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AMT Tech Report: Issue #283

Turbofan wheels are coming back! Metalenses: Breaking the rules of optics. Speaker-in-chip. Don't be a robot... Be a brobot! It's emerged, just not integrated.
Oct 27, 2023

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

– Oscar Wilde


1. Turbofan Wheels Are Coming Back!

Sadly, though, they’re not bringing back FIA Group B rally, Group C endurance racing, or even pop-up headlights. Modern CAD is more powerful than anyone could have imagined, but you can't beat the cocaine-fueled, straight-edge-ruler style of the '80s. The Vonka Racing drift team agrees and has been experimenting with creating their own turbofan wheel covers using 3D printing. The project is only weeks old, but the results are promising and look the part. 

Read more here.


2. Metalenses: Breaking the Rules of Optics

Optics was one of my favorite classes in undergrad. This would have made my physics professor’s head spin – which is also something I think to myself every time a new mobile device comes out rocking the latest camera tech. Gone are the days of 50-plus millimeter objective lenses … and easy math. At least big camera bumps on mobile devices might soon become a thing of the past. Can we make calling anything “meta” a thing of the past, too?

Read more here.


3. Speaker-in-Chip

I first mentioned this tech back in mid-April, but I’m still just as excited! Micro-electromechanical systems driver technology has been used for a decade in mobile phone microphones, but this year saw it reworked to produce sound. This is the latest in a handful of speaker types (or drivers) for sound production. And due to its design, it could be the easiest to manufacture and package, meaning Apple might finally retire the same old 10 mm dynamic driver they’ve been using since the iPod included earbuds for free. 

Read more here.


4. Don't Be a Robot, Be a Brobot!

I was first introduced to Orangewood Labs at the Silicon Valley Robotics Robot Block Party earlier this year. The company’s software solution allows the robotic arm "Bro" to be programmed from a distance using natural language machine-learning commands. Aided by partnerships with Viam and PickNik.ai, these robotics solutions are being well-received by U.S. subscribers who pay between $1,500 and $2,000 per robot each month. 

Read more here.


5. It's Emerged, Just Not Integrated

The 3D printing industry is stagnating, with growth rates and investor interest dwindling due to ongoing challenges regarding accuracy, yield, and repeatability. Global uncertainty, a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and climate change, has impacted major upgrades, strategic initiatives, and capital expenditures in the 3D printing sector. Solutions developed often do not meet immediate industry needs. However, optimization of end-to-end applications can revitalize the industry. 

Read more here.

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Author
Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
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