Machine Design

Looking Back 8/26/2010

10 YEARS AGO — 2000
Desktop robot practices physical therapy: A robot developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology helps stroke victims recover the use of their arms. Dubbed MIT-Manus after the MIT motto “mens at manus” (mind the hand), it has been in development for about 11 years. Clinical tests show it helps patients recover faster and more thoroughly. During therapy, patients sit at a table with their lower arm and wrist in a brace attached to the robot’s arms. A video screen prompts patients through an exercise such as connecting the dots. If the patient does not move his arm, the robot does it for him. If the patient starts to move on his own, the robot provides adjustable levels of guidance and assistance.

30 YEARS AGO — 1980
Repair tool found to improve slip fits: A new tool developed by Loctite Corp. for overhaul and repair of rotary machinery can also be used to augment the strength of shaft-related assemblies such as press fits. The Quick Metal Press Fit Repair tool is a nonrunning anaerobic gel that becomes a tough solid when confined between close-fitting metal surfaces. The creamy gel can be spread over all sides of a part without running. It hardens to a strength often double that of a press fit.

50 YEARS AGO — 1960
Fueled for five years: Eight reactors will power the USS Enterprise, the world’s largest ship and first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The 1,100-ft airbase will displace 86,000 tons and have a 252-ft-wide flight deck. Its first charge of fuel is expected to last five years and permit the ship to run at sustained speeds of more than 30 knots for almost unlimited periods of time. To minimize weight, aluminum has been used extensively in the carrier’s construction. Its four plane-carrying, 52 × 85-ft elevators (right) are made entirely of aluminum, supported by huge 10-ft-deep aluminum I-beams.

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