In this episode, we talk about a collaboration between two professors at Cornell University to combat the multi-billion dollar annual loss of grapes by combating powdery mildew using AI and how a novel material developed by NASA JPL researchers can significantly reduce the cost of robotics worldwide. As always, you can find these and other interesting & impactful engineering articles on Wevolver.com.
Powdery mildew causes multi-billion dollar losses of grape crops on a yearly basis so it is no surprise that researchers like Professor Lance Cadle-Davidson from Cornell University are working on developing more fungus resistant varieties. The process of analyzing grape leaf samples is quite cumbersome and would’ve required 6 months of manual labor had engineer and computer scientists - Professor Yu Jiang - not stepped in. Professor Jiang was able to reduce the analysis timeframe down to just 1 day by developing a robot powered by a modified facial recognition artificial intelligence model and equipped with an optical microscope.
Robots are composed of many mechanical components, the most important of which are the gears. NASA has leveraged the benefits of robotics in many missions (Mars rovers being the most famous) but the harsh atmospheric conditions have proven to be problematic for operation since the necessary lubricant for the gears has to be constantly heated up before conducting any task. NASA JPL recruited the help of Douglas Hoffman to address this problem and through his work they were able to develop bulk metallic glass gears which possess the hardness of crystals, maintain the favorable mechanical properties of metals, can be injection molded for mass manufacturing, and do not require lubrication. This breakthrough is a substantial move in the right direction concerning affordable robotics since gears account for ~50% of the price in robotic applications.
About the podcast:
Every day, some of the most innovative universities, companies, and individual technology developers share their knowledge on Wevolver. To ensure we can also provide this knowledge for the growing group of podcast listeners, we started a collaboration with two young engineers, Daniel Scott Mitchell & Farbod Moghaddam who discuss the most interesting content in this podcast series.
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