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Blogs
Content posted in September 2013
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Reader Vote Round 3: Gadget Freak of the Year
Gadget Freak 
9/30/2013  17 comments
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.
NASA Seeks Commercial-Sector Tech for Human Missions
Engineering Materials 
9/30/2013  8 comments
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  9 comments
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?
Don’t Talk About the Temperature Gap
Made by Monkeys 
9/30/2013  18 comments
If there is a gap in the temperature gauge, you'd better not talk about it.
Video: Baxter 2.0 Extends Robot's Reach
Engineering Materials 
9/27/2013  14 comments
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.
New Metals Could Foster Phase-Change Memory Devices
Blog 
9/27/2013  8 comments
Chinese researchers say a combination of metals could have potential for the next generation of storage devices, which will use phase-change memory instead of Flash memory.
Create 'Machines That See' Using Industry Resources
Guest Blogs 
9/27/2013  2 comments
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.
Long-Range Affordable EV Won't Be Easy
Captain Hybrid 
9/26/2013  22 comments
Electric vehicle makers are beginning to talk publicly about the next big step: building an affordable long-range car.
Microsoft's Project Spark Makes a Game of Creating Your Own Video Game
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/26/2013  5 comments
Almost all the young minds that play video games have wondered what it would be like to create their own, even if it was just changing something small in one game to make their experience better. Microsoft is making it happen.
Bad Address Baffles the Software
Sherlock Ohms 
9/26/2013  15 comments
I had to fix a software glitch, and I found the answer to the problem in an offhand story told by my boss.
Artificial Retina Is Solar Powered
Blog 
9/26/2013  32 comments
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.
Slideshow: More Cars From the Small & Silver Screens
Electronic News & Comment 
9/25/2013  44 comments
When we published a slideshow about movie cars last June, readers politely pointed to our obvious inadequacies in the area of pop culture.
Siemens Helps Student Engineers Race in the Outback
Guest Blogs 
9/25/2013  6 comments
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.
Heating & AC Units Run Hot & Cold
Sherlock Ohms 
9/25/2013  16 comments
Hooking up the AC on top of the heating wiring proved to be a mess.
Super-Slippery Coating Inspired by Carnivorous Plant
Engineering Materials 
9/25/2013  21 comments
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
Captain Hybrid 
9/24/2013  9 comments
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.
Video: Shoe Inserts Harvest Energy to Power Devices
Blog 
9/24/2013  42 comments
SolePower's waterproof insoles can be swapped between different pairs of shoes, allowing people to store energy from their own footsteps through patent-pending energy-harvesting technology.
The Copper Eats the Aluminum
Made by Monkeys 
9/24/2013  20 comments
The light socket -- constructed with copper and aluminum -- was bound to fail.
World Solar Car Challenge & STEM Education
STEM Connection 
9/24/2013  5 comments
Siemens PLM Software is proud to sponsor the University of Michigan solar car team, an entirely student-run organization that designed its new Generation car in NX software.
Using PACs and PLCs for Data Acquisition, Logging & Analytics
Blog 
9/24/2013  4 comments
Modern and powerful PLCs and PACs can perform many of the data acquisition functions formerly reserved for SCADA, PC-based, and other control systems.
Slideshow: Wearable Tech on the Rise
Blog 
9/23/2013  23 comments
The trend of wearable tech is in full swing, and it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.
Engineers Eye the Prize in Solar Car Road Challenge
STEM Connection 
9/23/2013  6 comments
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.
Red Pitaya Will Be a Boon for Budding Engineers
Blog 
9/23/2013  3 comments
Red Pitaya, an open-source electrical test and measurement system, has been successfully funded on Kickstarter.
No Pressure on the Pressure Gauge
Sherlock Ohms 
9/23/2013  13 comments
The finishing machine had oscillation errors.
Design News Is Looking for the Best of the Best
Blog 
9/23/2013  Post a comment
Fall is in the air, and you know what that means, don't you? It's awards season at Design News.
Slideshow: Smart EV Has No Doors or Windows
Captain Hybrid 
9/20/2013  40 comments
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.
