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Zunum Aero’s Hybrid Electric Airplane Aims To Rejuvenate Regional Travel

The startup is building short-haul aircraft for Boeing and JetBlue that combine gas turbines and batteries

9 min read
Illustration: Jonathan Carlson
Illustration: Jonathan Carlson

In the century that’s elapsed since the dawn of commercial aviation, air transportation has become pretty well refined. Yet paradoxically, it’s easier to fly halfway around the world than to travel to a nearby city. As a result, many people shun air travel when taking short trips.

Consider the process: From an origin point, you must first travel via car or rail to an often-distant metropolitan hub airport. Then, you wait in line to pass through security. You wait some more to board at the gate. You and your fellow passengers wait still more to taxi to the runway before your plane finally takes off. Then you repeat most of the ordeal in reverse on the other end, having spent approximately 70 percent of your travel time on the ground. It’s little wonder that in the United States, 10 percent of round-trips between 800 and 1,600 kilometers (500 to 1,000 miles) and less than half a percent of those under 800 km are undertaken by air.

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Video Friday: ReachBot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

Robotics Summit & Expo: 10–11 May 2023, BOSTON
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, KOREA
IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, KOREA
CLAWAR 2023: 2–4 October 2023, FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Fine-Tuning the Factory: Simulation App Helps Optimize Additive Manufacturing Facility

Additive manufacturing processes can provide rapid and customizable production of high-quality components

7 min read
Fine-Tuning the Factory: Simulation App Helps Optimize Additive Manufacturing Facility

An example of a part produced through the metal powder bed fusion process.

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

History teaches that the Industrial Revolution began in England in the mid-18th century. While that era of sooty foundries and mills is long past, manufacturing remains essential — and challenging. One promising way to meet modern industrial challenges is by using additive manufacturing (AM) processes, such as powder bed fusion and other emerging techniques. To fulfill its promise of rapid, precise, and customizable production, AM demands more than just a retooling of factory equipment; it also calls for new approaches to factory operation and management.

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