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Blogs
Content posted in May 2014
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15 Artistic Views of the Factory
Blog 
5/30/2014  36 comments
Here are 15 artistic views of the factory, from the romantic murals of the 1930s to the dark visions from today's video games.
Gadget Freak Review: Charge Your Smartphone 92% Faster; USB Flash Drive for Portable Apple Devices
Gadget Freak 
5/30/2014  5 comments
The Legion Meter will rapidly charge your smartphone by optimizing the charge speed and the iStick is the first USB Flash drive that allows connection through the Apple lightening connector.
Unforeseeable Failure of Logic in Washing Machine Manual
Made by Monkeys 
5/30/2014  23 comments
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Why the Goodman Diagram Is Not So Good
Guest Blogs 
5/30/2014  5 comments
It's time for the Goodman diagram to be retired. More accurate equations are available and are just as easy to use.
Eye-Testing Device May Be Key to Early Alzheimer's Detection
Blog 
5/29/2014  22 comments
A Massachusetts-based startup called Cognoptix has created a machine that uses a novel way -- through abnormalities in the eye -- to detect Alzheimer's disease earlier in its progression and more accurately.
Structural Techniques Promise Better Ultracapacitors
Blog 
5/29/2014  6 comments
George Washington University's Micro-Propulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory have created high-performance ultracapacitors using a combination of nanotubes and graphene.
Design a Crankless Engine
Guest Blogs 
5/29/2014  27 comments
Since the invention of the internal-combustion engine, a Slider Crank mechanism has been used to transfer power from the combustion chamber through the piston to the connecting rod to the crankshaft. Over time, many changes have occurred in the combustion chamber to improve power and reduce emissions.
Fog-Harvesting Mesh Provides Clean Drinking Water
Blog 
5/28/2014  26 comments
MIT researchers developed a process through which people “harvest” portable water by collecting water droplets from fog. MIT’s spin on traditional methods is expected to increase efficiency 500 times over, bringing clean, drinkable water to the arid regions that need it most.
A Soldering Conundrum
Sherlock Ohms 
5/28/2014  15 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.
Simple Question: What’s a System?
Blog 
5/28/2014  12 comments
We posed the question to 10 experts and got 10 different answers. What's your definition?
The Importance of UAVs
Guest Blogs 
5/28/2014  5 comments
Control is the defining enabler for UAV technologies.
Slideshow: Airbus Launches All-Composite, All-Electric Plane
Engineering Materials 
5/27/2014  79 comments
Airbus Group's all-electric, all-composite training aircraft took its first public flight last month during the company's E-Aircraft Day in Bordeaux, France. The experimental aircraft was designed and built as a technology demonstrator for small planes used to train pilots.
Inventor Powers Implantable Medical Devices Wirelessly
Blog 
5/27/2014  21 comments
With medical devices that can be implanted inside the body becoming smaller and more sophisticated, researchers are trying to solve the problem of how to provide power to them without the weight or bulk of a typical battery. A researcher at Stanford University has come up with a novel way to send power to these devices wirelessly by using a new way to transmit electromagnetic waves.
Don’t Go Halfway to Closed-Loop Control
Guest Blogs 
5/27/2014  1 comment
Closed-loop control of a single servo-quality proportional valve based on position and pressure/force is not hard to do -- if you plan ahead.
Gadget Freak Case #255: Touch-Sensitive Audio Desk Trays
Gadget Freak 
5/23/2014  33 comments
Roshenac Mitchell connected an Arduino to a set of desk trays and programed them to activate a recorded audio label when touched. Her aim for the project was to aid the visually impared.
A Few Minutes With Bosch Rexroth CEO Dr. Karl Tragl
Blog 
5/23/2014  1 comment
Design News brand director Rich Nass recently sat down with Bosch Rexroth CEO and chairman Dr. Karl Tragl for a discussion about the IIoT.
Why We Need More Women in Engineering
STEM Connection 
5/23/2014  24 comments
A large number of studies have shown that men and women have different approaches to solving complex problems. It is precisely because of the differences between men and women that the engineering profession would benefit from greater participation of women.
