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Blogs
Content posted in July 2014
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Great Film & TV Robots of the Early 1990s
Blog 
7/31/2014  8 comments
Take a look through these film and TV robots from 1990 through 1994.
Solar-Powered Smart Bench Charges Phones, Connects to WiFi
Blog 
7/31/2014  21 comments
The Soofa is an urban smart bench that provides mobile device charging as well as collects environmental information via wireless sensors.
Made w/Code Initiative Trains Female Techies for Google's Ranks
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/31/2014  10 comments
At this year’s Google I/O, the spotlight was pointed on gender inequality in the high-tech industry. Google has established a new initiative that it hopes will even out the playing field, Made w/Code. Part of this initiative will fund free online courses in basic coding.
Study: Autonomous Cars Headed for Massive Sales by 2035
Electronic News & Comment 
7/30/2014  46 comments
Self-driving vehicle technology could grow rapidly over the next two decades, with nearly 95 million “autonomous-capable” cars being sold annually around the world by 2035, a new study predicts.
Video: MIT Keeps You Warm While You Walk
Blog 
7/30/2014  10 comments
MIT’s Senseable City Lab recently announced the program’s next big project: “Local Warming.” The concept involves saving on energy by heating the occupants within a room, not the room itself.
Why Use Linux for Device Drivers?
Blog 
7/30/2014  2 comments
The fun factor continues to draw developers to Linux. This open-source system continues to succeed in the market and in the hearts and minds of developers. Design News will delve into this territory with next week's Continuing Education Class titled, “Introduction to Linux Device Drivers.”
Video: Dean Kamen Discusses Developing a Prosthetic Arm for Wounded Vets
STEM Connection 
7/30/2014  Post a comment
Dean Kamen tells an audience at MD&M East 2014 how his team created the DEKA Arm to meet DARPA's challenge to design a better prosthetic arm for wounded veterans.
Early Concepting: The Design Before the Design
Blog 
7/29/2014  15 comments
The new draw-it-on-a-napkin is the CAD program. As CAD programs become more ubiquitous and easier to use, they have replaced 2D sketching for early concepting.
More Kids' Camps, More Fun & More Future Engineers
STEM Connection 
7/29/2014  Post a comment
These free camps are designed for children ages 10 to 18. Attendees are introduced to 3D CAD software and shown how 3D printers can make their work a reality. Here we check out the stops in California and Utah.
Work Out While You Work
Blog 
7/29/2014  42 comments
A University of Chicago graduate has invented a compact elliptical trainer that lets people work out at their desk while they work.
Dean Kamen: 'FDA Not to Blame for Stalling Medical Device Innovation'
STEM Connection 
7/29/2014  1 comment
Dean Kamen told an audience at MD&M East 2014 that FDA regulators aren't to blame for stalling innovation in the medical device industry. Hear what he had to say.
Good News & Bad News About Ocean Plastics
Engineering Materials 
7/28/2014  20 comments
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Sensors Are Everywhere: From the Factory Floor to Your Skin
Blog 
7/28/2014  4 comments
New developments in sensors span a wide range of applications in all areas of manufacturing and plant automation.
15 Great Robots of 1980s Film & TV
Blog 
7/25/2014  30 comments
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Video: Voice-Command System Rivals Siri
STEM Connection 
7/25/2014  11 comments
Two students have created a voice-command system for our homes, based on the simple and affordable Raspberry Pi.
GE Aviation, Lockheed & Optomec Star in Metal 3D Printing Project
Engineering Materials 
7/25/2014  2 comments
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
Gadget Freak Review: The Coolest Cooler; Rotating Wireless Charger
Gadget Freak 
7/24/2014  21 comments
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Homebuilt Mower Is Better Than a New One
Made by Monkeys 
7/24/2014  23 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
20 Engineers From the World of Sports
Electronic News & Comment 
7/23/2014  36 comments
From pitchers and forwards to quarterbacks and defensemen, we offer a peek at some of the more memorable engineers in sports history.
