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Motorola Mobility shows off its mobile-development labs

Motorola opens up its new headquarters in downtown Chicago and demonstrates how a mobile device is created.

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Roger_Cheng.jpg

Roger Cheng

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1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

A welcome from Motorola's president

Motorola's president and chief operating officer, Rick Osterloh, opened the day with a review of the company's work over the past year. He also teased the new Moto X and Moto G, products we would see more of later that day.

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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Finding the right fit for Moto 360

Motorola showed off various prototypes of the Moto 360, included square and rectangular watches. The lab had multiple units based on different wrist sizes and shapes.

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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Someone is a big Star Wars fan

Motorola uses a number of different 3D printers, from basic ones built with a Makerbot printer to higher-resolution industrial-strength printers, to test out potential new products. Above are a number of random 3D-printed objects, including several Admiral Ackbars of "Star Wars" fame. Fortunately, Motorola's invitation to its office was not a trap.

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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Steel cut for precision

In addition to 3D printers, Motorola has tools such as lasers for cutting leather precisely. Pictured above is a Motorola executive standing in front of a computer numeric control machine, which can precisely cut material like steel or wood. Once the company has created the right model, it can take it to the manufacturer for mass production.

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5 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Torture test for smartphones

In this facility, smartphones are subjected to drop tests, button presses, and other forms of torture simulating the wear and tear one of its products faces in its lifetime. These tests aren't unique to Motorola; all of the handset manufacturers and many carriers conduct the same product durability trials.

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6 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

How high can you go?

Motorola's physics lab studies every part of a product and determines how it would react to the impact of a fall. The lab examines every angle at varying speeds and heights. It even has a high-speed camera to capture the impact to ensure its calculations are correct. The physics lab is also responsible for looking at heat dissipation and the use of different materials such as leather.

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7 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

A historic collection

Consider this Motorola Mobility's unofficial museum. One Motorola employee boasts an impressive collection of classic cell phones from the company.

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8 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Can you hear me now?

Motorola conducts rigorous sound tests to ensure that your voice sounds clear when you're talking through lots of ambient noise. There's also a mock wrist with a Moto 360 for voice commands.

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