10 IIoT Milestones for 2014
Blog 
5/22/2014  4 comments
2014 has seen a flurry of activity in the development of the Industrial Internet of Things. Here are the top 10 developments.
Why Automotive Defect Numbers Are Soaring
Electronic News & Comment 
5/22/2014  24 comments
Recent reports of automotive defects and recalls are troubling, but they’re not unusual. They’re certainly not going to go away, no matter how hard engineers try.
Video: Teen-Run Company Turns Smartphone Into Stethoscope
STEM Connection 
5/22/2014  15 comments
Suman Mulumudi, 15, has created a way to turn a smartphone into a stethoscope. He's capitalizing on his invention through his Seattle-based startup, StratoScientific.
20 Ways to Boost Fuel Efficiency
Electronic News & Comment 
5/21/2014  47 comments
From turbochargers and electric motors, to motor-generators and air conditioning compressors, we present some of the best fuel-sipping innovations.
This Watch Lets You Feel the Time
Blog 
5/21/2014  9 comments
If you or someone you know is vision impaired, you know how difficult it can be to do something as simple as check the time. Eone Timepieces recently developed a universal timepiece to address this issue, which will likely change the way watches are designed for the blind.
BMW Unveils Solar-Energy Harvesting Carport
Blog 
5/21/2014  26 comments
BMW and Solarwatt have unveiled the Solarwatt Carport System, which includes a rooftop and a micro-generation system for households in addition to generating solar energy to charge the vehicles.
Magneto-Resistive Sensor ICs Up Sensitivity While Reducing Power
Blog 
5/20/2014  5 comments
Honeywell has announced a family of nanopower anisotropic magneto-resistive sensor ICs that provides the highest level of magnetic sensitivity (as low as 7 Gauss typical) while requiring just 360 nA. It just may be an industry first.
Top 10 Influential Female Engineers
Blog 
5/20/2014  50 comments
Engineering is often criticized for being a male-dominated field, but that is definitely changing. There are many enormously successful female engineers that currently have leadership roles in business and research, making decisions that have a broad impact on global markets and people’s lives. Here are 10 of them.
Parts Commonality Can Make for Big Recall Headaches
Electronic News & Comment 
5/20/2014  12 comments
Economies of scale can cut manufacturing and development costs, but engineers who grow too fond of using common parts would do well to consider the recent recall numbers of General Motors.
BASF Reveals More BMWi3 Materials
Engineering Materials 
5/20/2014  9 comments
The BMW i3's carbon fiber composite breakthroughs include contributions from several suppliers. BASF, which already announced its carbon composite rear seat pan, recently said more of its plastics and composites play a role in several parts of the car, some of which are firsts in a production vehicle.
Getting Quality Data off Excel & Into the Cloud
Blog 
5/20/2014  Post a comment
Quality data is easier to access and share if it's in a cloud-based PLM system than on someone's home-based server.
Multiphysics Simulation Software Works – What a Concept!
Blog 
5/20/2014  1 comment
The nice part about the term multiphysics is that it means exactly what it sounds like. Comsol’s multiphysics software handles system simulations that require the use of multiple types of physics, such as chemical structures, mechanical aspects, heat transfer, acoustics, and even electrical conditions.
Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary
Blog 
5/19/2014  52 comments
Here are the top 15 engineering schools, ranked by the average starting salaries of their graduates. The list also show each school's mid-career average salary.
3D Printing Needs to Open Up
Engineering Materials 
5/19/2014  13 comments
The prototyping-based models 3D printing has used for 30 years must change if the industry is to continue growing and shift to production parts, says a new Lux Research study.
Early Programming Solutions
Sherlock Ohms 
5/19/2014  10 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.
Slideshow: Plastics Showcased at Aircraft Interiors Expo
Engineering Materials 
5/16/2014  15 comments
At the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 show in Hamburg, many companies got a chance to showcase their plastics for a variety of applications in aircraft interiors. Some introduced new materials. Others announced new applications or qualifications for their products.
