EXHIBITS: Machine Learning

Science  28 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5615, pp. 1957
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5615.1957d

An engineer designing a walking robot and a morphologist trying to understand the operation of a bat's wing need to know kinematics, the geometry of motion. The Digital Library of Kinematics project at Cornell is creating virtual versions of the famous teaching machines designed by Franz Reuleaux, a 19th century German engineering professor. The online library will not be complete until 2004, but its site already offers an interesting sample of future content. For instance, visitors can use photos, videos, and other media to analyze the Peaucellier mechanism, which translates the circular motion of a crank into the up-and-down motion of a piston. Interactive models let you run the machine at different speeds, trace the motion of the components, and scrutinize particular linkages up close.

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