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Blogs
Content posted in December 2012
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The Future in Automotive Front Lighting
Guest Blogs 
12/28/2012  8 comments
Next-generation headlights could combine all the lighting functionality necessary in the front of the automobile, including daytime running lights, high beams, low beams, cornering/bending lights, position lights, and turn signals.
QBotix Receives $1M From DoE to Advance Robotic Solar-Panel Technology
Blog 
12/28/2012  16 comments
The QBotix tracking system is a robotic system for tilting solar panels toward the sun that can increase the output of the panels by up to 15 percent.
Modeling the MEMS Gyroscope
Blog 
12/28/2012  4 comments
How does the MEMS gyroscope work and how can it be modeled?
Fastener Inserts Designed for Lightweight Aerospace Materials Reduce Risks, Costs
Guest Blogs 
12/27/2012  11 comments
Efforts to incorporate lightweight materials into aerospace designs raise the issue of finding safe and reliable methods of fastening assemblies.
Where to Begin & the Tough First Step
Blog 
12/27/2012  10 comments
The ability to physically model differentiates engineers; it is not a commodity.
To Protect LEDs, Know Your Standards
Blog 
12/27/2012  12 comments
LEDs have become so prominent in so short a time that new standards and specifications are emerging faster than most engineers can gain familiarity with them.
Video: 3D Printing With Moon Rocks
Engineering Materials 
12/26/2012  19 comments
Washington State University engineers have 3D-printed some simple-shaped objects using a lunar regolith simulant, an artificial version of the mixture of loose dust, rock, and soil that covers solid bedrock.
Ultimate Reliability: Wind Turbines
Blog 
12/26/2012  20 comments
Automation and motion control technology is playing a pivotal role in wind turbine refinement by boosting reliability, operating efficiencies, and remote diagnostics.
Rotary Angle Encoders Go Programmable
Blog 
12/26/2012  3 comments
Addressing the need for customization, Novotechnik US offers programmable products that let engineers do things like create one-off encoders.
That Fictitious Force
Guest Blogs 
12/26/2012  7 comments
The ubiquitous MEMS gyroscope uses it, but what is it?
Are Automotive 'Black Boxes' Secure?
Electronic News & Comment 
12/21/2012  22 comments
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a rule this month ordering automakers to put so-called "black boxes" in all new vehicles by late 2014, but some experts are concerned that the new rule won't protect the security of the data stored inside.
Injection Molding Goes High Volume
Engineering Materials 
12/21/2012  14 comments
Injection molding processes and techniques are being adapted to the high-volume production needs of automotive, medical, and aerospace applications.
Solidoodle 3 Provides High-Quality 3D Printing on the Cheap
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/21/2012  7 comments
Fierce competition has spurred Solidoodle to release the third iteration of its printer with updated parts and better performance.
3D Mice Enhance Motorcycle Design Process
Guest Blogs 
12/21/2012  11 comments
If you’re racing some of the fastest, most aerodynamic motorcycles in the world, you want a machine that’s comfortable, easy to operate, and gets you to the finish line first. The same holds true for the engineers and designers behind the finished product.
Gadget Freak Case #232: Finding the Right Hydraulic Force
Gadget Freak 
12/20/2012  26 comments
Ed Nauman found using a hydraulic press to straighten a piece of material involved guesswork, so he created a gadget that indicates the actual force applied.
Company Combines CAD, Lasers & Robotics to Build Better Buildings
Blog 
12/20/2012  9 comments
Theometrics has created a digital layout and robotic system that takes architectural measurements and plans and applies them to a construction site.
7 Tips for Choosing Your Workstation
Sponsored Blogs 
12/19/2012  6 comments
A common question that comes up at tradeshows and industry events is, “What hardware do I need to successfully run a professional engineering or design application?”
10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Blog 
12/19/2012  14 comments
Plop your laptop on the dining room table so your significant other can tune in to what you'd really like this holidays. Spoiler alert: Many of these suggestions are off the beaten path.
Focus LED Design on Driver Topology, Circuit Protection
Guest Blogs 
12/19/2012  9 comments
For optimum cost and reliability, a major focus for LED lighting designers typically needs to be on driver topology, along with the type and placement of circuit protective devices.
Stop Expenses From Leaking Away
Guest Blogs 
12/19/2012  7 comments
As recent extreme weather events have once again demonstrated, water, our most treasured resource, can also be a source of widespread and costly damage to society.
Highlights From the Product Showcase
Blog 
12/19/2012  4 comments
We’ve just posted some products from Texas Instruments, Aerotech, and Netherlocks that deserve a little attention.
Slideshow: What Does the Future Hold for Man & Machine?
Blog 
12/18/2012  33 comments
Will we soon have robotic companions helping us with our day-to-day work? The industry is headed in that direction, but is it happening fast enough?
ICCVE: The Importance of Open Standards
Guest Blogs 
12/18/2012  7 comments
Rich Hulett, chairman of the IEEE Standards Association Board of Directors, opened the session on Standards for Connected Vehicles at the International Conference on Connected Vehicles and Expo.
Video: Toshiba Develops Fukushima Robot
Blog 
12/18/2012  5 comments
Toshiba has built a robot to conduct investigative and recovery work in dangerous locations such as damaged nuclear plants.
The Gift of Speed
Sponsored Blogs 
12/17/2012  5 comments
In industries such as aerospace, automotive, and heavy industry, companies rely tremendously on engineering and design teams throughout the year to develop and deliver innovations that create value for their customers and revenue and profit for the company.
