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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Automotive News 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.
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.
Slideshow: Smart EV Has No Doors or Windows
Automotive News 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
The age of touch could soon come to an end. From smartphones and smartwatches, to home devices, to in-car infotainment systems, touch is no longer the primary user interface. Technology market leaders are driving a migration from touch to voice as a user interface.
Soft starter technology has become a way to mitigate startup stressors by moderating a motor’s voltage supply during the machine start-up phase, slowly ramping it up and effectively adjusting the machine’s load behavior to protect mechanical components.
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
If you’re developing a product with lots of sensors and no access to the power grid, then you’ll want to take note of a Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Designing Low Power Systems Using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources."
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.