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Blogs
Content posted in April 2014
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Slideshow: Top Cars From the 2014 NY International Auto Show
Blog 
4/30/2014  18 comments
This month's New York International Auto Show featured an exciting collection of 2015 releases, supercars, and EVs. More than 1 million car enthusiasts got a sneak peak at the latest trends in the auto industry.
Wind Power Is Getting Big
Blog 
4/30/2014  31 comments
National Instruments is helping Clemson University test a 15 MW wind turbine, the largest for the wind industry.
What Tech Is Next for Industrial Electric Motors?
Guest Blogs 
4/30/2014  10 comments
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
Blog 
4/30/2014  28 comments
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.
Electric Vehicles Get Good Grades for Reliability
Captain Hybrid 
4/29/2014  50 comments
When it comes to designing for reliability, electric cars are proving that simpler is better, a recent Consumer Reports owner survey has concluded.
XP Is a Sitting Duck for Cyberattacks
Blog 
4/29/2014  27 comments
With Windows XP no longer supported by Microsoft, plants using the operating system are now vulnerable.
How to Introduce CAE Simulation Into the Product Development Process
Guest Blogs 
4/29/2014  6 comments
There are lots of ways to get started, and the best method for implementation depends on many factors.
Slideshow: Chatty Medical Devices & Apps
Blog 
4/28/2014  49 comments
Sometimes the best way to tell people how to do something is to talk them through it. That's the idea behind some talking medical devices that instruct people on how to use them.
Tiny Sensor Monitors Batteries on Start-Stop Cars
Captain Hybrid 
4/28/2014  15 comments
With automakers scaling up for a sales boom, Freescale Semiconductor has rolled out a low-power, low-cost sensor that promises to monitor the batteries used on start-stop or micro-hybrid cars.
Nanoscale Optical Switch Could Replace Electrons With Photons
Blog 
4/28/2014  Post a comment
Vanderbilt University has created nanoscale optical switches that can be used in silicon circuits.
Get Ready for Heterogeneous Computing
Guest Blogs 
4/28/2014  4 comments
Heterogeneous computing -- parallel use of specialized processors alongside a CPU -- will be the basis for many future embedded systems.
3D-Printed Bioplastics Coming Soon
Engineering Materials 
4/25/2014  27 comments
Bioplastics formulator and manufacturer Sierra Resins and distributor 3D Printlife are working together to introduce a new biofilament for 3D printers.
Rezence Courts Tech Companies to Create Wireless Power Standard
Blog 
4/25/2014  15 comments
Rezence pushes large corporations to join their wireless power efforts -- mostly to get their business, but also push the tech into the mainstream.
Vacuum Cleaner Had an Unserviceable Filter
Made by Monkeys 
4/25/2014  37 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Backup Camera Mandate Will Lead to More Electronic Innovation
Electronic News & Comment 
4/24/2014  59 comments
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
A FIRST Cinderella Story
STEM Connection 
4/24/2014  15 comments
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  26 comments
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.
Simulation Identified & Solved Factory Noise Problem
Sherlock Ohms 
4/24/2014  7 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.
Smart Glasses Rival Google
Blog 
4/23/2014  33 comments
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
QNX Tech Powers VisLab's Autonomous Car
CAD/CAM Corner 
4/23/2014  8 comments
VisLab joins the autonomous car effort with the DEEVA prototype.
Composite Rocket Fuel Tank Will Explore Deep Space
Engineering Materials 
4/23/2014  8 comments
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.
Robotics Launches Focus on Fundamentals
Blog 
4/23/2014  6 comments
Focus on Fundamentals -- a new Design News webinar series -- kicks off April 29 with How to Select Drives for Robotics Applications. Don't miss it!
10 Technologies That Make Us Super-Human
Blog 
4/22/2014  57 comments
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  6 comments
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  1 comment
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.
Samsung Gear Fit Teardown
Blog 
4/21/2014  15 comments
Samsung's fitness-oriented smart watch features a curved super AMOLED touchscreen display.
Stratasys Expands 3D Printing Materials Options
Engineering Materials 
4/21/2014  6 comments
Stratasys is buying assets of a key player in materials testing and R&D for its FDM filament printers, and there's a new polypropylene material for the PolyJet series of 3D printers.
