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Blogs
Most Commented Content posted in March 2013
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German Student Creates Device That Harvests Energy From Air
Blog 
3/20/2013  84 comments
A German university student has designed an energy harvester that derives energy from electromagnetic fields in the air to recharge small batteries and appliances.
Video: Flying Camera Is Your Personal Paparazzo
Blog 
3/4/2013  65 comments
The palm-sized MeCam from Always Innovating, based on open-source software, will follow you around and take videos of you and your friends.
Slideshow: Volkswagen to Build World's Most Fuel-Efficient Car
Captain Hybrid 
3/18/2013  56 comments
Volkswagen AG is planning to roll out a production car that will combine a plug-in hybrid powertrain with low weight and an aerodynamic shape to reportedly achieve a startling fuel efficiency rating of 261 mpg.
'Internet Snacking' Coming to GM Vehicles
Electronic News & Comment 
3/6/2013  53 comments
In the auto industry's biggest move yet to build connected cars, General Motors plans to install 4G data modems on millions of its future vehicles, enabling them to serve as Internet hotspots.
Boeing Should Never Say Never
Electronic News & Comment 
3/20/2013  49 comments
Boeing's insistence that its new 787 battery design eliminates the possibility of fire may pacify the average consumer, but it hasn't made engineers happy.
Monkeying Around With the Mazda Saved Some Cash
Made by Monkeys 
3/13/2013  44 comments
An automaker with a known problem commanded a premium price for replacement parts. One owner came up with his own cheap fix.
What's Your Opinion on a Design Ideas Forum?
Engineering Materials 
3/6/2013  40 comments
What do you think about starting a forum on Design News that focuses on innovative, problem-solving design ideas where individual engineers and companies can trade comments and suggestions for solving design problems?
How to Transmit Light Instead of Electricity on PC Boards
Engineering Materials 
3/14/2013  39 comments
A new silicone-based material developed by Dow Corning and IBM promises to enable flexible, stable, and easily processable board-level optical waveguides for high-speed data transfer.
Slideshow: Competitors Gear Up For DARPA Robot Challenge
Blog 
3/21/2013  33 comments
The stage has been set for a $2 million Department of Defense competition to develop a robot that could perform a number of physical tasks that might be required to respond to an emergency.
Video: BallCam Puts Football Fans on the Field
Electronic News & Comment 
3/5/2013  32 comments
Football fans are about to get the ultimate view of their favorite sport, thanks to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.
Robot Helps People Walk Again
Blog 
3/26/2013  32 comments
The Ekso wearable robot applies torque to the hip, knee, and ankle joints to help people move, powered by a computer worn by the patient in a backpack.
Smart Basketball Analyzes Shooting, Dribbling
Electronic News & Comment 
3/19/2013  32 comments
InfoMotion Sports Technologies' 94Fifty can measure the arc and backspin on a shot, or the speed and force of a player’s dribbling.
Gadget Freak Case #234: We Love This Automated Mailbox
Gadget Freak 
3/12/2013  30 comments
Jeremy Willden created small mailboxes for his daughters' Valentine's Day cards. The boxes use a sensor to open automatically when someone walks by.
Check Out Rich’s Video
Blog 
3/4/2013  27 comments
Brand Director Rich Nass has some things to get off his chest.
Video: DropTag Gives Packaging & Shipping Information in Real-Time
Blog 
3/21/2013  27 comments
The DropTag from Cambridge Consultants comes with a smartphone app that gives uses the ability to monitor package health.
Cyberwarfare Rising as Governments Embrace the Digital Battlefield
Blog 
3/27/2013  26 comments
Cyberwarfare is at an all time high and key players are considering cyber attacks as a formal declaration of war.
Mars Rover Mining – an Engineering Feat
Blog 
3/12/2013  24 comments
NASA recently announced that the Mars rover Curiosity had collected the first sample from the interior of a rock on another planet.
