2019-04-15 3 min read


Notes, 2019-04-15.
Thanks to everyone who sent in recommendations for smallish CNC mills last week! I'll be looking at options over the next month or so and will send updates as appropriate.

The most clicked link in last week's issue (~12% of opens) was an interactive bus bunching simulator.

Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • Amazon acquired Canvas, a startup whose marketing video shows a scaled platform of autonomous carts, augmented with 3D vision and moving around people both indoors and out. "Canvas Technology uses 'spatial AI' to enable mobile robots to navigate safely around people in dynamic environments. It claimed that its combination of sensors and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) software can enable [autonomous mobile robots] to operate without relying on a prior map. The robots can continuously update a shared map, according to the company." Related, a short and inoffensively fluffy video of Amazon's new Staten Island FC.
  • During a rocket launch, propellant initially sits at the bottom of its tanks - but once the vehicle enters microgravity it floats around and needs to be resettled. As a result, rockets since Apollo have had ways for crew/command to see inside the tanks during launch. "Small rocket engines, called "ullage motors", are sometimes used to settle the propellant prior to the main engine ignition to allow the formation of a temporary free surface (with a distinct boundary between liquid and gas states)."
  • On the New York & Atlantic Railway, a small freight line which serves about 80 customers on Long Island.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


  • Landfills around Seattle are struggling to deal with large numbers of bald eagles, which distribute trash around the area and are illegal to "shoot, trap, molest or disturb."

Photos of engineering before CAD.

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