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Update: 4D Printing Self-Assembling Shapes In Carbon Composites, Wood
Engineering Materials 
11/11/2014  10 comments
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
What About Crowdsourcing New Components?
Guest Blogs 
11/11/2014  2 comments
The tech industry is no stranger to crowdsourcing funding for new projects, and the team at element14 are no strangers to crowdsourcing ideas for new projects through its design competitions. But what about crowdsourcing new components?
Class Aims to Explain Analog Design Issues
Electronics News 
11/11/2014  2 comments
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
'Extreme' Battery Aims to Shock EV Market
Automotive News 
11/10/2014  38 comments
An MIT spin-off says it’s on track to do the near-impossible task of making an electric car battery that offers three times as much energy for a fraction of the cost.
Would You Let Your Kids Play With Atomic Energy?
STEM Connection 
11/10/2014  25 comments
In the early 1950s, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab offered young people the opportunity to watch radioactive decay with a spinthariscope, measure the radioactivity of uranium ore with an electroscope, watch the tracks formed by alpha particles in a cloud chamber, and even prospect for uranium using a Geiger counter. Yikes!
Baxter the Robot Gets a Gig at Schneider
Blog 
11/10/2014  1 comment
Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot has taken a job on the assembly line of a major energy and automation company.
Andiamo 3D Prints Orthotics for Disabled Kids
Blog 
11/10/2014  Post a comment
Andiamo aims to dramatically reduce the time and cost of orthotic equipment for children by using 3D printing to rapidly and inexpensively create orthotic devices.
Gadget Freak of the Year Reader Vote: Round 1
Gadget Freak 
11/10/2014  2 comments
Last year you helped Design News and Allied Electronics crown its first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year, and we need your help again.
The Best & Worst of Engineering in Hollywood
Electronics News 
11/7/2014  41 comments
It’s time once again for the Annual Design News Science and Engineering Movie Contest, which names no winners, awards no prizes, isn’t really a contest, and appears every three years or so.
Gadget Freak Case # 265: Propane – Oxygen Cannon & Shock Tube Demonstrator
Gadget Freak 
11/7/2014  11 comments
This project is an experiment in generating supersonic shock waves called detonation waves.
Save Your LEDs with Circuit Protection
Blog 
11/7/2014  3 comments
Learn to protect your LED design by taking this free Focus on Fundamentals class about LED circuits.
Grabit Uses Static Electricity to Let Robots Grip Anything
Blog 
11/7/2014  6 comments
Designing a robot gripper that is flexible enough to grab a variety of objects -- even oddly shaped or heavy ones -- has always been challenging. A company called Grabit has found a solution with a robot that uses static electricity to pick up virtually anything and is well-suited for a range of industrial applications.
3D Printing Super-Hard Metal Matrix Composites
Engineering Materials 
11/7/2014  6 comments
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
30 Seconds With Festo's AquaJelly
Electronics News 
11/7/2014  1 comment
Frank Langro of Festo Corp. describes how AquaJelly, the intelligent artificial jellyfish, works. Festo demonstrated AquaJelly at its booth at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago this week.
Did You Know the Lead Engineer on the Brooklyn Bridge was a Woman?
Blog 
11/6/2014  28 comments
It may come as a surprise to some people to know that it was a woman who was in charge of engineering of the Brooklyn Bridge; a woman who was the first computer programmer; and a woman who designed an important junction of Los Angeles’ complex highway system.
Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 
11/6/2014  27 comments
This is the article your manager doesn’t want you to read. Are you working on a tough engineering problem? Don’t keep plugging away at it. Take a break and do something else for a while. Your manager will thank you later.
Advanced Warfare: 4 Real-Life Military Exoskeletons
Blog 
11/6/2014  3 comments
This week sees the release of the latest edition of the wildly popular Call of Duty video game franchise, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Sledgehammer, the studio behind Advanced Warfare, consulted with military experts on the design of the game's exoskeletons. What they eventually came up with is certainly very sci-fi but not too far away from technologies being developed today.
