Design Engineering

Top six Design Engineering news items of 2020

By DE staff   


From mask design to sushi serving cat robots, past year’s headlines dominated by pandemic.

As a look back on 2020, the following are the news items that drew the most interest on over the past year:

1. U of Waterloo study supports widespread use of high quality masks to stem COVID
As lockdown reared its head again as summer ended, readers naturally gravitated to this story on research into mask design efficacy and best measures to dampen transmission.

2. UBC study determines best design, materials for COVID-19 face masks
This story on UBC research into how to design the most effective mask, from early in the year, came in a close second. As above, the study found fit and shape turned out to be more important than strapping on any old material.

3. Canadian bullet design smashes U.S. Navy world record
Canada may not be known as a locus of munition design but this story on Unicorn Aerospace’s high-velocity 9mm bullet that outperforms the U.S. Navy’s in terms of velocity, punch, accuracy may help change that.


4. Navy to replace Canada’s beleaguered submarine fleet
Canada has had its share of cursed defense procurement projects but its fleet of used submarine “lemons” may top the list. This story struck a chord given the controversial debate over whether Canada’s military even needs submarines, new or used.

5. Self-walking robotic exoskeleton combines AI and wearable cameras
Exoskeletons are cool all on their own but U of Waterloo’s A.I.-equipped ExoNet prototype that drives itself to help disabled people walk again just amped up the cool factor that much more.

6. Cat-themed robot serves sushi in Toronto restaurant
People love cats, robots and sushi. Combine them together, as Pudu Robotics’ BellaBot did to autonomously serve sushi during the pandemic, and you’ve got a natural hit.


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