Video: Worm Hooks Inspire Better Bandages
Engineering Materials 5/17/2013 16 comments Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
Video: Seahorse Armor Inspires Robot Design
Engineering Materials 5/16/2013 5 comments Engineers at the University of California, San Diego are designing a robotic arm that takes inspiration from the loose, flexible, yet very strong structure of the armored plates on a seahorse's tail.
How to Make Light Go Faster
Engineering Materials 5/13/2013 21 comments Researchers at the Missouri University of Science & Technology have designed a new nanoscale material that can transmit light faster than the 186,000 miles per second it usually takes to travel through air.
Green Power Breaks Records in the West
Engineering Materials 5/10/2013 74 comments It has often been said that as California goes, so goes the nation. This spring, the state's wind power is setting energy generation records and solar energy generation is expected to rise sharply during the second half of 2013.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.