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Blogs
Most Commented Content posted in April 2013
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Slideshow: Profs Say Fukushima Plant Passed Ultimate Test
Electronic News & Comment 
4/26/2013  159 comments
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant performed beyond its best expectations after being struck by a mammoth earthquake and a 40-ft-high tidal wave in 2011, experts said.
Slideshow: Conservative Design Makes Japanese Cars More Reliable
Captain Hybrid 
4/4/2013  82 comments
A more reliable car isn't necessarily engineered better. That's the takeaway from a recent Consumer Reports survey, which once again placed Toyota and Honda at the top of the heap.
Slideshow: 18 People You Didn't Know Were Engineers
Electronic News & Comment 
4/23/2013  66 comments
Did you know Tom Landry and Dolph Lundgren are trained engineers? Find out who else earned engineering degrees and then found fame elsewhere.
Charge Your Mobile Device via Text Message
Blog 
4/9/2013  58 comments
The BuffaloGrid Project aims to provide energy in electricity-poor regions by targeting mobile-phone recharging through the use of portable micro generators.
Wind Turbines Coming to a City Near You
Blog 
4/24/2013  57 comments
Professor Farzad Safaei of Australia’s University of Wollongong has developed a wind turbine that can be used in urban areas via positioning on skyscrapers and other buildings.
Gadget Freak Case #239: Bridge Rectifier Eliminates LED Light Flicker
Gadget Freak 
4/29/2013  57 comments
Bernard R. Smith Jr. created a bridge rectifier that eliminates the flicker in LED light strings.
Slideshow: Nautical Robots Go With the Flow
Blog 
4/25/2013  51 comments
Whether they navigate the salty seas or fresh water lakes, rivers, or oceans, many underwater robots can do a number of different types of tasks, depending on their payloads.
We Just Can't Get a Handle on This Pan
Made by Monkeys 
4/8/2013  48 comments
The same size handle is being used on all sizes of pans in this Jamie Oliver collection from Tefal. Will the monkey who designed this please step forward?
Lead-Acid Could Challenge Lithium-Ion in Hybrids
Captain Hybrid 
4/18/2013  46 comments
With disenchantment in lithium-ion technology on the rise, lead-acid batteries may be poised to play a bigger role in green vehicles.
Slideshow: Lithium-Ion's Rise to Prominence
Captain Hybrid 
4/19/2013  45 comments
A decade ago, the term “lithium-ion” meant little to consumers. Now, it’s everywhere.
Gadget Freak Case #237: Dishwasher Indicator Eases Unloading
Gadget Freak 
4/9/2013  40 comments
Jitendra Tailor's gadget uses a proximity sensor and a flashing LED to tell his family members when to load or unload the dishwasher.
Slideshow: Detroit Electric Unveils 'World's Fastest' Electric Sports Car
Captain Hybrid 
4/15/2013  38 comments
Detroit Electric is rolling out a racy new EV that will be its first in 74 years.
Smart-City Technology Harvests Energy From Footsteps
Blog 
4/22/2013  38 comments
Energy-harvesting tiles from Pavegen store energy to be used to power streetlights or other infrastructure in urban areas.
Video: Festo's Dragonfly Robot Flies, Hovers & Glides
Blog 
4/12/2013  37 comments
Modeled after a dragonfly, Festo's latest sophisticated robot is the BionicOpter, which can independently move each of its wings to fly in any direction, as well as hover and glide.
Report: 3D Printing Will (Eventually) Transform Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
4/18/2013  37 comments
Additive manufacturing, including 3D printing, has the potential to upend manufacturing supply chains, according to a new report from Lux Research.
Gesture Control Coming to a Television Near You
Electronic News & Comment 
4/3/2013  36 comments
A new technology will enable couch potatoes to change channels, adjust the volume, rewind a movie, browse the Internet, or control myriad other functions with simple physical gestures.
