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Blogs
Content posted in April 2013
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Video: MakeVR Attempts to Create a Natural HMI
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/30/2013  13 comments
MakeVR's natural HMI is a no-menu, instinctive drawing package for CAD and other applications.
Charting the Failure History of a Bolt
Sherlock Ohms 
4/30/2013  11 comments
When a bolt fails, it might be best to look at the failure history of the bolt in its setting.
Mobile Technology’s Influence on Data Acquisition
Blog 
4/30/2013  9 comments
Industrial users are coming to expect mobile access to measurement data, according to an article that is part of a recently released National Instruments report.
Researchers Harvest Energy From Planes
Blog 
4/30/2013  23 comments
A team of Viennese researchers has come up with a way to harvest energy from airplanes to power sensors attached to a plane’s fuselage that can be used to monitor and collect data on aircraft structural health.
Gadget Freak Case #239: Bridge Rectifier Eliminates LED Light Flicker
Gadget Freak 
4/29/2013  57 comments
Bernard R. Smith Jr. created a bridge rectifier that eliminates the flicker in LED light strings.
Aircraft Engine Maker Opens Additive Manufacturing Lab
Engineering Materials 
4/29/2013  9 comments
Pratt & Whitney has funded an additive manufacturing center at the University of Connecticut to advance R&D for AM processes that produce metals.
Video Blog: We May Be Geeks, but We Control the World
Blog 
4/29/2013  18 comments
People who attend technical conferences like Design West are often mistakenly labeled as geeks. Do you even know what the real meaning of a geek is? Check out my video blog and I'll fill you in.
Bad Parts Plague Oscilloscope
Sherlock Ohms 
4/29/2013  27 comments
The part used to replace a bad part was also bad.
Researchers Design Hybrid Solar-Vibration Energy Harvester
Blog 
4/29/2013  10 comments
Researchers from South Korea have devised a nanotechnology-inspired hybrid device that can harvest energy from both sunlight and sound vibrations simultaneously.
Slideshow: Profs Say Fukushima Plant Passed Ultimate Test
Electronic News & Comment 
4/26/2013  159 comments
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant performed beyond its best expectations after being struck by a mammoth earthquake and a 40-ft-high tidal wave in 2011, experts said.
Video: Oxford RobotCar Takes It to Another Level
Blog 
4/26/2013  24 comments
Oxford Mobile Robotics Group created RobotCar, which has a 360-degree scanner, GPS, and LIDAR.
The Case of the Failed Leading Edges
Sherlock Ohms 
4/26/2013  6 comments
Be careful how materials are accepted and rejected. It may not make any sense.
Increased Workstation Performance Is as Easy as 'DPPO'
Sponsored Blogs 
4/25/2013  3 comments
With demanding professional applications that require more power each year, engineers and designers need to keep up and stay productive.
Slideshow: Nautical Robots Go With the Flow
Blog 
4/25/2013  51 comments
Whether they navigate the salty seas or fresh water lakes, rivers, or oceans, many underwater robots can do a number of different types of tasks, depending on their payloads.
Patching for Industrial Cybersecurity Is a Broken Model
Blog 
4/25/2013  12 comments
Recent research from Belden Tofino Security confirms that patching is often ineffective in protecting from the multitude of vulnerability disclosures and malware targeting critical infrastructure systems today.
Pinoccio Microcontroller Provides Device Connectivity for Internet of Things
Blog 
4/25/2013  12 comments
As demand increases for more and more devices and appliances to be connected wirelessly to each other and the network, technology is emerging to provide built-in connectivity at the device development level.
Quick Fix for Ever-Popping Pole Saw
Made by Monkeys 
4/25/2013  11 comments
Was this saw designed poorly, or was the problem operator error?
Combating Shock & Vibration Is About More Than Cost
Guest Blogs 
4/25/2013  9 comments
People don't always consider the benefits of wire rope isolators.
The Social Network for 3D Printers
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/24/2013  25 comments
Makexyz is the place where people can offer their 3D printer for other people to use.
Yes, This Was Really on Display at Hanover Fair
Blog 
4/24/2013  23 comments
As a wrap-up to all the reporting we did at Hanover Fair in Hanover, Germany, here are some of the more interesting sights we came across.
Wind Turbines Coming to a City Near You
Blog 
4/24/2013  57 comments
Professor Farzad Safaei of Australia’s University of Wollongong has developed a wind turbine that can be used in urban areas via positioning on skyscrapers and other buildings.
DVD Player Controls Frustrate Movie Buff
Made by Monkeys 
4/24/2013  18 comments
The placement of the buttons on this DVD player make no sense at all.
Researchers Use DVD Burner to Fabricate Microcapacitors
Blog 
4/24/2013  4 comments
UCLA researchers have designed a new way to fabricate microcapacitors that could provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to provide energy sources for micro devices that charge 100 to 1,000 times faster than standard batteries.
Slideshow: 18 People You Didn't Know Were Engineers
Electronic News & Comment 
4/23/2013  66 comments
Did you know Tom Landry and Dolph Lundgren are trained engineers? Find out who else earned engineering degrees and then found fame elsewhere.
Brain-Scanning Headset Can Read Your Mind
Blog 
4/23/2013  26 comments
A non-invasive device that uses a neuroimaging technique known as functional near-infrared spectroscopy is intended to "supercharge" the way information is consumed.
