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Content tagged with Electronics & Test posted in May 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15 Cars That Like Visiting the Mechanic
Electronic News & Comment 
5/9/2014  58 comments
For most car owners, the most desirable feature isn’t torque, horsepower, or connectivity. It’s reliability.
Banana Pi Rivals Raspberry Pi
Blog 
5/9/2014  2 comments
There's certainly no shortage of single-board computers on the market today, but few have gained the popularity of Raspberry Pi. So what does a company do in order to compete against the fruity computer company with a cornerstone on the market? Developers, meet Banana Pi.
Lithium Chemistries Head List of Next-Gen EV Batteries
Captain Hybrid 
5/9/2014  4 comments
New battery chemistries will reach the electric-car market over the next decade, but to be successful the new generation of products will need to have drop-in manufacturing capability.
Video: Product-Design Grads Target Medical Woes
Blog 
5/9/2014  3 comments
Inventions for people suffering from asthma, seasonal affective disorder, and arthritis are among those developed by the 2014 graduates of Drexel University’s first Product Design Program. The program requires its senior class to create products that can solve real-life problems.
10 Epic Flaws in Product Design Revealed
Blog 
5/8/2014  88 comments
You can’t please every consumer 100% of the time, and that is certainly the case when it comes to product design. No matter how carefully something is developed or packaged, and no matter how many times its designers test and retest it, there is often some flawed design element in the product that only rears its ugly head with prolonged consumer use.
Can Tesla's $5 Billion Bet Pay Off?
Captain Hybrid 
5/7/2014  37 comments
Whether or not the much-publicized “Gigafactory” is successful, Elon Musk’s grand vision of a gargantuan battery plant may turn out to be one of the most ambitious manufacturing efforts in American business history.
'Necessary & Sufficient' Cover the Safety Level
Guest Blogs 
5/7/2014  10 comments
There are many basic principles and maxims that engineers can use to solve simple problems. One trick is to ask at least two questions. First, what is necessary to satisfy the requirement? Second, what is sufficient to satisfy the requirement?
No Matter Your Expertise, You Belong on the Vehicle Design
Blog 
5/7/2014  6 comments
Design News recently published a Technology Roundup, which consists of a series of articles that help that multi-disciplined engineers get their jobs done. Regardless of which subsystem you’re responsible for, we all know that there’s a “need to know” on just about the entire vehicle. Hence, you’ll likely find this series of articles quite informative.
Slideshow: Robotic Renovation at International Space Station
Blog 
5/6/2014  22 comments
Last month, NASA launched the rocket carrying the SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Robots aided in its berthing on the ISS, and satellite-launching robots will be sent up later this year.
Chip Could Bring Surround View to Mainstream Vehicles
Electronic News & Comment 
5/6/2014  11 comments
Freescale Semiconductor and Broadcom Corp. have partnered to create a chip that could lay the foundation for surround-view cameras in more vehicles.
MatHero Aims to Develop Printable, Organic Solar Cell
Blog 
5/6/2014  7 comments
A European research effort aims to develop an entirely organic solar cell that can be produced at a low cost through a printing process and sold in the commercial marketplace.
21 Cars That Drove Into Movie History
Electronic News & Comment 
5/5/2014  34 comments
In some movies, the cars are the stars. American Graffiti and Fast and Furious, to name a couple, drew much of their audience appeal from their use of noisy internal combustion engines. But cars needn’t be racy to play prominent roles.
Southern Fried Transformer
Sherlock Ohms 
5/5/2014  17 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.
Options for Switch-Mode Power Supply Design
Guest Blogs 
5/5/2014  1 comment
With renewed demand for LED lighting solutions in recent years, there are several options to get started with building a power supply. Consider the following tips, specific to electrical power supply.
Inside Google's Project Tango Smartphone
Blog 
5/2/2014  7 comments
Project Tango, an Android-based phone prototype developed by Google, is designed to make 3D maps of the user's environment for integration into apps.
Migrating Legacy Devices to the IIoT
Guest Blogs 
5/2/2014  3 comments
Following on the heels of breathless coverage of consumer Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is now also garnering some well-deserved attention.
Microcontroller Simplifies Embedded Development
Electronic News & Comment 
5/2/2014  2 comments
A new microcontroller from Freescale Semiconductor aims to simplify embedded software development for both experienced engineers and novices alike.
12 Engineering Toys for Your Youth
Blog 
5/1/2014  30 comments
A review of some of today's top engineering toys shows a wide range of possibilities for budding engineers.




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In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
Mac Cameron of Stratasys describes the company’s Connex3 technology, which allows users to 3D-print complex parts in one build with no assembly required.
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