Report: 2013 Will Make or Break Alternative Fuels
Engineering Materials 
4/4/2013  36 comments
This will be the year that makes or breaks alternative fuel technologies in North America, according to a new report from Lux Research.
Printer Wars: See Who Emerged Victorious
Made by Monkeys 
4/5/2013  36 comments
The HP printer came to the end of its useful life because it could not keep up with technology. The Epson machine was just plain greedy with its ink.
Dutch Architect Plans to 3D Print a Building
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/10/2013  35 comments
Using stereolithography, designers plan to 3D print buildings around the world at about $6 million a pop.
Slideshow: Spotlight on Plug-In Vehicles
Captain Hybrid 
4/16/2013  34 comments
Automakers large and small, from Detroit Electric to Fiat and Volkswagen, have unveiled pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the past six months.
Self-Assembled Devices May Transform Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
4/3/2013  33 comments
The line between materials and machines will blur when modular, self-reconfigurable robots and self-assembling engineered DNA bricks change the rules of product manufacturing.
Slideshow: Smallest Dental Labs Get 3D-Printed Models
Engineering Materials 
4/5/2013  32 comments
A new 3D printer from Stratasys is making digital production of models for crowns, bridges, retainers, and other dental devices affordable for the smallest labs.
Rain Knocks Mower Out of Service
Made by Monkeys 
4/17/2013  32 comments
When you can't get replacement parts, an $8,000 lawn mower becomes nothing more than a lawn ornament.
Used Cooking Oil Powers Transatlantic Flights
Engineering Materials 
4/9/2013  30 comments
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has begun weekly transatlantic flights from New York to Amsterdam using biofuel made from used cooking oil.
Slideshow: Porsche Plans Plug-In Hybrid
Captain Hybrid 
4/10/2013  28 comments
Porsche plans to roll out a powerful plug-in hybrid next year that will accelerate from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds and hit a top track speed of 167 mph.
These Jumper Cables Won't Get the Car Started
Made by Monkeys 
4/23/2013  28 comments
The jumper cables just didn't have the substance to get the job done.
Bad Parts Plague Oscilloscope
Sherlock Ohms 
4/29/2013  27 comments
The part used to replace a bad part was also bad.
Slideshow: Electronics Add Glitter to New Rolls-Royce
Electronic News & Comment 
4/1/2013  27 comments
Rolls-Royce is rolling out a new fastback-style vehicle that cranks out 624 HP, goes from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds, and employs more electronic technology than any vehicle in company history.
Gadget Freak Case #238: Controller Adjusts Garage Lights
Gadget Freak 
4/17/2013  26 comments
Thomas W. Manning created an automatic switch that uses a solid state relay to adjust the florescent lights in his garage automatically.
Brain-Scanning Headset Can Read Your Mind
Blog 
4/23/2013  26 comments
A non-invasive device that uses a neuroimaging technique known as functional near-infrared spectroscopy is intended to "supercharge" the way information is consumed.
The Social Network for 3D Printers
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/24/2013  25 comments
Makexyz is the place where people can offer their 3D printer for other people to use.
Engineering Creativity Peaks in Kindergarten
STEM Connection 
4/19/2013  25 comments
As engineers, we’re not nearly as creative as we think we are.
Corn, Wheat & Rice Trash Make Concrete Stronger
Engineering Materials 
4/15/2013  24 comments
Kansas State University civil engineers have used the waste products of biofuels to make a stronger cement, a major ingredient of concrete, that also gives concrete a smaller carbon footprint.
Video: Oxford RobotCar Takes It to Another Level
Blog 
4/26/2013  24 comments
Oxford Mobile Robotics Group created RobotCar, which has a 360-degree scanner, GPS, and LIDAR.
Researchers Harvest Energy From Planes
Blog 
4/30/2013  23 comments
A team of Viennese researchers has come up with a way to harvest energy from airplanes to power sensors attached to a plane’s fuselage that can be used to monitor and collect data on aircraft structural health.
