From Napkin to Production
Guest Blogs 8/30/2013 31 comments After a night out with the guys, burning through five bar-napkin sketches, the perfect product idea is born. Or is it? How do you determine if your idea is worthwhile and worth pursing?
Materials Spotlighted at Design & Manufacturing Show
Engineering Materials 8/29/2013 3 comments The choices of metals, plastics, coatings, and adhesives has never been broader, and new ones are becoming available at a rapid rate. Some of this variety is reflected at the upcoming Design and Manufacturing Midwest Show.
Jobs Was a Genius; the Movie Not So Much
Blog 8/28/2013 16 comments The movie's producers tried to sum up Jobs's entire professional career in two hours, too many significant parts were left out, and the movie did not accurately show the genius that Jobs was.
Designing Secure Machine Control Networks
Blog 8/27/2013 5 comments Industrial network security has become a hot topic in the wake of the Stuxnet virus and concerns about all types of Internet site attacks that could cause major damage to industrial machinery.
3D Printing With Iron & Tungsten
Engineering Materials 8/26/2013 7 comments The range of metals that can be 3D printed is increasing. ExOne has added iron infiltrated with bronze, and bonded tungsten, to the range of metal and ceramic powders that can be used with its multi-material M-Flex machines.
Video: Inside the World's Largest Wind Tunnel
Electronic News & Comment 8/23/2013 29 comments When NASA Ames runs its massive wind tunnels, the surrounding area knows it. Local aircraft are warned of potential updrafts. Electric utilities brace for sudden power draws. And nearby residents are said to hear its 300-knot airflows from miles away.
Slideshow: Robots Get More Thin-Skinned
Engineering Materials 8/22/2013 23 comments Robots may be getting more sensitive, due to a breakthrough by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley. An electronic skin made of a sensor network mounted on a substrate of flexible plastic reacts to touch by lighting up.
Choosing the Right Pressure Gauge
Guest Blogs 8/22/2013 6 comments Used since 1849, pressure gauges have had many applications, from depth to altitude measuring. Classified in different types, they show the increase and reduction of pressure in different fields. Here are some of the gauges used today.
Researchers Develop Another Potential Battery for Renewable Energy Storage
Blog 8/20/2013 20 comments A research team led by Yi Cui, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford, has developed a new lithium-polysulfide flow battery with an energy density of between 170 Wh/kg and 190 Wh/L and a lifespan of up to 2,500 cycles -- results that are high comparatively for similar batteries being designed for renewables.
Molecular Robots Could Help Medications Target Specific Cells
Blog 8/16/2013 12 comments What if medications could specifically target only the areas inside the body that need repair? That is the promise of molecular nanorobots developed at Columbia University that can zero in on specific human cells and either provide medication or destroy them depending on the appropriate action.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.