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Blogs
Most Commented Content posted in September 2012
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Experts Split on New 54.5MPG Rule
Captain Hybrid 
9/11/2012  94 comments
Experts disagreed last week on the long-term outcome of the government's recent 54.5-mpg rule, with consumer advocates hailing the new mandate, and engineering consultants warning that it would send costs skyrocketing.
Slideshow: Fuel-Stingy Technologies Set Sights on 54.5 MPG
Captain Hybrid 
9/18/2012  94 comments
From fuel injectors and air conditioning compressors to tires and power steering systems, we offer a potpourri of technologies aimed at boosting CAFE to 54.5mpg.
Chevy Volt: It's Not Time to Panic
Captain Hybrid 
9/12/2012  77 comments
Is GM really losing $49,000 on each Chevy Volt?
Ethanol Ate My WeedEater
Made by Monkeys 
9/19/2012  68 comments
A simple part on a WeedEater failed, simply because it was not designed to withstand the corrosive effects of ethanol.
Fixing This Car's Heater Is Easier Said Than Done
Made by Monkeys 
9/5/2012  63 comments
In order to fix the heater on this 1998 Oldsmobile, the owner had to nearly take the whole car apart.
Honda's Latest Robot Mows Your Lawn
Blog 
9/4/2012  54 comments
Miimo is a robotic lawnmower that works via electronic sensors to continuously cut grass and safely navigate slopes and obstacles.
Avoiding the Dangers of Groupthink
Guest Blogs 
9/25/2012  42 comments
How do engineers, who pride ourselves on our rationality and individualism, get caught up in a collective denial of reality?
Gadget Freak Case #226: Speed Regulator for Rotary Tool
Gadget Freak 
9/20/2012  41 comments
Andrew Morris' microcontroller-based DC motor speed regulator brings control for delicate work.
Gadget Freak Case #225: Moving the Keyboard Onto Your Fingers
Gadget Freak 
9/14/2012  38 comments
Wayne Rasanen created a device to replace QWERTY that reduces hand movement and ends the days of flying fingers.
Robotic Solar Panels Produce More Electricity
Blog 
9/17/2012  30 comments
A Silicon Valley startup has designed an innovative new monorail system of robots for tilting solar panels toward the sun, increasing the amount of electricity produced by up to 15 percent and changing the game for the future management of solar-energy systems.
Video: This Isn't Your Mother's Pasta
Blog 
9/19/2012  30 comments
Cui Runquan, a Beijing chef, has created an army of noodle-slicing robots.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Will Go to Mars
Engineering Materials 
9/13/2012  29 comments
It turns out that 3D printing techniques are perfect for use in space, but additive manufacturing isn't just for astronauts.
Lead-Acid Batteries Seek New Role in Hybrids, Plug-Ins
Captain Hybrid 
9/10/2012  27 comments
Using a souped-up version of a chemistry that's been around since the days of Edison, a Detroit-area startup wants to slash the costs of batteries for hybrids and plug-in cars.
Survey: Battery, Engine, Materials Are Top CAFE Techs
Engineering Materials 
9/19/2012  26 comments
A DuPont-sponsored survey to track the impact of the 2025 CAFE standards has found that automakers are focused almost equally on improving battery performance, breakthroughs in combustion engine performance, and lighter materials.
When Is a Robot Not Mechanical? When It's an Android
Blog 
9/10/2012  26 comments
An artificial jellyfish created by Harvard and Caltech researchers goes a lot further than biomimicry, resembling an android more than a robot.
Swarming Robots Rescue Coral Reefs
Blog 
9/18/2012  26 comments
Scotland's coral reefs, which are currently healthy but threatened, may soon get some help from groups of swarming underwater robots being developed by a Scottish university research team.
If I Only Knew Then...
Blog 
9/17/2012  25 comments
Our LinkedIn group members discuss what they would have done differently if they knew then what they know now.
Petroski on Engineering: Everyone Loves Good Design
Guest Blogs 
9/10/2012  23 comments
Unlike buildings, which hide their engineering behind architectural facades, bridges tend to lay bare their structural design features.
Slideshow: Kindle Fire HD Teardown
Blog 
9/24/2012  23 comments
Amazon is not only introducing a new version of the Kindle Fire, but three other tablets meant to further establish the company as a viable competitor to Apple’s iPad family and Google’s foray into the tablet space, Nexus 7.
Next-Generation VLC Improves on XPRIZE-Winning Design
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/25/2012  23 comments
Altair ProductDesign will assist the Edison2 team, providing engineering services around structural optimization and suspension design to accelerate design of the production-ready VLC 4.0 vehicle.
Teardown: Inside Apple's iPhone 5
Blog 
9/28/2012  23 comments
Analysis by UBM TechInsights finds Apple largely stuck with incumbent suppliers for the latest iPhone.
Robots Get Genetically Engineered Skeletal Muscles
Blog 
9/20/2012  22 comments
Researchers at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania have engineered skeletal muscles they will use to build robots that move like animals -- or people.
Robot Collects Storm Data During Hurricane Isaac
Blog 
9/6/2012  22 comments
A robot collecting oceanographic data in the Gulf of Mexico got a close-up look at Hurricane Isaac, whose eye passed 60 miles east of where it was cruising.
'Move the Picker, Move the Tote'
Sherlock Ohms 
9/18/2012  22 comments
The trick to speeding up the number of totes on the line was programming the movement of picking the totes.
Super Mistake Caused Super Voltage
Sherlock Ohms 
9/25/2012  21 comments
How could an aircraft system with no more than 15V cause burn marks in strange places? Is it misuse or a big mistake?