Festo Builds a Better Dragonfly
Electronics News 
11/6/2014  6 comments
Combining nine electric motors with sensors, a microcontroller, and a lightweight carbon-fiber frame, engineers from Festo Corp. have created a mechanical dragonfly that can master more flight maneuvers than an airplane, helicopter, or glider.
Protect Your Hardware From Hacking
Blog 
11/6/2014  1 comment
Cyber security for hardware assets has become a major issue as more and more devices get connected. A whole slew of new protection technology is beginning to show up to confront the problem. While we’ve seeing plenty of attention paid to networks, securing hardware has received less attention. Yet there plenty of security advances available now for hardware protection.
How Many Licks Does it Take to Get to the Center of Google's Nexus 9?
Blog 
11/5/2014  2 comments
It's a good time for tablet fans. Apple gave it both barrels last month, with a pair of new iPads -- and today, Google fires back with the Nexus 9 and its newly revised OS, Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Is the Microsoft Band Too Late to the Wearables Party?
Blog 
11/5/2014  7 comments
Microsoft has finally made its entry into the wearables and digital health space. But is the Microsoft Band doomed to fail in the face of stiff competition?
Astronauts to Get Out-of-this-World Java
Blog 
11/5/2014  7 comments
Dubbed ISSpresso, the world’s first galactic coffee machine has been designed by Italy's famous coffee company Lavazza, and engineered by a Turin-based engineering company, Argotec, to be rocketed into space early next year.
The Washer Suffered from Planned Obsolescence
Made by Monkeys 
11/5/2014  16 comments
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Students: NASA Wants You to Design its Next Space Tool
STEM Connection 
11/5/2014  1 comment
The winner of NASA's Design a Space Tool Challenge will watch the winning tool being printed on the 3D printer launched to the International Space Station in September. Students in grades K through 12 have until December 15 to submit entries.
Engineering Job Prospects 10 Years Out
Blog 
11/4/2014  19 comments
Job prospects for US engineers in the coming decade is a mixed bag, with some disciplines seeing a 27% growth rate (biomedical engineering), while others are flatlining (materials engineering).
Google Reveals Prototype of 'Project Ara' Customizable Modular Smartphone
Blog 
11/4/2014  2 comments
Google has revealed a working model and announced two January 2015 dates for developer conferences around its Project Ara modular smartphone.
How GM Failed Me
Blog 
11/4/2014  31 comments
I’m willing to believe that Mary Barra is sincere in her desire to fix GM’s mistakes. I’m even willing to forgive GM for the defective ignition switch. However, after the abysmal service my daughter and I received, it’s hard for me to imagine ever buying another GM product.
Convergence Dives Deep into Automotive Electronics
Electronics News 
11/3/2014  5 comments
The SAE Convergence Conference and Exhibition in Detroit celebrated 40 years of electronics in automobiles, displaying technologies ranging from electronic voltage regulators of the 1970s to surround view cameras in the 2015 models.
Nintendo Wants to Track Your Sleep and Fatigue
Blog 
11/3/2014  6 comments
Nintendo's latest product announcement isn't a video game -- it's a sleep tracker, the first in a series of quality of life products aimed at the consumer health and fitness market.
This VEST Will Give You Extra Senses
Blog 
11/3/2014  4 comments
The people behind VEST call it a sensory-substitution device. It could help the deaf hear again ... and make the rest of us even better.
Solar Energy Does Grow on Trees
Blog 
11/3/2014  16 comments
Israeli company Sologic's eTrees are metal, tree-like structures for harvesting solar energy.
Does it Still Make Sense to Go Offshore?
Guest Blogs 
11/3/2014  5 comments
It has been common wisdom of late that anything you needed to manufacture could be made more cost-effectively on foreign shores. Following World War II, the label “Made in Japan” was as ubiquitous as is the “Made in China” version today and often had very similar -- not always positive -- connotations. Along the way, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Pacific-rim nations have each had their turn at being the preferred low-cost alternative to manufacturing here in the US.