Autodesk Teams With IZOD IndyCar to Innovate the Racing World
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/17/2012  9 comments
Autodesk is teaming up with IZOD IndyCar Series in a three-year deal meant to expose and familiarize all of the IndyCar race teams with the entire Autodesk collection of software.
A Machinist's Calculator for the Holidays
Mechatronics Zone 
12/17/2012  18 comments
The Machinist Calc Pro computes speeds and feed rates for milling, turning, and drilling: cutting speed, spindle speed, feed rate (inches/minute), cutting feed, etc.
Video: Robot Swarm Channels Beethoven
Blog 
12/17/2012  11 comments
A swarm of robots uses spatio-temporal routing algorithms to deploy the fewest members and travel the shortest distance possible while playing "Fur Elise."
ICCVE: Rail Transportation & Communications
Guest Blogs 
12/17/2012  2 comments
In the world of transportation, the role of the engineer as a force for innovation has never been greater and the opportunities have never been more challenging than today.
Engineering Faculty Debates Generalists vs. Specialists
Mechatronics Zone 
12/14/2012  24 comments
During a recent meeting with engineering-school faculty and alumni, Contributing Technical Editor Jon Titus talked about whether colleges should educate generalists or specialists. What do you think?
Growing Future for Metal Injection Molding
Guest Blogs 
12/14/2012  6 comments
Metal injection molding (MIM) is experiencing a worldwide boom, with an estimated market worldwide of more than $1 billion per year, and compound annual growth rates estimated to be as high as 20 percent.
Inspiring Keynote Delivered at ICCVE
Guest Blogs 
12/14/2012  2 comments
The first ICCVE opened with an inspiring keynote speech by Norman Mineta, former US Secretary of Transportation, and a host of leaders from the intelligent transportation and technology world.
Slideshow: BMW's All-Electric Concept Coupe
Captain Hybrid 
12/13/2012  35 comments
BMW AG took another step toward electrification at the Los Angeles Auto Show by rolling out a concept version of an electric, three-door coupe.
Error Code Boggled the Boiler
Made by Monkeys 
12/13/2012  23 comments
When the boiler quit working, the error code should have led to a solution, but it did not.
Reducing Servomotor Instability
Guest Blogs 
12/13/2012  6 comments
Lowering excessive speed controller gain is often not a viable option, so a systematic approach should be used to determine the best remedy for instability.
Old EV Batteries May Power Homes One Day
Captain Hybrid 
12/12/2012  30 comments
Partially depleted Chevy Volt batteries could find new life in energy storage applications outside the vehicle.
Engineering Students Show Off Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving Skills
Guest Blogs 
12/12/2012  10 comments
An innovative program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago teams up students to work together to solve complex, open-ended, real-world problems.
A Lousy Way to Deal With Parts
Made by Monkeys 
12/12/2012  18 comments
Sometimes managing parts can be idiosyncratic, and that's not always a good thing.
3D-Printed Weapons & the Consequences
CAD/CAM Corner 
12/11/2012  111 comments
A 3D-printed gun has been test fired, and it works. Is it an engineering marvel or a disaster waiting to happen?
Mystery Signals Show Up in Neurological Amplifiers
Sherlock Ohms 
12/11/2012  35 comments
The strange, sporadic noise problem was coming from somewhere -- maybe from a submarine detector?
Video: DARPA Stair-Climbing Robot Gets Arms
Blog 
12/11/2012  8 comments
A humanoid robot that robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics has been developing for DARPA now has arms. Is this a good thing?
Mixing Paint(ball) With Workstations
Sponsored Blogs 
12/10/2012  3 comments
KEE Action Sports has leveraged true professional workstation innovation with Intel technology to become, and remain, a leader in the sport of Paintball. And that doesn’t happen by accident.
Xbox 360 Gets a $5 Fix
Made by Monkeys 
12/10/2012  20 comments
Just before buying a new Xbox 360, one gamer found a fix that cost a mere $5.
Do You Design in the Cloud (or Know What That Means)?
Blog 
12/10/2012  17 comments
We asked our LinkedIn group, "When you hear 'design in the cloud,' what does that mean to you?"
Selecting Connectors for Mobile Medical Devices
Blog 
12/10/2012  5 comments
Here are the key technical factors to consider when looking for a reliable connector for use in mobile or other handheld medical devices.
Gadget Freak Case #231: Super Rugged Computer-Controlled Tyco Car
Gadget Freak 
12/7/2012  13 comments
Matthew Katzenstein took an electrical car and added a range of control based on robotics.
Fabrication Technique Gives Graphene the Flexibility for Future Transistors
Blog 
12/7/2012  5 comments
As electronics become smaller and faster, graphene transistors will become the center of attention for helping the transition from old-school to fast future in the coming decade.
Heterogeneous Multicore & the Future of Vision Systems
Guest Blogs 
12/7/2012  5 comments
Multicore will help vision systems move from the lab to the real world.
The Mystery of the Water Hammering
Sherlock Ohms 
12/6/2012  11 comments
The water hammering came and went for ages until Sherlock Ohms was sitting in the right place at the right time.
Stanford Engineers Invent All-Carbon Solar Cell
Engineering Materials 
12/6/2012  20 comments
In a major first, researchers at Stanford University have built a prototype of an all-carbon solar cell that includes carbon nanotubes in the photoactive layer and in the electrodes.
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