Thoughts Control Avatar-Like Robot
Blog 
9/27/2012  21 comments
Like the movie Avatar, researchers use functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brain of a subject who uses thought to control a robot thousands of miles away.
Gadget Freak Case #224: Gadget Remembers What You Need to Do
Gadget Freak 
9/7/2012  21 comments
George Tempesta's motion-triggered calendar keeps track of time and dates when a chore or event needs attention.
The Expedition’s Difficult Dash
Made by Monkeys 
9/26/2012  21 comments
The 2011 Ford Expedition has a dashboard full of what one driver says are design flaws.
Send Kids to College With Tools
Blog 
9/4/2012  20 comments
Contributing Technical Editor Jon Titus taught his kids how to fix things at a young age. Not only did it give them a little independence, it also helped them make friends later in life.
Do Engineers Need an MBA?
Blog 
9/25/2012  20 comments
Is an MBA a worthwhile academic pursuit or a total waste of precious time?
Video: Silicone Robot Mimics Surroundings
Blog 
9/5/2012  18 comments
Low-cost silicone robots that walk, change color to match their surroundings, and light up in the dark may soon be helping first responders and the military.
Calling All Messy Engineers!
Blog 
9/6/2012  18 comments
We want photos of your disheveled desks.
Gesture Sensors Could Help Mechatronics Engineers
Mechatronics Zone 
9/20/2012  17 comments
A recent announcement from a company specializing in sensors used for gesture detection sparked thoughts about using this type of control in mechatronic devices.
Autonomous UAVs Fly in Swarms
Blog 
9/7/2012  16 comments
Boeing and Johns Hopkins University have demonstrated the ability of autonomous UAVs to fly in a swarm without a ground control station.
Video: Robot Security Camera Patrols RNC
Blog 
9/11/2012  16 comments
A remote-controlled Roomba-like robot with a wide-angle camera for inspecting under cars helped the Republican National Convention's security detail look for bombs.
We Want the Top 40 Under 40
Blog 
9/21/2012  15 comments
Design News, in partnership with Mouser Electronics, is asking for your nominations for engineers who are ahead of the trends and are significantly performing in the industry.
Next-Gen 3D Printer Targets Professionals
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/26/2012  15 comments
With its higher resolution, bigger build volume, and support for multiple print jobs and materials, MakerBot is pushing its Replicator 3D printer line to the next level.
There's a Mystery Glitch in the Pipe Organ
Sherlock Ohms 
9/24/2012  15 comments
Fixing the electronics in a pipe organ from 600 miles away can be a challenge.
Keeping Track of Emerging Markets
Blog 
9/4/2012  15 comments
Depending on the markets and applications you serve, different countries can be at varying states of “emergence.”
IMSI/Design Brings Markup to a Mobile Platform
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/20/2012  14 comments
The new TurboReview app for both iOS and Android mobile devices lets engineers do both 2D and 3D markup when out in the field while delivering what it claims is the industry's first support for 3D PDF.
Robotic Tuna Inspects Oil Tankers (& Sea Chests?)
Blog 
9/26/2012  14 comments
The latest underwater unmanned vehicle being developed for the Department of Homeland Security navigates oily waters and cramped spaces.
Game On for 3D Printing
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/24/2012  13 comments
Ill Gotten Games turned to open-source 3D CAD tools and 3D printing to fast-track the development of its Pocket-Tactics strategy board game.
Robot Takes Care of Your Vino
Blog 
9/28/2012  13 comments
A new robot may have a hand in tending the grapes it takes to make your next glass of wine.
Slideshow: Content Creation Tools Push 3D Printing Mainstream
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/5/2012  13 comments
In addition to a ready selection of low-cost 3D printer models, a host of 3D content creation tools and services is fueling mainstream adoption of the technology, along with a drive toward personal manufacturing.
LED Headlights Shine Light on New Power Architectures
Blog 
9/10/2012  13 comments
Automotive front lighting systems no longer use simple light bulbs. Solid-state LED drivers are providing needed improvement in the overall solution.
Control Panel Not Included in Train Communicator
Made by Monkeys 
9/17/2012  12 comments
The control panel for the train maintenance yard had no way of communicating to the switches and signals.
Slideshow: SolidWorks' 2013 Upgrade
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/14/2012  12 comments
Amidst the nearly 200-plus user-requested enhancements in SolidWorks 2013 are new 2D/3D electrical CAD capabilities, along with analysis capabilities for optimizing the design of plastic parts.
Video: Flexible Robot Hands Get Cheaper
Blog 
9/21/2012  12 comments
Sandia National Laboratories has created a low-cost, highly dexterous robotic hand to help soldiers disarm IEDs.
Slideshow: Sights, Sounds of an IndyCar Race
Blog 
9/26/2012  11 comments
Technology deep dives, trackside insights, scorching heat, pictures, memories, and a spectacular race that saw the season's points leader crash early and later return to the track, highlighted the last Speed2Design event of the 2012 IndyCar season.
Video: You Can Teach a Robotic Mule New Tricks
Blog 
9/13/2012  11 comments
The DoD’s robotic pack mule can now play follow the leader and walk backward for a considerable distance over rough terrain, bringing the robot closer to serving as a sophisticated mechanical companion for US soldiers in the field.
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Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Two students have created a voice-command system for our homes, based on the simple and affordable Raspberry Pi.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Texas Instruments is rolling out a new microcontroller that could make the design of sensor networks and data logging systems simpler and less costly.
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