printers on the market are designed to operate with their own software environments and frameworks, but while this is perfectly adequate for many users, it also limits what users can do. One solution to this is OctoPrint which provides users with a web-based interface for controlling 3D printers as well as monitoring progress and uploading designs remotely. In this article published by All3DP, learn how to install OctoPrint onto a Linux-based system to create an open-source 3D printing environment.
Hardware R&D News
This New Farming Robot Can Kill 200,000 Weeds Per Hour
Agriculture is arguably the single most important industry on the planet, and has been since the dawn of mankind as it provides society with a dedicated food source that is predictable while simultaneously removing the need for foraging. Even though science and technology have helped to increase yield rates from farms, the overuse of fertiliser and the need for pesticides is having a major impact on the environment with bee populations falling and algae becoming more problematic as fertilizer run-off enters water sources. Now, Carbon Robotics has demonstrated new robotic technologies that can selectively destroy weeds using laser beams which is not only better for the environment, but also reduces the cost of farming. What challenges does agriculture face, who is Carbon Robotics, and how can their solution help farmers?
Researchers Develop Disposable Wearable UV Sensor
UV exposure is dangerous to human health due to the cancer risk it carries which is why wearing sun cream and keeping out of extreme sunlight is important. Recognizing the difficulties in detecting UV exposure, researchers recently developed a wearable UV sensor that is washable and safe to use in clothing. What challenges does UV exposure present, what did the researchers develop, and how does this demonstrate the potential of wearable devices?
Open-Source Hardware News
Industrial Companies Move Toward Open Automation Tech
Industrial processes are often extremely complex requiring numerous machinery setups, controllers, and networks. While it would be great if all of these systems could be connected together like USB’s Plug-and-Play, the truth is that manufacturers of industrial equipment often use their own proprietary communication protocols and software. However, there has been recent buzzing around the IEC 61499 standard that is said to revolutionise how industrial systems communicate. What challenges do manufacturers face, what exactly is IEC 61499, and how would an open-source automation system look?