In some cases, machine breakdowns are more than just inconveniences -- in the military, they can spell disaster on the battlefield. Software is quickly eliminating those rude surprises, however. NASA spinoff Sentient Science has been offering DigitalClone, a software tool that predicts failures by 'cloning' parts. It uses an understanding of the physics of a given part, such as friction and wear, to determine when that gear is likely to break. The clone is uncannily accurate (Sentient Science has sensors to confirm its data), making it easy to extend the lifespan of a device by replacing parts before there's a crisis.