World Demand for Service Robots Still Rising
Blog 
4/21/2014  18 comments
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.
Gadget Freak Case #253: Peltier Thermopile Cloud Sensor
Gadget Freak 
4/18/2014  13 comments
Eric Chesak created a sensor that can detect clouds, and it can also measure different sources of radiation.
Video: BionicKangaroo Mimics the Real Thing
Blog 
4/18/2014  20 comments
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.
'Control, Control, You Must Learn Control'
Guest Blogs 
4/18/2014  5 comments
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
Blog 
4/18/2014  8 comments
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
10 Engineering Toys From Your Youth
Blog 
4/17/2014  81 comments
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.
Want a Better Coffee Maker? Try the IoT
Guest Blogs 
4/17/2014  8 comments
Connected sensor-enabled applications will improve the consumer experience -- and generate new revenue streams.
GE, PowerStream Team Up on Microgrid to Showcase Renewables
Blog 
4/17/2014  2 comments
PowerStream is deploying the microgrid at its headquarters to demonstrate how people can generate and distribute their own energy and make their homes and businesses more sustainable through renewables.
Printrbot Unveils All-Metal 3D Printer
Blog 
4/17/2014  4 comments
Printrbot unveils its all-metal Printrbot Simple, bringing durability to low-cost 3D printers.
10 Ways Robots Are Better Than Us
Blog 
4/16/2014  34 comments
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  8 comments
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
Blog 
4/16/2014  15 comments
Product design is changing with advances in technology and outsourced manufacturing. The Art of Product Design spells out the future of design engineering.
Teardown: Dismantling the Samsung Galaxy S5
Blog 
4/15/2014  15 comments
Samsung's 5th-generation Android-based Galaxy smartphone includes a fingerprint scanner, updated camera and display, and water/dust resistance.
The Rise of Industrial Machines
Blog 
4/15/2014  14 comments
Worldwide economic expansion is spurring growth in industrial machinery sales to 5% or 6% per year through 2018.
Industry 4.0 Is Really My IIoT
Blog 
4/15/2014  3 comments
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.
Internal Combustion Microengine Has a Twist
Blog 
4/15/2014  6 comments
Vitaly Svetovoy, of the University of Twente in The Netherlands, and his team, has created the world’s smallest internal combustion microengine.
3D Pictures of Huge, Self-Assembled DNA Structures
Engineering Materials 
4/15/2014  5 comments
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.
Slideshow: Automotive Infotainment Still 'Bugs' Luxury Vehicles
Electronic News & Comment 
4/14/2014  10 comments
There's good news and bad news regarding the subsystems of today's vehicles. The good news is that new engines and transmissions are more trouble-free than in the past. The bad news is that the infotainment systems are still prone to be "buggy."
3D Printing High-Strength Carbon Composites Using PEEK, PAEK
Engineering Materials 
4/14/2014  6 comments
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.
Continued Collaboration Is Needed to Combat Counterfeiting
Guest Blogs 
4/14/2014  4 comments
As an industry, we now need to up our game and provide contractors with easier ways to properly identify and report counterfeit products and build collaboration between manufacturers, design engineers, industry organizations, and government.
Soldering Required to Replace Instrument Panel Bulb
Made by Monkeys 
4/14/2014  28 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch Teardown
Blog 
4/11/2014  3 comments
Samsung's second-generation smartwatch -- the Gear 2 -- was released this month and is powered by a Tizen-based OS. Join us as we take it apart.
Stratasys Buys 3D Printing Service Bureaus to Expand End Production
Engineering Materials 
4/11/2014  3 comments
Stratasys will buy Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies and combine them with its RedEye service business. The plan takes aim at end-production manufacturing and will create one of the biggest commercial 3D printing and AM service bureaus.
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Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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.
Melissa Cavanagh of 3DP Unlimited talked to Design News about the company’s large format 3D printer, during Medical Design and Manufacturing Midwest.
The DDV-IP is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on hot summer days. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the user.
Eric Doster of iFixit talks about the most surprising aspect of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 teardown. In a presentation at Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, iFixit gave the Surface Pro 3 a score of one (out of a possible 10) for repairability.
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