Windowless Planes: The Future of Flight or Fright?
Blog 10/28/2014 76 comments Would you fly in a plane that had no windows? British developers at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) believe that taking out the tiny porthole windows in planes and replacing them with giant flexible OLED screens is the future of flight, and posit it could even become a reality in less than 10 years.
10 Talented Robot Arms & Hands
Engineering Materials 10/27/2014 12 comments We've found an amazing variety of robot hands & arms in medicine, space, and service robots, as well as R&D and assembly. Some are based on industrial designs modified for speed or dexterity, while others more closely emulate human movements, as well as human size and shape.
Engineering Disaster: The Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death
Blog 10/27/2014 32 comments The Xbox Red Ring of Death in 2007 was the hardware error signal from the Xbox 360 video game console that announced your machine was toast. There was no coming back from the red disease -- your machine had to go back to the mothership for serious revamping or replacing. What caused the Red Ring of Death? Was it poor ASIC or lead-free solder?
Europe’s Great Forest Drone Race
Blog 10/27/2014 8 comments Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s two drones racing each other through a forest, and it is, for lack of a better word, AWESOME. Not seeing the forest for the trees can be a bad thing in life, but for drones, it turns out to be a decidedly good thing.
Gadget Freak Case #266: The Window Watcher
Gadget Freak 10/24/2014 28 comments The Window Watcher stops the burglar before he does damage or enters the house. House alarm service companies set off alarms and call the service only after the burglar has damaged and entered the house.
354 Reasons Why Audi's SQ5 Is Worth a Look
Guest Blogs 10/23/2014 1 comment More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
30 Seconds With Formlabs
Electronics News 10/23/2014 Post a comment Kevin Gautier of Formlabs describes the making of a carbon fiber mold for an intake manifold, using a $3,300 3D printer, during Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest.
Let Isaac Asimov Lead Your Brainstorming Session
Blog 10/23/2014 7 comments Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Smart Battery Sensor Provides Warning Before Catching Fire
Blog 10/23/2014 13 comments Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
How it Works: E-Cigarettes
Blog 10/22/2014 28 comments 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.
Plastics Can Do Almost Any Job -- Even Yours
Engineering Materials 10/22/2014 6 comments 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.
30 Seconds With Stratasys
Electronics News 10/22/2014 Post a comment 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.
Kindle Fire HD 6 Teardown
Blog 10/21/2014 5 comments Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
3D-Printed Telescope Takes (Nice!) Pix of the Moon
Engineering Materials 10/21/2014 22 comments The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
Lithium Battery Charges 70% in 2 Minutes
Blog 10/21/2014 20 comments Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
12 Robots That Play Sports
Blog 10/20/2014 26 comments 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.
30 Seconds With 3DP Unlimited
Electronics News 10/20/2014 2 comments Melissa Cavanagh of 3DP Unlimited talked to Design News about the company’s large format 3D printer, during Medical Design and Manufacturing Midwest.
30 Seconds With iFixit
Electronics News 10/17/2014 16 comments 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.
Get Your Gadget Freak On
Gadget Freak 10/16/2014 1 comment Design News and Allied Electronics have raised the stakes for our second-annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest. The top three gadgeteers will be awarded a total of $10,000. Don't delay, enter today!
Top 3 Reasons to Outsource 3D Printing
Guest Blogs 10/14/2014 2 comments As additive manufacturing (including 3D printing) becomes increasingly popular among businesses as a quick and easy solution to creating and evaluating prototypes and end-use products, the debate about whether to outsource production or to purchase equipment for in-house use is at the forefront of industry discussions.
Understanding the Hardness of Metals
Blog 10/13/2014 8 comments When designing metal parts, it's important to specify their hardness. However, many engineers have only a shaky understanding of what hardness actually is, or how it's measured. This article helps clear up that confusion.
Video: Tiny Humanoid Robot Flies Plane
Engineering Materials 10/13/2014 9 comments A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
China's Emerging 3D Printing Market Will Grow 4X
Engineering Materials 10/10/2014 12 comments Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
3D-Printed Robot Thwarts Drug Smugglers
Blog 10/10/2014 19 comments MIT researchers have used 3D printing to develop an underwater robot about the size of a football that can protect ports by scanning the hulls of ships for suspicious or illegal cargo.
How to Think Like an Engineer
Blog 10/8/2014 31 comments Most engineers spend a lot of time thinking about how to solve design problems, but not much time thinking about how we think. Using analogies can help you come up with more, and possibly better, design ideas.
IAPD Plastics Expo Gives Engineers Alternatives
Engineering Materials 10/8/2014 8 comments You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
Top 20 US Graduate Engineering Programs
Blog 10/7/2014 8 comments As promised when we listed the top undergraduate engineering schools, here are the top 20 US engineering schools based on their graduate programs. We looked at a number of rankings and created an overall list based on an average.
Is Your Star Rising?
Blog 10/7/2014 1 comment Help Design News recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community. Nominate a Rising Engineering Star today.
The Job Market: Robots vs. Humans
Engineering Materials 10/3/2014 6 comments Some studies say that robots take away certain jobs from humans, but give us others in return. So far that's worked in the past, but things may be changing.
Stratasys Adds 3D Printing to Next-Gen Smart Appliances
Blog 10/3/2014 6 comments Stratasys will lend its 3D printing expertise to GE’s community effort to build the next-generation of home appliances. The 3D printing manufacturer and service provider is providing 3D printers as part of a new partnership of FirstBuild, an affiliate of GE that aims to use the ingenuity of technologists in an online community to build more intelligent appliances.
SABIC Dishes On 3D-Printed Car Materials
Engineering Materials 10/2/2014 2 comments The Strati EV car printed at IMTS is made of SABIC's LNP STAT KON AE003. SABIC tells Design News why this carbon fiber-reinforced compound was chosen by Local Motors and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
Can You Really Slip on a Banana Peel?
Blog 10/2/2014 12 comments The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Dr. Kiyoshi Mabuchi and his team members for their work measuring the slipperiness of banana peels. Turns out they're slipperier with the yellow side up.
Flexible Solar Cell Can Be Woven Into Energy-Harvesting Fabric
Blog 10/2/2014 1 comment Many scientists have been working battery-free ways to power wearable electronics that can replace bulky battery packs, particularly through the use of energy-harvesting materials. Now a team of researchers in China have upped the game by developing a lightweight and flexible solar cell that can be woven into two-way energy-harvesting fabric.
Chew On This: Chin Strap Harvests Energy
Blog 10/1/2014 19 comments Researchers in Canada have developed a chin strap that harvests energy from chewing and can potentially power a digital earplug that can provide both protection and communication capabilities.
3D-Printed Limbs Turn Kids into Superheroes
Blog 9/30/2014 29 comments Enabling the Future is designing prosthetic appendages modeled more like superhero arms and hands than your average static artificial limbs. And they’re doing it through a website and grassroots movement inspired by two men’s design and creation in 2012 of a metal prosthetic for a child in South Africa.
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
The UX Italia video contest recognizes Italian machinery, technology, and other experience solutions that have contributed meaningful improvements to people’s lives and production processes. If you submit a three-minute video showcasing how the quality of Italian machinery's User eXperience is essential to your company's success, you just may win a trip to Italy.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.