Video: Danfoss Designs Fabric That Harvests Energy From Athletes
Blog 
4/23/2013  11 comments
“Stretch sensors” can harvest the energy generated when someone engages in exercise or a sporting activity. The energy powers sensors in the fabric to provide people with information about their movement to a wireless device.
These Jumper Cables Won't Get the Car Started
Made by Monkeys 
4/23/2013  28 comments
The jumper cables just didn't have the substance to get the job done.
Smart-City Technology Harvests Energy From Footsteps
Blog 
4/22/2013  38 comments
Energy-harvesting tiles from Pavegen store energy to be used to power streetlights or other infrastructure in urban areas.
What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
Sherlock Ohms 
4/22/2013  10 comments
It was OK when a radio station ran a tad above frequency limits. But when other radio operators in the area used the station's frequency as a base, things could get crazy.
Texas Instruments Demos Launchpad-Based Prototype at SXSW
Blog 
4/22/2013  8 comments
Texas Instruments showed off the TI Launchpad, a dev board for prototyping, at this year's SXSW Festival.
New Scale's Piezoelectric Micro Motor Lens Actuator for Micro Cameras
Blog 
4/22/2013  5 comments
With nearly two billion mobile phones and 800 million digital cameras shipping each year, there has been an ongoing need for faster focus, rapid picture taking, and continuous auto focus for clearer video capture.
Slideshow: Lithium-Ion's Rise to Prominence
Captain Hybrid 
4/19/2013  45 comments
A decade ago, the term “lithium-ion” meant little to consumers. Now, it’s everywhere.
Hannover Highlights Industry 4.0
Blog 
4/19/2013  11 comments
The buzz at the recent Hannover Messe 2013 centered on a German industry initiative called “Industry 4.0” that automation suppliers believe will lead to increasing digitization, networking, and an ability for manufacturers to leverage productivity advances.
Can a Robot Bend a Part?
Sherlock Ohms 
4/19/2013  14 comments
Can a robot bend parts? It depends on how dirty the die gets.
Engineering Creativity Peaks in Kindergarten
STEM Connection 
4/19/2013  25 comments
As engineers, we’re not nearly as creative as we think we are.
Webinar Walks Through the 'Rules' of Injection Molding
Blog 
4/18/2013  5 comments
Proto Labs is hosting a short webcast on April 24 at 11:00 a.m. ET to identify four different methods of obtaining injection-molded parts.
Lead-Acid Could Challenge Lithium-Ion in Hybrids
Captain Hybrid 
4/18/2013  46 comments
With disenchantment in lithium-ion technology on the rise, lead-acid batteries may be poised to play a bigger role in green vehicles.
Firebrand Offers Free Training for Life
Blog 
4/18/2013  13 comments
Firebrand is sponsoring a lottery in which one lucky winner will get free training for life in a variety of tech-related subjects.
Report: 3D Printing Will (Eventually) Transform Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
4/18/2013  37 comments
Additive manufacturing, including 3D printing, has the potential to upend manufacturing supply chains, according to a new report from Lux Research.
Screws Mess With Filter Design
Sherlock Ohms 
4/18/2013  3 comments
The filter had more rejection at the low end than at the high end since the equivalent capacitance coupling did not provide a transmission at high frequencies.
Gadget Freak Case #238: Controller Adjusts Garage Lights
Gadget Freak 
4/17/2013  26 comments
Thomas W. Manning created an automatic switch that uses a solid state relay to adjust the florescent lights in his garage automatically.
Kleverbeast Brings Mobile App Creation to Non-Techies
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/17/2013  8 comments
Kleverbeast allows anyone to create a mobile app using simple drag-and-drop mechanics.
Rain Knocks Mower Out of Service
Made by Monkeys 
4/17/2013  32 comments
When you can't get replacement parts, an $8,000 lawn mower becomes nothing more than a lawn ornament.
Slideshow: Spotlight on Plug-In Vehicles
Captain Hybrid 
4/16/2013  34 comments
Automakers large and small, from Detroit Electric to Fiat and Volkswagen, have unveiled pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the past six months.
The Power Factor
Sherlock Ohms 
4/16/2013  9 comments
Post-lunch power surges caused a world of problems at a high-tech defense firm.
Video Blog: German vs. American Tradeshows
Blog 
4/16/2013  7 comments
Brand Director Rich Nass spent last week at the Hanover Fair tradeshow in Germany. Here are his observations from the show.
A Chat With Bosch Rexroth Chairman Karl Tragl
Blog 
4/16/2013  7 comments
While at Hanover Fair last week, Brand Director Rich Nass engaged in an interesting discussion with Dr. Karl Tragl, chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth.
Video: Man-Sized Jellyfish Robot to Patrol the Seas
Blog 
4/16/2013  16 comments
Engineers at Virginia Tech have built a jellyfish robot prototype the size of an adult man they say will one day patrol the seas to monitor environmental conditions, study aquatic life, make maps of the ocean's floors, and perform military surveillance.
Slideshow: Detroit Electric Unveils 'World's Fastest' Electric Sports Car
Captain Hybrid 
4/15/2013  38 comments
Detroit Electric is rolling out a racy new EV that will be its first in 74 years.
The Least-Obvious Signals Sometimes Bite You
Sherlock Ohms 
4/15/2013  4 comments
When is a digital circuit not a digital circuit? When somebody forgot that ultimately everything is an analog circuit, and things like L, R, and C combine in the most insidious ways to derail a design.
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