A Lesson from Reptiles: How a Snake’s Motion Can Inspire Better Robots

Engineering.com | March 14, 2019

There’s no doubt about it, robotics is here to stay. An estimated $103 billion went into robotics research in 2018 to solve some pressing issues associated with the design of autonomous robots. One such problem was the difficulty associated with a robot’s motion on granular surfaces such as sand, rubble or leaf litter. According to a new study, snakes have a lot to teach us about seamless mobility on complicated surfaces.
In the study, which closely monitored the movement of eight Western shovel-nosed snakes through an obstacle course containing six force-sensitive pegs, researchers observed that when the snakes collide with obstacles, they behaved like light waves encountering a diffraction grating.

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Etteplan’s services cover engineering, technical documentation, embedded systems and IoT solutions. Our customers are the world’s leading companies in the manufacturing industry. Our services are geared to improve the competitiveness of our customers’ products and engineering processes throughout the product life cycle.

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CONSTRUCTION

Procore Works with AWS to Bring Digital Twins to the Construction Industry

Procore | July 16, 2022

Procore Technologies, Inc.a leading global provider of construction management software, today announced it is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to leverage AWS IoT TwinMaker to extend the value of construction data into facility operations. The tools AWS IoT TwinMaker provides accelerate the creation of digital twins for buildings, factories, industrial equipment, and production lines. Procore’s platform serves to connect all construction stakeholders in the lifecycle of a built asset. AWS IoT TwinMaker will allow Procore data to be integrated from design and construction into operations. Procore project owners will be able to incorporate as-built information from Procore with real-time data sources using TwinMaker, extending the value of construction information into operations. This consolidation of information can streamline operations and maintenance and enable lifecycle analysis of portfolio assets. “We’re very excited about our partnership with AWS. Roughly 80% of the lifecycle cost of a project is in the operations phase, With this partnership we can leverage Procore’s course of construction data during that operations phase to help owners reduce costs, optimize performance, and be better prepared for future project needs.” -Tiffany LaBruno, product director, owners at Procore. AWS IoT TwinMaker will make it faster and easier to create digital twins of real-world systems. Using AWS IoT TwinMaker, developers can get started quickly building digital twins of devices, equipment, and processes by connecting AWS IoT TwinMaker to data sources like equipment sensors, video feeds, and business applications. Built-in connectors for integration with sensors, 3D visualization, and downstream data analytics are transforming the built environment. About Procore- Procore is a leading global provider of construction management software. Over 1 million projects and more than $1 trillion USD in construction volume have run on Procore's platform. Procore’s platform connects key project stakeholders to solutions Procore has built specifically for the construction industry—for the owner, the general contractor, and the specialty contractor. Procore's App Marketplace has a multitude of partner solutions that integrate seamlessly with Procore’s platform, giving construction professionals the freedom to connect with what works best for them. Headquartered in Carpinteria, California, Procore has offices around the globe

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ENGINEERING TECH

Emerson and Neste Engineering Solutions to Optimize Fintoil Biorefinery Operations for More Efficient, Sustainable Production

