If Earth’s water were drained into a single drop, it would measure about 950 miles in diameter. Roughly three percent is fresh water, and just one-third of that is easily accessible. Meeting the growing need for water is a critical challenge. Many countries rely on desalination to produce fresh water, but current techniques are typically energy-intensive, using enough energy globally to power nearly seven million homes. That’s why today GE is launching an open innovation challenge to improve the energy efficiency of water desalination. Find out more about the challenge here. GIF by Julian Glander and based on data from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
In the 1960s, GE engineers developed the Cybernetic Anthropmorophous Machine, or Walking Truck. In 1966, the US Army awarded GE a contract for building the experimental vehicle. However, its hand and foot controls not only fatigued operators, but were impractical for prolonged use on the battlefield, so the project was discontinued. Kevin Weir at flux machine recently reanimated the Walking Truck so the mechanical beast could gallop once more.
Recently, one of our followers suggested we start a series on women inventors, scientists or GE employees. We loved the idea, so today we’re sharing our very first “Woman Crush Wednesday” post. This week, we’re highlighting the work of Lynn DeRose, a principal investigator at GE’s Global Research Center.
Shown above, DeRose trains a Baxter robot to pick up surgical instruments. Baxter robots are designed to work around people, and researchers at the GRC are programming them to do a range of tasks, including helping to handle, sterilize and track medical equipment.