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Blogs
Content posted in January 2014
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Gadget Freak Review: Smart Contact Lens, Precise Nutrition Facts & Mini Solar Powered Greenhouse
Gadget Freak 
1/31/2014  40 comments
This Gadget Freak review looks at a smart contact lens that measures glucose levels; a gadget that can scan any food item to deliver precise nutrition facts and a list of ingredients; and a homemade, 24-hour solar-powered greenhouse.
Combining Self- & Mutual-Capacitive Sensing for Distinct User Advantages
Guest Blogs 
1/31/2014  4 comments
There are distinct user advantages when self- and mutual-capacitive sensing are combined.
Slideshow: Automakers, Start Your Engines!
Electronic News & Comment 
1/30/2014  36 comments
Automakers know they’ll never reach super-high corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) ratings without lighter, smarter, more efficient engines.
Video: Arduino & Raspberry Pi Drink-Mixing Robot
Blog 
1/30/2014  19 comments
The Drinkmotizer, an Arduino and Raspberry Pi drink-mixing robot, is four feet long. It can hold up to 16 bottles and has a chaser station at the end.
Learning Labs Focus on Robotics & Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
1/30/2014  3 comments
At the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show next month UBM Canon is introducing Learning Labs. Here's what's up on the sessions covering robotics and manufacturing.
Slideshow: 25 Greatest Engineering Quotes
Electronic News & Comment 
1/29/2014  39 comments

From engineers and business executives to actors and cartoonists, we present insights on engineering from inside and outside the profession.

Carbon-Reinforced Compound Bests Metal Specs for Injection Molding
Engineering Materials 
1/29/2014  15 comments
RTP Company has developed carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic compounds for injection molding with specs that vie with metals in their stiffness and strength.
Don't Fear the Cloud, Embrace It
Guest Blogs 
1/29/2014  25 comments
The cloud is everywhere; it's always connected and it has your data. Dropbox, Google Docs, and other tools have changed our file-sharing workflow forever. Productivity and communication have improved tenfold. So the question is, will our design applications make the jump to the cloud as well?
Siemens & CADENAS Offer Free Tools to STEM Students
Blog 
1/29/2014  2 comments
Siemens and CADENAS have partnered to offer free 3D part-search technology to educators and students.
Slideshow: LEDs Light Up Detroit Auto Show
Electronic News & Comment 
1/28/2014  41 comments
Light-emitting diodes are chipping away at the century-old automotive lighting market in ways that no one foresaw even five years ago.
Software Will (Help) Make 3D Printing Metals in Space a Reality
Engineering Materials 
1/28/2014  19 comments
Granta Design's materials information management software has helped optimize materials and processes for additive manufacturing in the ESA's AMAZE program to make space-quality metal components in space.
EcoBot Turns Waste Into Power
Blog 
1/28/2014  12 comments
This robot uses sewage waste as a fuel source and works to clear sewer blockages.
My Opinion on Manufacturing: It Is Coming Back - Really!
Blog 
1/28/2014  28 comments
After decades of having jobs move to countries where labor was far cheaper, the tide is finally beginning to turn.
Tactile Pressure Sensing Is Paving the Way for Next-Gen Car Features
Guest Blogs 
1/27/2014  3 comments
As the world’s automakers continue to improve the user experience, dashboard controls and other functions will have to become simultaneously sleeker and simpler in appearance and more sophisticated in operation. And tactile pressure sensing technology could be the game changer.
Unjamming the Toner Hoppers
Sherlock Ohms 
1/27/2014  6 comments
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
2013: Innovations in Automation & Control
Blog 
1/27/2014  2 comments
Each year, the Golden Mousetrap Awards offer the Design News editorial staff a chance to review the most innovative products of the previous year. In the automation and control area, the process also normally reveals some of the major trends in products and technologies that are making the biggest impacts in manufacturing, since the Golden Mousetrap is all about innovation and forwarding looking designs.
Learning Labs Focus on Materials & 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
1/24/2014  6 comments
Next month the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, and co-located events, will feature 30 two-hour Learning Labs. Here's the skinny on the sessions covering materials and 3D printing.
Loose Screw Stops Wireless Dog Collar
Made by Monkeys 
1/24/2014  15 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Full Step, Half Step, or Micro-Step?
Guest Blogs 
1/24/2014  3 comments
Here are some facts about step-motor system performance all engineers need to know.
Gadget Freak Case #250: DIY Flexible Display
Gadget Freak 
1/23/2014  4 comments
Marin Davide created a flexible thermochromic display that can be built at home without special equipment.
Can Micro Mills Recharge Your Cellphone?
Blog 
1/23/2014  16 comments
Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have developed micro wind turbines that could charge mobile and remote devices.
Fully Integrated Automation Lives in the PLC
Blog 
1/23/2014  13 comments
Smarter PLCs are giving plant engineers more flexibility while making systems less costly and easier to deploy.
You’ll Need to Test That MIMO Radio
Blog 
1/22/2014  Post a comment
We’ve assembled a series of classes in our Digi-Key Continuing Education Center called Testing MIMO Radios. While taking these online classes won’t make you an expert, it’ll get you much further down the road in your wireless development.
Google Buys Boston Dynamics: Is That a Good Thing?
Engineering Materials 
1/22/2014  28 comments
Google's expected target applications for its new robot division are in manufacturing and retailing, and its other robot purchases are right in line. So why did it buy Boston Dynamics, the leading-edge military robot company?
Golden Mousetraps Awards: Strong Field for Electronics, Few Winners
Electronic News & Comment 
1/22/2014  2 comments
Design News' Golden Mousetrap Awards featured a strong field of finalists in the Electronics & Test categories.