Dehumidifier Has Impossible-to-Change Air Filter
Made by Monkeys 
5/16/2014  18 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Video: World's Fastest RC Racer
Blog 
5/16/2014  9 comments
Nic Case has beat his own land speed record with the world’s fastest RC car. This time he hit 188 MPH!
Make a Hassle-Free Transition to C++
Blog 
5/15/2014  11 comments
To maximize the performance of your embedded system, you may want to give C++ a look. Start by attending our Continuing Education Class, Programming Embedded Systems in C++, next week.
Battery Sales Show Tesla Has a Long Way to Go
Captain Hybrid 
5/15/2014  33 comments
If recent sales numbers are any indication, Tesla Motors' goal of 50,000 battery packs a year could be a long way off.
Home Health Devices Will Double by 2018
Blog 
5/15/2014  8 comments
An aging population, the proliferation of connected devices, and the growing need to contain healthcare costs will produce a spike in the global market for home health technologies in the coming years.
10 Cyber Attacks That Wreaked Havoc
Blog 
5/14/2014  24 comments
Most of the significant cyber attacks -- think Stuxnet -- have occurred in just the past eight years. Here are the highlights of attacks that have disrupted business, nabbed IP, or forced plants to go haywire.
Video: Microsoft Reveals Motion Sensor Keyboard
Blog 
5/14/2014  8 comments
Combining simple proximity sensors into a keyboard, Microsoft Research creates a type-hover-swipe keyboard. Unfortunately, it's just a prototype.
The Ever-Increasing Value of Modeling
Guest Blogs 
5/14/2014  4 comments
Engineers should have the necessary mathematical skills to solve numerical problems. Without underestimating the value of solving skills, it will be more beneficial to new engineers if future textbooks devote a majority of their pages to modeling and interpreting the results.
TinkerBots Gives Tots a Robotic Building Kit
STEM Connection 
5/14/2014  21 comments
Two German engineers have created a kit that lets kids build robots from individual modules in much the same way they snap Legos together.
Congress Is Working on an Energy Bill… Again
Guest Blogs 
5/14/2014  6 comments
Congress is once again working on the bi-partisan Shaheen-Portman bill that will bring forth many energy efficiency measures to add as many as 190,000 jobs and save as much as 12 quads of energy by 2030.
Gadget Freak Case #254: Motion Controlled Blinking Eyes
Gadget Freak 
5/13/2014  15 comments
Don Lutz created blinking animatronic eyes to animate a rock sculpture.
Slideshow: Proto Labs Buys 3D Printing Service Bureau
Engineering Materials 
5/13/2014  18 comments
Not long after 3D printing leader Stratasys bought two service bureaus, rapid prototyping service bureau extraordinaire Proto Labs has embraced the technology by buying a service bureau focused solely on additive manufacturing. Before this acquisition, Proto Labs has concentrated on CNC machining and injection molding.
Video: Connecticut Science Center Exhibit Gets Second Wind
Blog 
5/13/2014  11 comments
An exhibition that simulates what it’s like for people to use wind to steer sailboats at the Connecticut Science Center got some new wind in its sails, literally, courtesy of a technology facelift by ebm-papst.
Would You Pay $30K for an Electric Car?
Captain Hybrid 
5/12/2014  103 comments
Even if automakers cut the cost of the electric vehicle battery and reach the $30,000 target, big sales are hardly a foregone conclusion. There's still no guarantee that large percentages of mainstream buyers will bite.
Wearable Tech Meets the IoT Meets the Cloud
Blog 
5/12/2014  4 comments
A number of tech trends, including the IoT, cloud computing, and wearable technology, are converging as they expand.
Aerospace-Grade Composites Will Repair Themselves
Engineering Materials 
5/12/2014  35 comments
Wouldn't it be cool if fiber-reinforced composites could repair themselves? Engineers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology think they've found a way to do it.
May Is National Electrical Safety Month
Guest Blogs 
5/12/2014  3 comments
National Electrical Safety month is in full swing, so this is a good time for reviewing electrical safety practices.
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During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
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