2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Finalists
Blog 12/15/2014 Post a comment UBM Canon, the world’s leading advanced design and manufacturing industry resource, and Design News, are pleased to announce the finalists in the 2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards, a program that celebrates the companies, products, and people who are energizing North American design, engineering, and manufacturing.
Is the Ring the ‘Worst Product Ever Made?'
Blog 12/10/2014 13 comments The Ring -- an invention of a company called Logbar, based in Tokyo with its US headquarters in San Carlos, Calif. -- controls your personal devices, such as an iPhone, from your finger through gestures and Bluetooth connectivity. It surpassed its Kickstarter goal by several thousand dollars.
Soccer Field Powers Brazilian Slum
Blog 12/8/2014 30 comments UK startup Pavegen has teamed with gas and energy company Shell to give a Brazilian favela a soccer field that harvests energy from players' steps to power the surrounding neighborhood.
Do You Feel IoT Device Fatigue Yet?
Blog 12/8/2014 10 comments After the novelty of the wearable device wears off, will consumers settle into device fatigue or out-and-out revolt? Who wants the whole neighborhood knowing you forgot to brush your teeth?
Web Applications Are Ripe for Attack
Blog 12/8/2014 Post a comment Protecting web applications is a constant race to make sure security practices are a step ahead of attackers. Writing secure web application requires discipline, deep knowledge of web technologies, and coordination across disciplines throughout the development lifecycle. Learn how to secure web applications during the Design News CEC course, "An Introduction to Web application Security."
Sci-Fi Writers Schooled in Science
Blog 12/5/2014 6 comments Most science-fiction writers come to their subject well-schooled in the liberal arts, not science. Phillip K. Dick studied philosophy. Roger Zelazny picked up an MA from Columbia in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. A surprisingly small handful started out as professionals in technology. Here’s a look at the few classic science-fiction writers who were actually trained in science, be it physics, math, or engineering.
3D-Printed Liver Tissue Goes Commercial
Blog 12/3/2014 9 comments California-based Organovo has developed and released the exVive3D Human Liver Tissue, which is available to customers through the company’s contract research services program. It will be used in medical research and testing to study the effect of drugs on the liver.
Conductive Clay -- the Future of Energy Storage?
Blog 12/2/2014 15 comments MXene clay -- which is two-dimensional and comprised of three layers of titanium and two layers of carbon that’s five atoms thick -- was developed by a team of researchers in Drexel’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
20 Great Engineers of the Early 20th Century
Blog 12/1/2014 22 comments Here’s a look at some of the notable engineers who contributed significantly to engineering advancements during the first half of the 20th Century, a period often called the golden era of engineering. Some well-known engineering figures such as Edison, Tesla, and the Wright Brothers are on the list, but we have also included a few lesser-known but still significant engineers.
Move Over Pasta -- Machinery Also Key Contribution from Italy
Blog 12/1/2014 6 comments Machines Italia is co-sponsoring with Design News the UX Italia video contest, which is asking companies to submit at least a three-minute video testimonial of how the user experience of Italian machinery, technology, or other experience solutions are essential to the business’s success.
Fire-Resistant Steel Made to Order Using Thermodynamic Simulation
Blog 11/28/2014 Post a comment According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Deep Learning is the Future of Automation and Robotics
Blog 11/28/2014 2 comments Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The IoT Comes to Your Backyard
Blog 11/26/2014 17 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.
Engineer Comic Works in PowerPoint
Blog 11/26/2014 15 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 13 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 13 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.
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.
van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Transformed into Solar-Powered Bike Path
Blog 11/21/2014 22 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.
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?
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.
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.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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