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Design007-Aug2019

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32 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 Shaughnessy: And each autonomous car will have 300 million lines of code or something like that. Lambert: And when you're driving those cars, they want you to have your hands near the steering wheel just in case because if a mis- take is made, somebody could die. Shaughnessy: And 5G and smart manufactur- ing are coming too. Lambert: This will include another technol- ogy—fiberoptics. Some people are currently working on fiberoptic specifications, but the question remains: How are we going to teach that piece? One will be able to teach the theo- ry, but for the practicality of it, you have to talk about venting systems, etc., and many compa- nies don't have the capability. Shaughnessy: Do you still do a lot of traveling? Lambert: I have one more training meeting go- ing on tomorrow. I still teach some classes and travel to visit customers. From a training per- spective, visiting customers is how you find out what they need; these are technical exchanges, such as, "They're shrinking our components down." Then, I can ask what size, they can show me, and we can determine if we need to develop training for it. You get an understand- ing of where the customer is and where our service is. I get to find out what they need and how to provide it. It's fun, and it's a learning process. Shaughnessy: Some of your instructors joke about how they're going to keep teaching un- til they drop dead. They don't want to stop be- cause there's no one to take their place yet. Lambert: My wife asked, "Are you going to re- tire? You're not going to stay home every day of the week. You have to find something to do!" I'll do it until it's no longer fun. You share information and learn from talking to people. The bottom line is I still want to learn some- thing every day. Shaughnessy: It's always great talking to you, Leo. Thank you. Lambert: Any time, Andy. DESIGN007 A research team led by the University of California San Di- ego has developed a soft robotic lens whose movements are controlled by the eyes—blink twice and the lens zooms in and out; look left, right, up or down and the lens will follow. The lens is the first example of an interface between hu- mans and soft machines. "The human-machine interface, as we know it, features classical machines: computers, wheel- chairs, and rigid robotics, for exam- ple. The innovation here is the inter- face with soft robotics. This can re- ally open up new opportunities in the field," said Shengqiang Cai, a profes- sor of mechanical and aerospace en- gineering at UC San Diego who led the research. The prototype system responds to the electric signals generated around the eyes during movement, called electrooculographic sig- nals. Patches of electrodes placed on the skin around the eyes measure these signals and transmit them through a signal processor to the lens. The system is designed to mimic how the human eye works. The lens itself is made up of saltwater encased within two electroactive elastomer films that act like mus - cles. They can expand, contract, or change their structure when an electrical potential is applied. This enables the lens to look in four di- rections and change its focal point. Because the lens is made of soft ma- terials, it can change its focal length by as much as 32%. (Source: University of California San Diego) Eye-Controlled Soft Lens Paves Way to Soft Human-Machine Interfaces

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