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Blogs
Content posted in November 2012
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Time Is Running Out
Blog 
11/30/2012  2 comments
Tuesday, December 4 is your last chance to enter the Golden Mousetrap Awards. So, what are you waiting for?
Gadget Freak Case #230: The Inexpensive Dimmable LED Desk Lamp
Gadget Freak 
11/30/2012  53 comments
Andrew Morris designed a dimmable LED driver circuit that is simple and energy efficient. He then installed the circuit into a portable fluorescent lamp.
Texas Instruments' Color TI-84+C Graphing Calculator Surfaces
Blog 
11/30/2012  14 comments
TI graphing calculators haven't changed much in 22 years. Is that about to change with the color TI-84+C? A walk through their history might shed some light.
SparkFun Takes Electronics to Future Engineers & Scientists
STEM Connection 
11/30/2012  16 comments
SparkFun has started a crowd-funding project to sponsor a tour that will promote electronics education throughout the US and perhaps in Canada, too.
Slideshow: GM Debuts Pure-Electric Spark
Captain Hybrid 
11/29/2012  29 comments
General Motors rolled out the battery-powered Spark EV, marking the first time it has introduced an all-electric car since it scrapped the infamous EV1 a decade ago.
Just How Toxic Are Carbon Nanotubes?
Engineering Materials 
11/29/2012  32 comments
Researchers at Texas Tech University have come up with a new method for detecting extremely small CNTs in soils, which will help determine their toxicity.
Smoking Trailer Brakes Cause Alarm
Sherlock Ohms 
11/29/2012  48 comments
When all four brakes on the boat trailer started smoking, it was time to examine the braking system.
Steer-By-Wire to Reach Production Vehicles
Captain Hybrid 
11/28/2012  57 comments
Taking a page from the world of aviation, Nissan Motor Co. plans to enter the "by-wire" world and control the steering of a future Infiniti vehicle with electronic signals.
Wind Power Operating, Maintenance Costs Drop 38 Percent
Engineering Materials 
11/28/2012  41 comments
The costs of wind power are falling, not only for turbine cost and performance, but also for operating and maintaining onshore wind farms. In just the last four years, operation and maintenance costs have dropped 38 percent.
Future of Farming Geared for Efficient Robotic Workers
Blog 
11/28/2012  32 comments
With overpopulation and a decaying environment, the world needs more food, faster. Robots come to rescue, delivering tireless efficiency to the farmland.
Establishing Pressure Sensor Selection Criteria
Guest Blogs 
11/28/2012  8 comments
Selecting a pressure sensor should balance your outlay with what the sensor must do and your level of involvement.
Slideshow: Finding Success by Focusing on Failure
Guest Blogs 
11/27/2012  10 comments
Rob Manning, chief engineer of the Mars Science Laboratory, sits down for a chat with Design News.
LightWave 3D Creates a Virtual Set for TV, Movies
CAD/CAM Corner 
11/27/2012  7 comments
Physical sets and models are a thing of the past for the television and film industries. LightWave 3D gives unprecedented options for new shows, like Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.
An Undersampling Wrapup
Mechatronics Zone 
11/27/2012  Post a comment
Contributing technical editor Jon Titus wraps up his undersampling columns with sample rates and a plot with extrapolated lines.
Slideshow: Making Sense of Connected Sensors
Blog 
11/26/2012  11 comments
The Embedded Technology 2012 trade show held recently in Yokohama, Japan, focused on five smart technologies: energy, healthcare, agriculture, automotive, and transportation systems, as well as mobile and cloud computing.
BASF, TenCate Join Forces on Car Composites
Engineering Materials 
11/26/2012  11 comments
BASF and TenCate Advanced Composites have joined forces to develop and produce glass and carbon continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics for high-volume car production.
Strange Case of the High VSWRs
Sherlock Ohms 
11/26/2012  11 comments
The amplifiers failed tests time after time. Maybe it's not the amplifiers' problem.
Video: Autodesk Welcomes 123D Design to App Family
CAD/CAM Corner 
11/26/2012  6 comments
Autodesk takes a design from concept to fabrication with the browser-based 123D Design.
NASA 3D Prints Rocket Engine Parts
Engineering Materials 
11/21/2012  24 comments
NASA is using 3D printing to build engine parts for its next-generation heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.
The Secret to Eliminating ESD Damage? Read Your Datasheet
Electronic News & Comment 
11/21/2012  10 comments
The scourge of electronic devices -- electrostatic discharge (ESD) -- can be virtually eliminated by designers doing one simple task: reading their datasheets.
Understanding Gas Flow & Measurements
Guest Blogs 
11/21/2012  7 comments
To measure gas flows effectively, the volumetric flow rate must be converted to standard conditions for temperature and pressure.
Slideshow: Great Space Rovers
Blog 
11/20/2012  31 comments
The Canadian Space Agency, makers of the International Space Station's 30-year robotic Canadarm project, is working on lunar and Mars robot rovers.
Lightning Knocks Out Aircraft's Compass
Sherlock Ohms 
11/20/2012  27 comments
When lightning hit the Boeing jet, the instruments went haywire.
Bodkin Develops Homemade Explosive Detector
Blog 
11/20/2012  12 comments
Bodkin develops explosive detection to keep soldiers at a distance.