Festo Uses Natural Waves to Convey Delicate Items
Blog 
1/22/2014  27 comments
Festo imitates natural wave action to move delicate items along a conveyor.
CES 2014: AMD Showcases FreeSync
Blog 
1/22/2014  Post a comment
AMD introduced FreeSync graphics smoothing tech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
3D Print Metals For Under $2,000
Engineering Materials 
1/21/2014  31 comments
You can build a low-cost open-source 3D printer that makes metal parts for less than $2,000, designed by Joshua M. Pearce and his team at Michigan Technological University (MTU). MTU and Sigma Labs have signed a memorandum of understanding to support commercial development.
Unexpected Perpetual Motion
Sherlock Ohms 
1/21/2014  14 comments
The control box for a large water tank opened the valve on command, but it refused to stop cycling.
FIRST Runs Robot Competitions With Top Automation Technology
STEM Connection 
1/21/2014  7 comments
The FIRST student robot competitions have incorporated advanced automation technology to manage the playing fields.
Nvidia Creates Crop Circle to Introduce Tegra K1 Chip
Blog 
1/21/2014  7 comments
Nvidia's controversial crop circle was simply a marketing ploy created by the company to announced its Tegra K1 chip, which was unveiled at this month's Consumer Electronics Show.
Slideshow: New Materials, Engines Light Up Detroit Auto Show
Electronic News & Comment 
1/20/2014  18 comments
The 2014 North American International Auto Show, which opened to the public in snowy Detroit last week, offered its annual seamless blend of cars, celebrities, bright lights, loud music, short dresses, and variable camshaft timing.
Does Technology Restrict Creativity?
Guest Blogs 
1/20/2014  15 comments
Will future generations lack creativity as technology and design develops, so that we're in a more controlled and creatively limited environment, or are we simply a species that rolls with the times?
Altair Speeds Smartphone Drop Testing
Blog 
1/20/2014  23 comments
Altair has reduced drop-testing time in smartphones significantly with the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE). The company worked with LG Engineering to create a simulation model that puts a smartphone through its toughest test -- dropping it on a hard surface.
Judging the Golden Mousetrap Awards Was Fun (& Difficult)
Blog 
1/20/2014  1 comment
We aren't allowed to tell you who the winners of our annual Golden Mousetrap Awards are just yet, but we'd love to brag about some of the finalists.
Gadget Freaks Rejoice: CES Highlights Impressive Inventions
Gadget Freak 
1/17/2014  6 comments
Take a look at some new gadgets from last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas -- a self-balancing electric skateboard, a sensor family that will keeps you on track, and a protective iPhone battery case with 32GB built-in storage.
The IoT Impacts Manufacturing, Too
Guest Blogs 
1/17/2014  11 comments
Today, all signs point to the value of the IoT. It’s here, it’s not going anywhere, and it has the potential for a multitrillion-dollar worldwide economic impact.
Faulty Fan Assembly Produced Error Code
Made by Monkeys 
1/17/2014  22 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Who Will Reign in the Automation Circle?
Blog 
1/17/2014  Post a comment
The 2013 Golden Mousetrap Award finalists have been announced, and it's just a few short weeks until the winners will be revealed during the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calif. Do you have your tickets yet?
Develop a Blockbuster Product
Guest Blogs 
1/17/2014  1 comment
What would you do if demand for your product went from 100,000 units a day to almost nothing within a span of several months?
2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Materials & Assembly Finalists
Blog 
1/16/2014  1 comment
Design News is pleased to present the finalists in the Materials & Assembly category of our 2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards.
First 3D-Printed Metal Part Flies on UK Military Jet
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2014  23 comments
A 3D-printed metal aircraft end-production component has been successfully flown on a test flight conducted by BAE Systems for Britain's Royal Air Force.
PLCs Drive Down Costs for School Buses
Guest Blogs 
1/16/2014  15 comments
Deft PLC programming and simplicity cut engine block heating costs by nearly 73%, from an annual average of $20,000, to just $5,500 for the 2012-2013 school year in one Colorado town.
Novel Relative Rotation & Displacement Measurement Technique
Guest Blogs 
1/16/2014  4 comments
In a number of engineering and scientific disciplines, the ability to directly correlate the magnitude and direction of a force emanating from an external source has a high intrinsic value. By more precisely identifying the nature of the source that generated or generates these forces, the more we improve our ability to predict how the world around us will behave.
2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Design Tools Finalists
Blog 
1/15/2014  Post a comment
Design News is pleased to present the finalists in the Design Tools category of our 2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards.
Fuzzing Framework Fights Control Hackers
Blog 
1/15/2014  10 comments
SANS will debut an anti-hacking fuzzing framework for industrial control systems at its annual security summit.
Why a Stainless-Steel Ball Valve Is a Necessity for Engineers’ Jobs
Guest Blogs 
1/15/2014  6 comments
Always consider the nature of your business when you are choosing the equipment for effective functioning of your business tasks. This will help you to get one that is the best suited for your requirements.
2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Automation & Control Finalists
Blog 
1/14/2014  2 comments
Design News is pleased to present the finalists in the Automation & Control category of the 2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards.
Will Parking Problems Slow the Rise of Electric Vehicles?
Captain Hybrid 
1/14/2014  42 comments
Battery-powered vehicles may now face a different kind of stumbling block on the path to widespread acceptance.
The Inaccuracy of Measuring Accuracy
Guest Blogs 
1/14/2014  10 comments
When applied to pressure sensors, the word "accuracy" becomes more of a qualitative measure than a quantitative one.
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Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
A Silicon Valley company has made the biggest splash yet in the high-performance end of the electric car market, announcing an EV that zips from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and costs $529,000.
The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
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