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The IoT Comes to Your Backyard
Blog 
11/26/2014  2 comments
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Robo-Fabric Brings New Dimension to Wearable Tech
Blog 
11/26/2014  2 comments
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
Engineer Comic Works in PowerPoint
Blog 
11/26/2014  3 comments
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
Engineering Disasters: Galloping Gertie – the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Blog 
11/25/2014  9 comments
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
How to Design Better 'Things'
Blog 
11/25/2014  9 comments
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
Is Sexism Driving Women Out of Engineering?
Blog 
11/25/2014  19 comments
When my daughter decided she wanted to study engineering, I was very proud of her. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I wondered if she knew what she was in for.
AutoDesk, Artec Make 3D Modeling Easier
Blog 
11/25/2014  1 comment
AutoDesk has teamed up with 3D scanner provider Artec to link CAD software and 3D scanners to make it faster and easier to create accurate 3D mesh models for printing or digital use.
Driverless Cars Require More Passenger Trust
Blog 
11/24/2014  26 comments
The key to autonomous driving is not to forget about the driver, and to remember that passengers want a sense of control, as opposed to being utterly passive backseat drivers.
12 Black Friday Gadgets for Someone You Hate
Blog 
11/21/2014  28 comments
Get a load of these strange product designs. What's in the water these design engineers are drinking?
van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Transformed into Solar-Powered Bike Path
Blog 
11/21/2014  19 comments
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.
MegaBots Take Giant Robots From Science Fiction to Reality
Blog 
11/20/2014  11 comments
Ever wanted your own giant robot? Three engineers did, and now they want to make 15-ft, fighting MegaBots a household name.
10 Packaging Technologies at Pack Expo
Blog 
11/20/2014  3 comments
Here are 10 examples of the wide range of new technology on display at Pack Expo in Chicago earlier this month.
Desert Scorpions Inspire Abrasion-Resistant Surfaces
Blog 
11/20/2014  4 comments
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
Video: Bamboo-Based Hybrid Wind Turbine Aimed at Developing World
Blog 
11/20/2014  Post a comment
Green energy is being billed as a way to make communities that are energy deprived more self-sustaining. So it makes sense to use natural materials to create devices that harvest this type of energy. That’s the idea behind a hybrid wind/solar energy harvester made of bamboo that’s been developed by UVM researchers.
Keyssa: 'Kiss Old Connectors Goodbye'
Blog 
11/19/2014  11 comments
Anyone who’s ever moved files from a hard drive to a computer has sat patiently waiting for the transfer to complete. But what if this process could be done wirelessly, without having to connect devices with cables, and in seconds?
Bullet-Proof Software Architecture Is Key to Product Development
Blog 
11/19/2014  1 comment
The CEC class, "An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design," will give attendees a path to successful software architecture for product design.
Hilarious Engineer Talks Cardinal Grameters
Blog 
11/19/2014  8 comments
Check out this jet engine technology explained in engineering gobbledegook.
Take a Teardown 'Voyage' With Kindle
Blog 
11/18/2014  6 comments
Look and be amazed! Amazon has added a new tablet to its e-reader lineup, and this one aims to perfect the reading experience. But can it beat Amazon's rocky repairability record?
Keeping It Together With Bolted Joints
Blog 
11/18/2014  5 comments
It's not uncommon for thousands of dollars worth of equipment to be held together by $.10 screws. Because of their low cost and high degree of standardization, screws, studs, bolts, and nuts tend to be thought of as commodity products. As a result, bolted joints too often fail to receive the level of attention they deserve in engineering design.
CPG Packagers Want Flexibility in Product Design
Blog 
11/18/2014  Post a comment
The packaging industry is managing major changes in consumer packaging, from multi-versions of packages to the drive for less packaging waste.
11 Robots Take Flight
Blog 
11/17/2014  9 comments
Flying robot hardware is still important, but what's getting as interesting now is some of the new uses, such as equipping them with medical equipment for aiding first responders, monitoring and recording biometric health data about athletes, and commercial aircraft inspection.
Packaging Wants Industry 4.0 to Replace Retirees
Blog 
11/17/2014  2 comments
Advanced automation is solving a multitude of challenges in packaging, not the least of which is the retired-Boomer brain drain.
Do You Dream in CAD? You Might Be an Engineer
Blog 
11/14/2014  20 comments
You let us know through your comments on the last “You know you’re an engineer if ...” post that you agree and disagree with the notions of what makes an engineer tick. Here are a dozen more to consider.
You Generate the Power on Polaris eBike
Blog 
11/14/2014  22 comments
The new line of Polaris eBikes features technology called Perpetual Arc Regeneration that allows a rider’s pedaling and other uses of the bike’s motor system to generate power to the bike’s battery in a number of ways.
The Atlas Robot is Agile Enough to Mimic 'The Karate Kid'
Blog 
11/14/2014  5 comments
The Atlas robot, a DARPA project built by a subsidiary of Google, is coordinated enough to easily balance on one leg and navigate raised obstacles.
Device Will Never Let You Forget Your Password -- it's Your Heartbeat
Blog 
11/13/2014  25 comments
Biometric identification for access to devices is nothing new, but a Canadian company has put a new spin on the technology by using people’s heartbeats to allow them to wirelessly access their devices -- including their smartphone, computer, car, or even their home.
Solar Sponge Generates Steam by Soaking Up the Sun's Rays
Blog 
11/13/2014  4 comments
While previous methods of creating steam involved heating liquids, this solar sponge generates a great amount of steam for hygienic and green energy purposes by simply using solar energy.
10 Programmable Robots for Kids
Blog 
11/12/2014  7 comments
Here's a variety of robots for kids that are all programmable. Some can be controlled with simple building blocks while others use programming language.