IBM Invests $3B in Powerful Processors of the Future
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/23/2014  4 comments
IBM announced it is dedicating $3 billion of funding over the next five years to research and development of new processor technologies.
Video: Thin Polymer Material Defeats Deafening Noise
Blog 
7/23/2014  20 comments
A soundproofing invention called Acoustiblok recently won a television challenge to silence an air horn with only a fraction of an inch of polymer material.
16 Robot Stars From the 1970s
Blog 
7/22/2014  25 comments
Robots came into their own in the 1970s. Gone were the low-budget black-and-white B movies. Now robots roamed in full-color feature films with A-list actors.
System Lockup Stumps Engineer
Sherlock Ohms 
7/22/2014  5 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.
Share Your Invention & Win Big Money
Gadget Freak 
7/22/2014  1 comment
There is still time to get in your gadgets for the Design News and Allied Electronics second annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest. The top three gadgeteers will be awarded a total of $10,000.
10 of the World's Smartest Cities
Blog 
7/21/2014  29 comments
Major global metropolitan areas are implementing a vast number of technology, energy, transportation, and Internet projects to make the metropolis a friendlier, greener, safer, and more sustainable place to be.
Battery-Electric Vehicles: It's a Question of Trickle-Down
Captain Hybrid 
7/21/2014  14 comments
If you’ve charted the course of the electric car market over many years, then you know that we’ve always been two years away from a metamorphosis … or five years … or more.
Will Robots Give Jobs or Take Them Away?
Engineering Materials 
7/21/2014  41 comments
Lots of people who write about robots say they give us jobs, instead of taking them away from humans. Based on the evidence in some recent studies, I'm not so sure.
GoEngineer Kicks Off Kids' Camp
STEM Connection 
7/21/2014  4 comments
These free camps are designed for children ages 10-18. Attendees are introduced to 3D CAD software and shown how 3D printers can make their work a reality.
Gadget Freak Case #259: Gag Bomb Countdown Timer
Gadget Freak 
7/18/2014  42 comments
This Hollywood movie-style gag bomb doubles as an alarm clock and a countdown timer.
Tesla's 'Affordable EV' Will Cost $35K
Captain Hybrid 
7/18/2014  28 comments
Tesla's "affordable electric car" now has a name and a price. The Model 3 will sell for $35,000.
Robot Can Detect Gas Pipe Leaks
Engineering Materials 
7/18/2014  21 comments
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Siemens PLM Partners With Penn State
STEM Connection 
7/18/2014  1 comment
Siemens PLM has given an in-kind grant -- to the tune of $750M -- to Penn State University so students can gain experience on real-world design and manufacturing software.
Great Film & TV Robots From the 50s & 60s
Blog 
7/17/2014  45 comments
Here’s a look at robots depicted in movies and on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to collect the classics here, omitting the scores of forgettable B movies such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Stay tuned for slideshows of robot stars from later decades.
Do You Really Need 4 GB of RAM to Type a Letter?
Electronic News & Comment 
7/17/2014  33 comments
The recent decision by the German parliament to consider a move back to typewriters may serve as a lesson, not only in the need for secure products, but also in the dangers of overdesign.
Micro Python Preps for Mass Production
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/17/2014  6 comments
Micro Python is priming the presses. After smashing its Kickstarter campaign, the programming platform is almost ready to release its Micro Python boards into the public market.
Slideshow: Bloodshed Adds Electric Muscle to Vintage Performance Cars
Electronic News & Comment 
7/16/2014  15 comments
In the muscular tradition of the rubber-burning dragsters of the 1960s, start-up company Bloodshed Motors plans to put a new twist on the decades-old concept of the performance car.
Publish CAD Designs in PDF Format
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/16/2014  3 comments
Theorem Solutions recently announced the release of its newest software solution: Publish 3D. The program enables direct translation between CAD software and the PDF format, allowing engineers to spend more of their time doing what they do best -- creating.