9 Inventions Provide Frightful Fun for Halloween
Blog 
10/31/2014  8 comments
Halloween isn’t just a time for creative costumes. Thanks to the element14 online design community, the holiday this year also brings us a number of creative electronic device design ideas aimed at making your Halloween party a unique experience.
Gadget Freak Case #267: What Happens When You Combine Arduino and iOS?
Gadget Freak 
10/31/2014  8 comments
The Arduino is great for connecting with hardware but has a limited user interface. Apple’s iOS devices have a great user interface but are limited when connecting with hardware.
HP Finally Reveals 3D Printing Plans
Engineering Materials 
10/31/2014  8 comments
After a year or so of missteps, false starts, retractions, and postponements, inkjet office printer giant Hewlett-Packard has finally revealed just what it plans to do in 3D printing.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission: Innovative or a Waste of Time?
Blog 
10/31/2014  11 comments
On April 15, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a major speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announcing that the US would send astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s. But in order to do so, NASA would first need to ramp up its capabilities through missions directed toward "a series of increasingly demanding targets," i.e. asteroids.
This Toaster Takes Selfies -- Because Civilization is Doomed
Blog 
10/31/2014  10 comments
Selfies have already ruined your nights out and your social media feeds. Now they're after your breakfast.
Head-Turning Trends in Industrial Automation
Pamela Moore 
10/31/2014  7 comments
Robots are getting less expensive, more nimble, and smart than ever. The following examples exemplify new trends in industrial automation.
Apple's at it Again: Check Out the iPad Mini 3 Teardown
Blog 
10/30/2014  7 comments
Bigger than an iPhone 6 Plus, but smaller than an iPad Air 2. What am I? If you answered iPad Mini 3, you are correct.
10 Robots That Play Well With Others
Blog 
10/30/2014  Post a comment
Here are 10 robots that are designed to work effectively and safely with humans.
Terrible User Interface Design is Endangering Our Credit Card Data
Electronics News 
10/30/2014  22 comments
The data breaches at Target, Home Depot, and elsewhere have inadvertently highlighted a separate and unexpected problem: bad user interface design.
Ampy: A Pocket-Sized Motion Charger for Your Mobile Devices
Blog 
10/30/2014  17 comments
What if you could recharge your mobile device using the movements you make all day? That’s the promise of Ampy, a new device by a Chicago-based startup of the same name.
30 Seconds on Time-of-Flight Sensors in Autos
Electronics News 
10/30/2014  7 comments
Peter Riendeau of Melexis shows how a time-of-flight sensor can be used for gesture recognition in a vehicle.
Is Apple's iPad Air 2 Easy to Repair?
Blog 
10/29/2014  3 comments
What's lighter than Air? An Air 2. Join us as we disassemble the new, shaved-down iPad Air 2, and see whether Apple's thinnest device is still its least-repairable.
Latest Ferrari goes Invite-Only
Blog 
10/29/2014  41 comments
Think there’s already a high bar in owning a Ferrari? Well, grab a pole vault, because that bar just got raised.
Dryer Dies Due to a 12-Cent Resistor
Made by Monkeys 
10/29/2014  16 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Update: 3D-Printed Optics From New Material, Process
Engineering Materials 
10/29/2014  23 comments
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
30 Seconds on Delphi Connect
Electronics News 
10/29/2014  1 comment
David Bottomley of Delphi Electronics demonstrates Delphi Connect, which allows do-it-yourselfers to add connectivity and onboard diagnostics to their existing vehicles.
Corel Updates CAD Suite, Providing Low-Cost 2D and 3D Design
Blog 
10/29/2014  10 comments
Corel has updated its CorelCAD 2015 with new features that provide designers with a low-cost option for designing 2D and 3D graphics.
You Know You're An Engineer If …
Blog 
10/28/2014  71 comments
If these statements are close to your heart and your daily way of life, you're probably an engineer.
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Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
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