Samsung's Latest Battery Wraps Around Your Wrist
Blog 
11/12/2014  17 comments
At the InterBattery 2014 convention in South Korea, Samsung revealed it has invented a power source for the next generation of wearables and mobile devices -- a flexible battery that can wrap around your wrist.
Do Good Engineers Make Good Engineering Managers?
Blog 
11/11/2014  20 comments
Being a good engineer is a prerequisite for being a good engineering manager. However, it’s a necessary but not sufficient condition: not every good engineer will make a good engineering manager, or even want to be one in the first place. This is why good engineering managers are few and far between.
Baxter the Robot Gets a Gig at Schneider
Blog 
11/10/2014  1 comment
Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot has taken a job on the assembly line of a major energy and automation company.
Andiamo 3D Prints Orthotics for Disabled Kids
Blog 
11/10/2014  Post a comment
Andiamo aims to dramatically reduce the time and cost of orthotic equipment for children by using 3D printing to rapidly and inexpensively create orthotic devices.
Save Your LEDs with Circuit Protection
Blog 
11/7/2014  3 comments
Learn to protect your LED design by taking this free Focus on Fundamentals class about LED circuits.
Grabit Uses Static Electricity to Let Robots Grip Anything
Blog 
11/7/2014  6 comments
Designing a robot gripper that is flexible enough to grab a variety of objects -- even oddly shaped or heavy ones -- has always been challenging. A company called Grabit has found a solution with a robot that uses static electricity to pick up virtually anything and is well-suited for a range of industrial applications.
Did You Know the Lead Engineer on the Brooklyn Bridge was a Woman?
Blog 
11/6/2014  28 comments
It may come as a surprise to some people to know that it was a woman who was in charge of engineering of the Brooklyn Bridge; a woman who was the first computer programmer; and a woman who designed an important junction of Los Angeles’ complex highway system.
Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 
11/6/2014  21 comments
This is the article your manager doesn’t want you to read. Are you working on a tough engineering problem? Don’t keep plugging away at it. Take a break and do something else for a while. Your manager will thank you later.
Advanced Warfare: 4 Real-Life Military Exoskeletons
Blog 
11/6/2014  3 comments
This week sees the release of the latest edition of the wildly popular Call of Duty video game franchise, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Sledgehammer, the studio behind Advanced Warfare, consulted with military experts on the design of the game's exoskeletons. What they eventually came up with is certainly very sci-fi but not too far away from technologies being developed today.
Protect Your Hardware From Hacking
Blog 
11/6/2014  1 comment
Cyber security for hardware assets has become a major issue as more and more devices get connected. A whole slew of new protection technology is beginning to show up to confront the problem. While we’ve seeing plenty of attention paid to networks, securing hardware has received less attention. Yet there plenty of security advances available now for hardware protection.
How Many Licks Does it Take to Get to the Center of Google's Nexus 9?
Blog 
11/5/2014  2 comments
It's a good time for tablet fans. Apple gave it both barrels last month, with a pair of new iPads -- and today, Google fires back with the Nexus 9 and its newly revised OS, Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Is the Microsoft Band Too Late to the Wearables Party?
Blog 
11/5/2014  7 comments
Microsoft has finally made its entry into the wearables and digital health space. But is the Microsoft Band doomed to fail in the face of stiff competition?
Astronauts to Get Out-of-this-World Java
Blog 
11/5/2014  7 comments
Dubbed ISSpresso, the world’s first galactic coffee machine has been designed by Italy's famous coffee company Lavazza, and engineered by a Turin-based engineering company, Argotec, to be rocketed into space early next year.
Engineering Job Prospects 10 Years Out
Blog 
11/4/2014  19 comments
Job prospects for US engineers in the coming decade is a mixed bag, with some disciplines seeing a 27% growth rate (biomedical engineering), while others are flatlining (materials engineering).
Google Reveals Prototype of 'Project Ara' Customizable Modular Smartphone
Blog 
11/4/2014  2 comments
Google has revealed a working model and announced two January 2015 dates for developer conferences around its Project Ara modular smartphone.
How GM Failed Me
Blog 
11/4/2014  31 comments
I’m willing to believe that Mary Barra is sincere in her desire to fix GM’s mistakes. I’m even willing to forgive GM for the defective ignition switch. However, after the abysmal service my daughter and I received, it’s hard for me to imagine ever buying another GM product.
Nintendo Wants to Track Your Sleep and Fatigue
Blog 
11/3/2014  6 comments
Nintendo's latest product announcement isn't a video game -- it's a sleep tracker, the first in a series of quality of life products aimed at the consumer health and fitness market.
This VEST Will Give You Extra Senses
Blog 
11/3/2014  4 comments
The people behind VEST call it a sensory-substitution device. It could help the deaf hear again ... and make the rest of us even better.
Solar Energy Does Grow on Trees
Blog 
11/3/2014  16 comments
Israeli company Sologic's eTrees are metal, tree-like structures for harvesting solar energy.
9 Inventions Provide Frightful Fun for Halloween
Blog 
10/31/2014  8 comments
Halloween isn’t just a time for creative costumes. Thanks to the element14 online design community, the holiday this year also brings us a number of creative electronic device design ideas aimed at making your Halloween party a unique experience.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission: Innovative or a Waste of Time?
Blog 
10/31/2014  11 comments
On April 15, 2010, President Barack Obama gave a major speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announcing that the US would send astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s. But in order to do so, NASA would first need to ramp up its capabilities through missions directed toward "a series of increasingly demanding targets," i.e. asteroids.
This Toaster Takes Selfies -- Because Civilization is Doomed
Blog 
10/31/2014  10 comments
Selfies have already ruined your nights out and your social media feeds. Now they're after your breakfast.
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The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
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