Content posted in September 2013
NASA Seeks Commercial-Sector Tech for Human Missions
Engineering Materials 9/30/2013
NASA is on a mission to involve commercial suppliers in advancing human space flight. Jacobs Engineering, NASA's partner in getting technologies and materials human-rated for space, will give details at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Texas show.
Buying IP Is Not for the Faint of Heart
Guest Blogs 9/30/2013
Microsoft has agreed to purchase Nokia's handset business for $7.2 billion. Two years ago, Google purchased Motorola's handset business for nearly twice that much, so it seems like Microsoft got a steal of a deal. Or did it?
Video: Baxter 2.0 Extends Robot's Reach
Engineering Materials 9/27/2013
A new software upgrade to Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot extends the innovative bot's reach, makes it easier to program more precisely, improves overall performance, and expands its uses in the small to medium-sized companies it was designed for.
Create 'Machines That See' Using Industry Resources
Guest Blogs 9/27/2013
This article explores the opportunity for incorporating visual intelligence into electronic products, introduces an industry alliance created to help engineers implement such capabilities, and describes an upcoming technical education forum sponsored by the alliance, along with other technical resources that the alliance provides.
Artificial Retina Is Solar Powered
A New Jersey company has been granted a patent to design the first solar-powered artificial retina, an invention that would preclude the current need for external hardware and give a patient the possibility of near-normal vision.
Siemens Helps Student Engineers Race in the Outback
Guest Blogs 9/25/2013
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan has built an electric vehicle, and are currently preparing for the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students will be blogging for Design News throughout the race.
Super-Slippery Coating Inspired by Carnivorous Plant
Engineering Materials 9/25/2013
A durable, completely transparent, super-slippery coating can turn regular glass into a material that doesn't stain, resists scratches, and repairs itself. It was inspired by the carnivorous pitcher plant, coated with an ultra-slippery surface that slides insect victims into its depths.
Slideshow: EVs & Plug-Ins for 2014
Automotive News 9/24/2013
These days, it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the introductions of electrified vehicles without a running scorecard. In 2014, we’re already expecting to see them being rolled out by BMW, Cadillac, Porsche, Tesla, Volkswagen, and others.
Engineers Eye the Prize in Solar Car Road Challenge
STEM Connection 9/23/2013
Next month, a team of cars will travel 3,000 km in searing desert heat across Australia as part of a global road challenge. This contest is a bit different -- instead of using the usual combustible engines, all the cars in this challenge are solar-powered.
Slideshow: Smart EV Has No Doors or Windows
Automotive News 9/20/2013
If you've been searching for a tiny electrically powered car with no doors, no rear window, and an open roof with a pair of electric skateboards on it, then Smart Automobile may have a solution for you.
NI Controllers Help Modernize Power Grid
National Instruments recently announced a new platform for its software-designed cRIO 9068 controller. This new product still uses LabVIEW programming but offers a 4x performance boost by using a 667 MHz ARM dual core processor and new FPGAs.
Spreading Excitement About Space Exploration
STEM Connection 9/20/2013
It's commonplace to hear engineers lament the small size of the NASA budget, the lack of a successor to the Space Shuttle, and the lack of a US heavy launch vehicle. We need to teach young people to have an optimistic view of the future of human space exploration.
Slideshow: 3D Printing in the Medical Cloud
Engineering Materials 9/19/2013
Medical professionals can use 3D Systems' secure cloud-based Bespoke Modeling service to create, edit, share, and print sophisticated, full-color, 3D anatomical models from CT scans, MRI scans, or other digital imaging and communications data.
Wearable Devices Help Parents ‘Guard’ Children
Inspired by personal experience, a Taiwanese entrepreneur has come up with wearable devices that can help parents locate their kids if they wander off, and aid in the location of children before they go missing permanently.
Why You Should Assess Your Machines' Safety
Guest Blogs 9/19/2013
If your business relies on the use of automation machines, you should know how important it is to keep them serviced. This means not just keeping them functioning well, but also maintaining their safety standards.
Slideshow: Robots Will 3D Print & Build Space Structures
Engineering Materials 9/17/2013
NASA is funding technology that would use robotics and 3D printing to construct parts of very large spacecraft and other structures in space. Doing this could reduce the cost and risk of building and launching systems and allow for bigger structures.
Reader Vote Round 2: Gadget Freak of the Year
Gadget Freak 9/16/2013
Design News and Allied Electronics are looking to crown the first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year, and we need help from you, our readers. You voted for our first crop of candidates. Now we present the second group of four for your consideration.
Convergence at the Operator Panel
An important ongoing trend for automation and control over the past decade has been the convergence of machine control systems on fewer pieces of control hardware.
The Industrial Internet of Things may be going off the deep end in connecting everything on the plant floor. Some machines, bearings, or conveyors simply don’t need to be monitored -- even if they can be.
Wind turbines already are imposing structures that stretch high into the sky, but an engineering graduate student at the University of Notre Dame wants to make them even taller to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.
Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley's longest-running CEO, shares some of his thoughts on innovation, procrastination, and why you shouldn't put customers first.
Researchers at American University have produced chemically active structures that, not unlike living things, can actually do things on their own without an external power.
Former DARPA official and Google executive Dr. Kaigham Gabriel believes sensor companies think too much like suppliers and need to bring their products closer to the consumer.
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