Content posted in April 2014
What Tech Is Next for Industrial Electric Motors?
Guest Blogs 4/30/2014
Three-phase squirrel-cage AC induction motors are the workhorses for the industrial market. However, their development is reaching the limits of physics for efficiency. A new technology must be adopted to reach the next levels.
Video: Glass-Paved Roads Provide Solar Power
Scott and Julie Brusaw are the inventors of Solar Roadways, a project to develop solar panels durable enough to be driven on so they can replace asphalt or concrete surfaces of parking lots and roadways.
3D-Printed Bioplastics Coming Soon
Engineering Materials 4/25/2014
Bioplastics formulator and manufacturer Sierra Resins and distributor 3D Printlife are working together to introduce a new biofilament for 3D printers.
A FIRST Cinderella Story
STEM Connection 4/24/2014
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
Solar Impulse 2 Flies New Materials
Engineering Materials 4/24/2014
Solar Impulse 2 -- a 100% solar-powered airplane -- has been completed. It features several advanced materials, some developed specifically for next year's attempted around-the-world flight.
Smart Glasses Rival Google
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
Composite Rocket Fuel Tank Will Explore Deep Space
Engineering Materials 4/23/2014
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
10 Technologies That Make Us Super-Human
Research and other advancements in the realms of robotics, diagnostic and treatment devices, nanotechnology, and medical implants may one day make humans superior versions of their natural selves.
Turtle Inspires 3D-Printed Car Frame
Engineering Materials 4/22/2014
German engineering firm EDAG Group showed a single-piece, 3D-printed car body design inspired by a turtle at the Geneva Motor Show. It came about after an assessment of how additive manufacturing could be applied to making industrial components, modules, and complete vehicle bodies.
College BIM Labs Get State-of-the-Art Makeovers
CAD/CAM Corner 4/22/2014
To get the latest engineering students' skills up to par, more colleges are turning to technology companies to get the best visual equipment in their labs for enhanced practical and theoretical teaching.
World Demand for Service Robots Still Rising
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
Video: BionicKangaroo Mimics the Real Thing
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
10 Engineering Toys From Your Youth
These are the toys that inspired budding engineers to try out sublime designs, create miniature structures, and experiment with bizarre contraptions using sets that could be torn down and reconstructed over and over.
10 Ways Robots Are Better Than Us
Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
Video: 3D-Printed Drone Flies High
Engineering Materials 4/16/2014
3D printing has met up with drones in a 3D-printed UAV. University of Sheffield engineers printed the prototype drone in 24 hours from ABS plastic using Fused Deposition Modeling.
Product Design as a Team Sport
Product design is changing with advances in technology and outsourced manufacturing. The Art of Product Design spells out the future of design engineering.
Industry 4.0 Is Really My IIoT
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
3D Pictures of Huge, Self-Assembled DNA Structures
Engineering Materials 4/15/2014
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
3D Printing High-Strength Carbon Composites Using PEEK, PAEK
Engineering Materials 4/14/2014
Arevo Labs' end-production 3D printing technology for carbon composites includes a high-temperature, filament fusion printer head design and firmware for use with the company's new carbon fiber and nanotube reinforced high-temperature matrix polymers like PEEK.
The Industrial Internet of Things may be going off the deep end in connecting everything on the plant floor. Some machines, bearings, or conveyors simply don’t need to be monitored -- even if they can be.
Wind turbines already are imposing structures that stretch high into the sky, but an engineering graduate student at the University of Notre Dame wants to make them even taller to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.
Ray Zinn, Silicon Valley's longest-running CEO, shares some of his thoughts on innovation, procrastination, and why you shouldn't put customers first.
Researchers at American University have produced chemically active structures that, not unlike living things, can actually do things on their own without an external power.
Former DARPA official and Google executive Dr. Kaigham Gabriel believes sensor companies think too much like suppliers and need to bring their products closer to the consumer.
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