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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.