Slideshow: Robotic Hands Mimic Humans
Blog 
3/22/2013  23 comments
Robot R&D has focused recently on closely emulating the human ability to pick up; manipulate; and move small, delicate objects in unstructured environments outside the factory safety cage.
Slideshow: Engineering Apps You Need to Know About
Blog 
3/25/2013  22 comments
There are plenty of engineering apps on the various markets, and industry standardizing corporations are getting into the game. It's time to become familiar.
Don’t Risk Your Most Important Calculations to Spreadsheets
Guest Blogs 
3/15/2013  22 comments
Engineering calculation software can eliminate spreadsheet risks and provide key benefits to both the organization and the individual engineer.
Results: Your Opinions on a Design Ideas Forum
Engineering Materials 
3/25/2013  22 comments
Here's a summary of your ideas for starting a Design Ideas forum that poses design problems and asks for input from the community to help solve them in innovative ways. We also ask for a bit more feedback to help fine-tune things.
The Mill Is Peppered With Problems
Made by Monkeys 
3/6/2013  21 comments
The spring in the new peppermill was not strong enough, effectively bringing grinding to a halt.
BlackBelt Wipes Data From Personal Devices
Blog 
3/4/2013  21 comments
BlackBelt's DataWipe cleans mobile devices of all recoverable personal information, which is important when disposing of or selling a mobile device.
Energy-Harvesting Soccer Ball Gets a Kickstart
Blog 
3/14/2013  21 comments
Uncharted Play Inc. founders have developed a prototype soccer ball that captures the kinetic energy created when it is kicked or thrown.
Slideshow: See the Joint Robotics Repair Detachment in Action
Blog 
3/20/2013  20 comments
Joint Robotics Repair Detachment (JRRD) keeps the US military's robot armada up and running.
Gadget Freak Case #235: Ignition Control Unit for Harley Davidson Panhead Engine
Gadget Freak 
3/26/2013  20 comments
Edward Nauman designed an ignition control unit for the Harley Davidson Panhead engine. The unit can be adapted to almost any four-cycle engine with the proper design and fabrication resources.
NASA Starts Biofuel Flight Tests
Engineering Materials 
3/12/2013  20 comments
NASA has begun flight tests of biofuels based on nonfood plants to determine their emissions and performance effects on jet engines.
Antenna Tower 4 Has No Base Current
Sherlock Ohms 
3/22/2013  19 comments
Engineering problems in the broadcast field can range from defective components, operator errors, snakes, or a combination of factors. Sometimes you need to call Sherlock in to solve the case.
How Ethernet Is Expanding Its Role
Blog 
3/14/2013  19 comments
Belden has tried to understand the role of mission-critical communications for manufacturing and has identified four themes that are driving the expansion of industrial networks.
Video: Crowdsourcing App Helps Space Agency Improve Robots
Blog 
3/28/2013  19 comments
A free iPhone video game app turns your Parrot AR.Drone into a simulated spacecraft, which you can use to simulate docking on the International Space Station. You get points for accuracy and speed, and the European Space Agency gets tons of data to help make better space robots.
Increasing Electronics Reliability With Conformal Coatings
Guest Blogs 
3/11/2013  18 comments
Selecting the right coating at the beginning of the design cycle can give engineers greater reliability and durability in the electronic devices they design.
Rich's Video Blog: Airplane Engine Difficulties & Cars From 3D Printers
Blog 
3/25/2013  17 comments
Rich's recent flight showed that it's not just the Dreamliner that's having difficulties. And have you heard of the car that was manufactured with a 3D printer?
3D-Printed Hybrid Car Drives Toward Mass Production
Blog 
3/15/2013  17 comments
KOR EcoLogic has teamed with Stratasys's RedEye On Demand 3D printing business unit to fabricate a lightweight electric car, Urbee, that could take to the streets in about two years.