Yes, This Was Really on Display at Hanover Fair
Blog 
4/24/2013  23 comments
As a wrap-up to all the reporting we did at Hanover Fair in Hanover, Germany, here are some of the more interesting sights we came across.
Video: Mycestro, a 3D Mouse for the Next Generation
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/4/2013  21 comments
Mycestro is an index finger-mounted mouse for use in confined spaces. A recent Kickstarter success, Mycestro is set to add to the HMI of devices.
Chip Suppliers Target Vehicle Complexity
Electronic News & Comment 
4/2/2013  21 comments
Chip makers are hoping a new breed of microcontrollers will begin laying the foundation for a solution to one of the auto industry’s most vexing design problems -- electronic complexity.
Car Radio Fires Up Check Engine Light
Sherlock Ohms 
4/12/2013  19 comments
Apparently the 2003 Saturn Vue has some interconnections between sensors that depend upon the integrity of the radio ground strap for proper operation of the engine and transmission control computers.
Slideshow: Composites Go to the Arctic
Engineering Materials 
4/8/2013  19 comments
Extreme athletes are skiing across the Arctic on an expedition to the far north of a Norwegian island, depending for survival on their wits and two custom-designed sleds that incorporate carbon composites and ultra-high molecular weight linear polyethylene.
DVD Player Controls Frustrate Movie Buff
Made by Monkeys 
4/24/2013  18 comments
The placement of the buttons on this DVD player make no sense at all.
Video Blog: We May Be Geeks, but We Control the World
Blog 
4/29/2013  18 comments
People who attend technical conferences like Design West are often mistakenly labeled as geeks. Do you even know what the real meaning of a geek is? Check out my video blog and I'll fill you in.
Researchers Advance Development of Organic Batteries
Blog 
4/11/2013  18 comments
US and UK researchers have made a breakthrough in the development of biobatteries that use bacteria as their reactive material.
Slideshow: A Tour of the Top Cars at the 2013 NY Auto Show
Blog 
4/11/2013  18 comments
This year's New York International Auto Show featured a mix of cars ranging from electric vehicles designed for urban environments to super cars with price tags over half a million dollars.
Video: Man-Sized Jellyfish Robot to Patrol the Seas
Blog 
4/16/2013  16 comments
Engineers at Virginia Tech have built a jellyfish robot prototype the size of an adult man they say will one day patrol the seas to monitor environmental conditions, study aquatic life, make maps of the ocean's floors, and perform military surveillance.
Win a Wireless Mesh Networked Propeller Beanie
Guest Blogs 
4/10/2013  16 comments
Synapse Wireless is giving away a CapNet propeller beanie. You can't win if you don't enter.
Helicopter Had Lift & Pitch, But No Yaw
Made by Monkeys 
4/2/2013  15 comments
A simple soldering problem kept a 13-year-old boy from enjoying the three-channel, radio-controlled helicopter he received for Christmas.
Can a Robot Bend a Part?
Sherlock Ohms 
4/19/2013  14 comments
Can a robot bend parts? It depends on how dirty the die gets.
Firebrand Offers Free Training for Life
Blog 
4/18/2013  13 comments
Firebrand is sponsoring a lottery in which one lucky winner will get free training for life in a variety of tech-related subjects.
Researchers Develop Recyclable Solar Cells From Trees
Blog 
4/10/2013  13 comments
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have come up with a way to use a natural material in trees to develop solar cells that pave the way for recyclable, sustainable, and renewable solar-cell technology.
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During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
The Window Watcher stops the burglar before he does damage or enters the house. House alarm service companies set off alarms and call the service only after the burglar has damaged and entered the house.
If you’re designing a handheld device or industrial machine that will employ a user interface, then you’ll want to check out the upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center course, "Engineering Principles Behind Advanced User Interface Technologies.”
Brooke Williams of Texas Instruments explains how TI’s new TDA3x chip will help future vehicles “see” all around themselves.
It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
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