Complete CNC Board Implementation
Guest Blogs 
11/20/2012  7 comments
A CNC motherboard architecture incorporates everything needed to build a small or midsized DIY CNC machine.
Slideshow: Sports & Technology
Blog 
11/19/2012  14 comments
Check out some of the amazing technologies that sports and athletes have adopted over the years.
Video: What Do You Call a One-Armed Bartender?
Blog 
11/19/2012  19 comments
JAMES, a robotic bartender, can take orders, serve drinks, and respond to commands from customers.
Engineers: It's BYOD for Life
Blog 
11/19/2012  16 comments
The concept of "bring your own device" to work is causing every type of business to do some restructuring for the sake of security.
Water Wand Plugged With Rust
Made by Monkeys 
11/19/2012  19 comments
The new water wand was plugged with rust after just a couple days of use.
Video: Robot Turns Your Dreams Into Art
Blog 
11/16/2012  15 comments
Ever wondered what your nightly tossing, turning, and snoring would look like if turned into art by a robot? Winners of a chance to stay at a European hotel chain will find out when their sleep pattern data is captured by sensors and painted by an ABB robot.
Video: Pointing & Clicking Without a Mouse
Blog 
11/16/2012  10 comments
Microchip’s GestIC technology, which enables intuitive, gesture-based, non-contact user interfaces, is the heart of a range of end products, starting with the MGC3130.
Circuit Protection; Shock Tactics in Real-Time
Blog 
11/16/2012  4 comments
Littelfuse is putting its weight behind an initiative that promises to deliver real-time responses to engineers working on designs requiring circuit protection.
Robots Take Human Factor Out of Mining
Blog 
11/16/2012  21 comments
Engineers have developed robots to take the human factor out of mining work and provide automation in the process, making it more efficient and less dangerous for the people involved.
Could Pure Electrics Emit More Than Hybrids?
Captain Hybrid 
11/15/2012  54 comments
After studying the life cycle of electrified cars, researchers have concluded that hybrids with smaller batteries pollute less than pure EVs.
Video: German Robot May Beat You at Ping-Pong
Blog 
11/15/2012  13 comments
A German research team created the first robot that can not only play ping-pong like a human, but also improve its game by learning from its human opponents.
The Work Day of the Future
Blog 
11/15/2012  27 comments
In 20 years, what will the typical work day be like? That is the question the Working Worlds in 2030 project is trying to answer.
Autodesk Enters the Gaming Industry
CAD/CAM Corner 
11/15/2012  3 comments
Autodesk provides easy-to-use tools for every technical industry. Now, with its new version of Scaleform for mobile game developers, the gaming industry is in their sights.
Slideshow: Scenes From JEC Americas & IFAI
Blog 
11/14/2012  8 comments
For the first time ever, JEC Americas converged on the city of Boston November 7 to November 9, hosting a massive materials show in conjunction with IFAI (Industrial Fabrics Association International).
3-Island Pacific Nation Goes 100 Percent Renewable
Engineering Materials 
11/14/2012  19 comments
A new system will make residents of a small Pacific nation dependent on solar power and biofuel from local coconuts for electricity.
Software Advances Do Their Part to Spur 3D Print Revolution
Blog 
11/14/2012  2 comments
Sure, prices on 3D printers are coming down. But advances to 3D content creation tools at both the low and high end are helping to make 3D printing more accessible to a broader audience.
Embedding Power Everywhere
Guest Blogs 
11/14/2012  17 comments
What if you needed a wrench and found they were all the same size? Solar power systems face that problem now.
Engineering Directives Not Followed... Again
Blog 
11/14/2012  9 comments
What happens when 4km of speaker wire is wrongfully installed?
Slideshow: Apple iPad 4 Teardown
Blog 
11/13/2012  17 comments
Apple stunned reporters with the announcement of a fourth-generation iPad (or iPad 4), just over six months since the launch of the iPad 3.
Is Your Personal Device Personal?
Blog 
11/13/2012  14 comments
Do you use your personal mobile device in your plant, and does your company expect you to use your own iPad or smartphone for company use?
Acoustic Signatures Reveal Railway Bearing Defects
Mechatronics Zone 
11/13/2012  13 comments
The RailBAM can detect damage to the wheelset bearings in trains sooner than other techniques, improving reliability and reducing maintenance costs.
Upverter Launches Cloud-Based CAD for Engineering Hardware Design
CAD/CAM Corner 
11/13/2012  6 comments
Browser-based CAD software takes design from concept to PCB in one package. Upverter helps engineers create from anywhere at any time.
Is Your Network Safe?
Blog 
11/13/2012  23 comments
Network security has become a major issue now that plants are connected to the outside world.
Slideshow: Service Robots Can Do Most Anything
Blog 
11/12/2012  41 comments
The range of services that robots can perform is extremely broad -- from assisting the elderly to cleaning polluted water to repairing spacecraft.
Want to Generate Energy? Go Fly a Kite
Blog 
11/12/2012  26 comments
Kite energy farms are more efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly than wind turbines, according to Nature Technology Systems.
Indignation With Taking Liberties
Blog 
11/12/2012  23 comments
What happens when the talented but willful production team takes engineering directives as suggestions?
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