3D Printing Method Used to Create Human Cartilage
Blog 
7/16/2014  16 comments
A scientist at the University of Pittsburgh has achieved a breakthrough in the quest to create artificial cartilage with human cells for treatment of degenerative joint disease.
Smartwatch Wars: LG G Watch
Blog 
7/15/2014  7 comments
The LG G Watch is a smartwatch that was released by LG on June 25. It runs the Android-based Android Wear OS. See how it compares to Samsung's Gear Live, released the same day.
Researchers Develop Quick-Charging Li Battery Architecture
Blog 
7/15/2014  8 comments
Researchers worldwide are working to minimize the time it takes to recharge a Li battery. The latest research coming out of the University of California could cut the time it takes to recharge to 10 minutes.
Mentor, XSe Aim to Accelerate Automotive Electronics Design
Electronic News & Comment 
7/15/2014  3 comments
Mentor Graphics acquisition of XS Embedded GmbH last week could be meaningful for automotive electronics engineers, potentially enabling them to accelerate design and verification of products ranging from infotainment packages to autonomous safety systems.
Video: Vanderbilt Student Develops Nanowire 3 Atoms Thick
STEM Connection 
7/15/2014  1 comment
One PhD student says tablets might be as thin as a sheet of paper, and flexible, too, thanks to the creation of nanowires just three atoms thick.
Smartwatch Wars: Samsung Gear Live
Blog 
7/14/2014  8 comments
The Samsung Gear Live is an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced and released by Samsung and Google on June 25, 2014. Join us today as we take a look inside. Then, come back tomorrow as we tear open the LG G Watch to see how it compares.
3D-Printed Rocket Engine Fires Up
Engineering Materials 
7/14/2014  19 comments
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Video: Teen Invents iPhone-Charging Insole
STEM Connection 
7/14/2014  10 comments
Angelo Casimiro, a 15-year-old living in the Philippines, has designed an insole that uses two pairs of piezoelectric discs that produce electricity when they bend inward. When a person steps down on the discs in the insole, they produce electricity. He used two sets of discs to produce double the amount of electricity that one set would allow.
Gadget Freak Case #258: Memory Wire Muscles Actuate Biped
Gadget Freak 
7/11/2014  4 comments
Marin Davide created a prototype of a moving biped using a shape memory alloy that works like a real muscle to move a cardboard leg.
Fast, Cheap, Stretchable Electronics Made With Sewing Machine
Engineering Materials 
7/11/2014  9 comments
Purdue researchers have used a commercial sewing machine to quickly create stretchable electronics from conventional thin wire and a silicone elastomer used for making special-effect movie masks.
AirDog Drone Provides the Ultimate Selfie
Blog 
7/11/2014  6 comments
AirDog is a small, foldable quadcopter that follows users everywhere they go and records their every move with the GoPro camera. The drone was intended for persons who already use the GoPro camera but want footage of themselves in action -- ideal for extreme sport enthusiasts or filmmakers.
Servo Technology Makes for Flexible, Efficient Plants
Blog 
7/11/2014  Post a comment
AC servo technology has completely revamped plants with motion systems that are flexible, require less maintenance, and consume less energy.
Slideshow: Electric Motorcycles Get Revved
Electronic News & Comment 
7/10/2014  35 comments
From superbikes to cargo cycles, we offer a glimpse of the strange new world of electric motorcycles.
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As more electric cars and plug-in hybrids hit the highways, the need for battery chargers is growing.
Festo is developing small wind turbines for generating power to buildings. The model for the mini wind devices is the seagull wing.
MIT students modified a 3D printer to enable it to print more than one object and print on top of existing printed objects. All of this was made possible by modifying a Solidoodle with a height measuring laser.
A battery management system to support an electric motorcycle lithium-ion battery pack took first place in Texas Instruments' annual engineering innovation contest.
This Gadget Freak Review looks at a keyless Bluetooth padlock that works with your smartphone, along with a system that tracks your sleep behavior and wakes you at the perfect time in your sleep cycle to avoid morning grogginess.
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