Update: The Best Things to Come Out of a 3D Printer
Blog 
9/20/2013  46 comments
It seems like everything these days is being 3D printed. We have seen many different items -- bathing suits, shoes, and even cars -- 3D printed and it is truly transforming how we are making things.
Video: 'Terminator' Polymer Has Potential for Device Design
Blog 
9/20/2013  18 comments
Imagine dropping your mobile device and not worrying about it breaking, because you knew the phone would bounce harmlessly off the floor -- and, even if it were damaged, could repair itself.
NI Controllers Help Modernize Power Grid
Blog 
9/20/2013  5 comments
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  21 comments
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  24 comments
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
Blog 
9/19/2013  35 comments
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  13 comments
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.
Looking for Common Ground
Sherlock Ohms 
9/19/2013  14 comments
It's critical to make sure the ground is doing its job and not destroying equipment.
Extend USB 3.0 Vision Applications Over Fiber
Guest Blogs 
9/19/2013  4 comments
With more than 10 billion devices in the market already, USB is undisputedly the most successful computer connection interface to date.
Slideshow: Volkswagen Takes a Deep Dive Into Electrics
Captain Hybrid 
9/18/2013  43 comments
Volkswagen’s introduction of two new electric cars is a legitimate step toward electrification for the giant automaker, and not just an effort to comply with government mandates, experts said this week.
Music to Your Eyes: Transparent Polyurethane Provides New View of Cello
Blog 
9/18/2013  20 comments
A transparent polyurethane is the basis for a next-generation cello developed by Bayer MaterialScience that adds the experience of visual and digital elements to the sound of the traditional string instrument.
Growth in Model-Based Design for Automation Control
Blog 
9/18/2013  2 comments
Systems are adding new sophisticated functions and tools.
Inductive Sensor/Converter Opens More Doors Than I Could Imagine
Blog 
9/18/2013  1 comment
Texas Instruments' LDC1000 offers a level of resolution that enables sub-micron resolution in position-sensing applications with 16-bit resonance impedance and 24-bit inductance values.
New Dishwasher Can’t Beat the Old One
Made by Monkeys 
9/18/2013  22 comments
The fancy new dishwasher was no match for the decades-old model.
Dassault Systemes Teams With Engineers to Rid Oceans of Plastic
CAD/CAM Corner 
9/18/2013  6 comments
The Eco-Engineering Design Contest aims to clean up the world's oceans.
Slideshow: Robots Will 3D Print & Build Space Structures
Engineering Materials 
9/17/2013  21 comments
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.
Dark, Dirty & Dead-End? Manufacturers Say No
Electronic News & Comment 
9/17/2013  38 comments
If your son or daughter could go to a community college, receive a two-year degree in manufacturing technology, and earn $58,000/year inside of 18 months, would you encourage it?
Smartphones & Tablets as Remote HMIs
Blog 
9/17/2013  2 comments
New technology is offering an interesting and useful way to track critical plant production information.
Share Your Repair/Redesign Tales & You Could Win a Tektronix Scope
Blog 
9/17/2013  2 comments
Just in time for Halloween, Tektronix and EE Times have teamed up to recognize the special ability of engineers and mad doctors to get things to work.
Shock-Wave Energy Inspiration for Development of Super-Strong Materials
Blog 
9/17/2013  3 comments
How do you create new materials stronger than anything that exists today? Create shock conditions similar to a meteorite striking the Earth, exert them on the material, and see what happens.
Stun Gun Ad Sells False Sizzle
Made by Monkeys 
9/17/2013  51 comments
The claims about a two-million-volt stun gun defied the laws of physics.
Reader Vote Round 2: Gadget Freak of the Year
Gadget Freak 
9/16/2013  28 comments
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.
Slideshow: MD&M Chicago Highlights New Technologies
Blog 
9/16/2013  10 comments
Last week's Medical Design & Manufacturing Chicago show attracted more than 500 exhibitors and thousands of attendees with technologies ranging from automation and robotics to electronic test systems and 3D printers.
Convergence at the Operator Panel
Blog 
9/16/2013  9 comments
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.
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