Fintoil | June 22, 2022

Fintoil, together with Neste Engineering Solutions, has selected Emerson’s automation software and technologies to maximize the operational performance of its biorefinery being constructed in the port of Hamina-Kotka, Finland. The plant will be the third-largest crude tall oil (CTO) biorefinery in the world and produce advanced biofuel and biochemical feedstocks that help lower emissions and reduce reliance on fossil-based fuels. The plant will refine CTO, a by-product of the wood pulping process, to produce a sustainable feedstock for renewable second-generation diesel, as well as rosin, sterol pitch and turpentine used in the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries. These CTO derivatives have a carbon footprint up to 90% smaller than their fossil-based equivalents. This state-of-the-art facility, which utilizes Neste Engineering Solutions’ NEXPINUS™ technology, uses 40% less energy than a conventional tall oil refinery, and is the perfect example of efficient and sustainable production that supports the circular economy. Working with Neste Engineering Solutions and Emerson to implement the latest digital automation technologies will enable us to operate the plant safely and efficiently, minimize operating costs and deliver large-scale production of biofuel and biochemicals as a viable alternative to fossil-based products.” Jukka Ravaska,Fintoil CEO To reduce project risk and ensure schedule and budget are maintained, Emerson will apply its Project Certainty methodology, which digitalizes project execution and uses practices such as remote testing of equipment. 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Advanced measurement technologies that have minimal maintenance requirements and diagnostics made available through Emerson’s asset management software will enhance equipment reliability and performance, contributing to greater plant availability and throughput, and lower cost of ownership. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in 2022. The expected annual capacity of 200,000 tons will create a 400,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions, which is roughly 1% of Finland’s total emissions. About Emerson Emerson, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. About Fintoil Fintoil is a Finnish bioneering company established in 2017. Fintoil will refine crude tall oil for the production of advanced biofuels. Other derivatives will be sold for further refinement to clients in the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries. The company’s crude tall oil biorefinery will start its operations in the summer of 2022 in the port of Hamina-Kotka, a chemicals port in Hamina, Finland. The technologically advanced and energy-friendly production utilizes NEXPINUS™ technology and once operational it will be the world’s third-largest CTO biorefinery. In the future, the feed capacity can be increased. Fintoil’s key personnel and founders have decades of experience in the tall oil business and related investment projects. About Neste Engineering Solutions Neste Engineering Solutions offers high quality technology development and licensing, engineering, procurement, construction and project management services for the oil & gas, petrochemicals and bio-industries. Our NAPCON products enhance process industry production optimization, quality and logistics, as well as operator training with simulators and games. We work in close cooperation with our strategic customers and have world-class know-how in technology development and industrial investment projects. Many companies base their success on highly competitive novel process technologies developed by Neste Engineering Solutions. NEXPINUS™ is a feedstock flexible intelligent tall oil fractionation technology for superior quality products. Read more: neste.com/engineeringsolutions.

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CONSTRUCTION

Trex Commercial Recognized as ‘Trade Contractor of the Year’ by Turner Construction Company

Trex Commercial | June 28, 2022

Trex Commercial, a national leader in architectural railings for commercial applications, has been honored as “Trade Contractor of the Year” by the Cincinnati-Kentucky branch of Turner Construction Company. The commercial products division of Trex Company was nominated by Turner’s jobsite and office staff based on overall job performance, project management, engineering, quality of work, collaboration, pricing and field expertise demonstrated through its work on Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium. “We at Turner believe that our success is in a very large measure attributable to our trade contractors being true ‘partners’ in construction. All too often suppliers hear from the general contractor only when things are going badly. We believe it is also appropriate to recognize our trade partners when their work is outstanding and, as such, we are pleased to pay special tribute to the Trex Commercial team for its performance and contribution to our shared success on this project.” -Susie Yanes, contracts manager for Turner Construction Company. Known as “The Crown Jewel of Cincinnati,” TQL Stadium is a 518,000-square-foot soccer-specific venue that serves as home to Major League Soccer’s F.C. Cincinnati. Completed in 2021, the venue features nearly 20,000 linear feet of Trex Commercial railing, in seven different styles, found both inside and outside the stadium from the seating bowl and suites to the exterior balcony, concourse and surrounding gates. In addition to railing, the Trex Commercial team also custom engineered fencing, gates and other architectural elements to enhance fan safety and promote socialization at the stadium without disrupting visibility of the on-field action. Another distinguishing aspect of this project was the 3-D laser scanning utilized by Trex Commercial for precise modeling of the distinctive railing shapes and contours throughout the venue. This advanced form of field analysis enabled the Trex Commercial team to not only deliver high-accuracy data capture and mapping, but also contributed to seamless collaboration, faster turnaround and reduced rework. “Being recognized by one of the most respected general contractors in the industry is especially rewarding, We understand our role is more than just a fabricator of a designer’s concepts and strive to be a trusted and collaborative partner on all our projects. We greatly appreciate the trust and acknowledgement of the Turner Construction team and are extremely proud of our team members who contributed to the successful result of this high-profile project.” -Laura Rygielski Preston, president of Trex Commercial. About Trex Commercial- Trex Commercial is a national leader in architectural railings for commercial applications. Since 1990, the company has been committed to elevating the abilities of all people to safely access and enjoy amazing life experiences, while building an industry-leading reputation for quality and customer service. Based in Minneapolis, Trex Commercial, Inc. is a subsidiary of Trex Company, Inc. To learn more, visit www.trexcommercial.com. About Turner Construction- Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company and is a leading builder in diverse market segments. The company has earned recognition for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering innovation, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference for its clients, employees, and community. With a staff of 10,000 employees, the company completes $12 billion in construction on 1,500 projects each year. Turner offers clients the accessibility and support of a local firm with the stability and resources of a multi-national organization.

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