10 Technologies That Make Us Super-Human
Blog 4/22/2014 19 comments Research and other advancements in the realms of robotics, diagnostic and treatment devices, nanotechnology, and medical implants may one day make humans superior versions of their natural selves.
World Demand for Service Robots Still Rising
Blog 4/21/2014 15 comments Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
Video: BionicKangaroo Mimics the Real Thing
Blog 4/18/2014 14 comments Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
10 Engineering Toys From Your Youth
Blog 4/17/2014 77 comments These are the toys that inspired budding engineers to try out sublime designs, create miniature structures, and experiment with bizarre contraptions using sets that could be torn down and reconstructed over and over.
10 Ways Robots Are Better Than Us
Blog 4/16/2014 29 comments Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
Product Design as a Team Sport
Blog 4/16/2014 14 comments Product design is changing with advances in technology and outsourced manufacturing. The Art of Product Design spells out the future of design engineering.
Industry 4.0 Is Really My IIoT
Blog 4/15/2014 3 comments Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
Students Design Space Habitats, Tech for NASA
Blog 4/9/2014 4 comments NASA is once again calling upon college students to help the space agency design solutions for future space habitats and exploration systems through its Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.
Teardown: Amazon Fire TV
Blog 4/8/2014 9 comments Amazon has announced a tiny black box that supposedly does everything better than all of the other tiny black boxes. Join the team at iFixit as they investigate the insides of this April treat to see if it's got what it takes to burn through the competition.
Teardown: First Look Inside Fairphone's Fair-Trade Smartphone
Blog 4/4/2014 1 comment Fairphone is a social enterprise with the aim to develop a smartphone designed and produced with minimal harm to people and planet. The main motivation for founding Fairphone was to develop a mobile device which does not contain conflict minerals and with fair labor conditions for the workforce along the supply chain.
IoT Comes Down to the Sensors
Blog 4/3/2014 3 comments Design News is holding a class next week in its online Continuing Education Center that goes through the basics of various types of sensors.
Fraunhofer Designs Flexible Energy Harvesters for Wearable Tech
Blog 4/2/2014 2 comments The increasing interest and development of wearable electronics also is calling for new types of power sources that are flexible and compact enough to fit into these devices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany are working on this problem with the design of a flexible energy harvester that can be manufactured through a low-cost printing process.
Obama Announces 2 New Innovation Hubs
Blog 3/24/2014 3 comments In an effort to boost US manufacturing, President Obama recently announced the opening of two new manufacturing innovation hubs -- in Chicago and Detroit. The hubs will serve as institutions to increase manufacturing technology in the US and will create local jobs for middle-class workers.
Picking the Right Processor Is Crucial
Blog 3/21/2014 30 comments We’ve put together a series of classes in our Continuing Education Center that looks at the PIC family of microcontrollers. The lecture series is named Pick (and Implement) the Right PIC MCU.
Video: Is the MX3D-Metal the Future of 3D Printing?
Blog 3/20/2014 11 comments Unlike many of the 3D printers available, the MX3D printers can work around a part rather than building it straight up. Using such techniques, the printer can print objects on surfaces with angles and slopes or even directly onto walls. In addition, it can print curves and shapes with much more precision and accuracy.
Video: Virtual Reality Makes Human-Robot Interaction Safer
Blog 3/20/2014 19 comments Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are trying to bridge the distance between humans and industrial robots, not in the real world, but in the virtual one. They have created a way to make these types of interactions safer through a virtual reality environment that enables humans to work closely with robots without being near them.
3D-Printed Smart Membrane Detects Heart Problems
Blog 3/19/2014 22 comments A research team in the lab of Igor Efimov at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a prototype for a stretchy, custom-fitted, implantable membrane that can give doctors feedback about irregularities occurring inside someone's heart.
EcoVolt Technology Transforms Beer Into Energy
Blog 3/13/2014 21 comments Boston-based Cambrian Innovation has developed a solution called EcoVolt that uses bioelectrochemistry to treat wastewater so it can be turned into electricity. The company is targeting the beverage industry to convert waste from making beer and wine into energy breweries and wineries can use to run their operations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
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.