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Manny Salvacion for YIBADA: Robotics education and its important application in engineering has reportedly taken off in China over the past years, as robots have become increasingly popular among people, the China Daily reported.
Liang Yujun, head of the science education department at Beijing Youth Center, said that there are nearly 300 primary and middle schools in Beijing offering robotics-related curricula and activities now.
Liang is in charge of robotics education in the capital and also the general referee of the national youth robotics activity. According to Liang, only about 20 schools had such curricula and activities in the early 2000s.
The report said that about 3,000 registrants from 160 schools and extracurricular teams participated in the 2014 Beijing Student Robotic Intelligence Competition.
"We have to hold the competition in one of the city's largest sports fields now, which can accommodate the increasing number of players," said Liu Yi, who is charge of running the competition at the Youth Center in Haidian District.
Liu said that the competition, which began in 2012, reflects the dramatic growth of robotics education in the country. Cont'd...
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Neil Hopkinson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, has been developing the new method, called high-speed sintering, for over a decade.
Laser sintering machines build objects by using a single-point laser to melt and fuse thin layers of powdered polymer, one by one. Hopkinson replaced the laser system, which is both expensive and slow, with an infrared lamp and an ink-jet print head. The print head rapidly and precisely delivers patterns of radiation-absorbing material to the powder bed. Subsequently exposing the powder to infrared light melts and fuses the powder into patterns, and the machine creates thin layers, one by one—similar to the way laser sintering works, but much faster.
Hopkinson’s group has already shown that the method works at a relatively small scale. They’ve also calculated that, given a large enough building area, high-speed sintering is “on the order of 100 times faster” than laser sintering certain kinds of parts, and that it can be cost competitive with injection molding for making millions of small, complex parts at a time, says Hopkinson. Now the group will actually build the machine, using funding from the British government and a few industrial partners. Cont'd...
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