Stringed Nano Beads Could Improve Lifespan of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Blog 
3/19/2013  16 comments
A team at the University of Maryland has created nanoscale beads of silicon that could extend the number of charging cycles lithium-ion batteries can go through by about 10 times the current design.
Raspberry Pi-Powered Projector Tells You How Fast You’re Riding Your Bike
Blog 
3/28/2013  16 comments
The Raspberry Pi-powered speedometer was designed by Matt Richardson for nighttime bike riding.
iRobot Takes Humans out of 3D Printing Equation
CAD/CAM Corner 
3/12/2013  16 comments
A patent recently filed by iRobot details a fully automated 3D printer. The new system would be capable of finishing printed pieces without human intervention.
Self-Assembly Meets 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
3/8/2013  15 comments
Self-assembly and 3D printing, two technologies at the edges of manufacturing, are on the verge of coming together to make 3D-printed objects that self-assemble when stimulated by water.
Autodesk Updates Socialcam Mobile App
Blog 
3/18/2013  15 comments
The latest update to the Socialcam mobile app puts Autodesk's award-winning visual expertise in the hands of the average consumer.
Slideshow: MIT Engineering Students Design Wish-List Devices for Physicians
Blog 
3/5/2013  15 comments
Many physicians at one time or another have probably thought their jobs might be a lot easier if they had custom-made devices to help them perform procedures. For the past nine years, a class at MIT has been making some of these wishes reality.
MPPE Insulation & the Incredible, Shrinking Medical Device
Guest Blogs 
3/27/2013  14 comments
As the demand for portable medical devices increases both in the home and in emerging markets abroad, design engineers find their solution for weight and space savings through innovative, recyclable MPPE insulation for wire and cable.
Suzuki Saves Weight With Extruded Suspension Arm
Guest Blogs 
3/7/2013  14 comments
Suzuki developed an extruded aluminum lower control arm that weighs 50 percent less than a welded steel design, while costing roughly the same.
Slideshow: A Day at the NY Auto Show
Blog 
3/29/2013  14 comments
DN Brand Director Rich Nass recently spent the day at the NY International Auto Show. Here's a sampling of what he saw.
Quantum Cryptography Secures the Electrical Grid
Blog 
3/29/2013  13 comments
Los Alamos National Laboratory develops Quantum Cryptography methods to protect the electrical grid from unwanted observers.
3D Printing Embryonic Stem Cells
CAD/CAM Corner 
3/7/2013  13 comments
A collaboration between Autodesk and Organovo results in successfully printing embryonic stem cells for the first time anywhere in the world.
Making the Case for Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
Guest Blogs 
3/5/2013  13 comments
The marketplace is littered with companies that have tried to make a success of vertical axis wind turbines. But not all turbine designs (and sites) are created equal.
Castigated Engineer Sees the Light
Sherlock Ohms 
3/14/2013  12 comments
A machine-tool builder sacrifices part quality in order to save a few bucks.
The Engineering Creativity Challenge
Guest Blogs 
3/19/2013  12 comments
Brainstorming an idea is a good approach, but it's often not the best. We need to focus our creative energies on the design challenge.
Top Design Applications Create a Versatile Engineer
CAD/CAM Corner 
3/1/2013  12 comments
If you are an engineer of any discipline, you are a professional practitioner of engineering -- become the master of your craft.
NASA Uses Video Processing to Study Hurricanes & Wildfires
Blog 
3/27/2013  12 comments
Advanced video processing and networking deployed aboard NASA's Global Hawk as part of its Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel mission use a full motion video compression appliance to provide visual situational awareness of hurricanes and wildfires.
Google Offers Sneak Peek at Your Available Spectrum
Blog 
3/19/2013  12 comments
Google.org, the Internet mogul's charitable arm, is publicizing a Spectrum Database that can be used to monitor white space across the US.
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In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
Mac Cameron of Stratasys describes the company’s Connex3 technology, which allows users to 3D-print complex parts in one build with no assembly required.
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