Slideshow: These Bots Were Made for Walking
Blog 12/4/2013 7 comments Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The Importance of Mentors
Blog 11/27/2013 39 comments Jon Titus, a longtime contributor to Design News, is retiring. In this, his farewell column, he stresses the importance of having mentors, and thanks his own.
Account for Uncertainty
Blog 11/12/2013 5 comments It is important to keep in mind that measurement uncertainties do not always equal one half of the smallest measurement interval.
Slideshow: Artsy Robots Take Center Stage
Blog 11/8/2013 23 comments Once the realm of just science and technology, robots now are turning up more and more in the world of fine arts, making appearances in art exhibitions, creative promotional campaigns, and even on stage in the theater.
Young Girls Excel in STEM
Blog 10/30/2013 23 comments Events such as the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and mentorship program such as NASA's G.I.R.L.S. (Giving Initiative and Relevance to Learning Sciences) help promote interest in STEM.
Video: Robotic Cubes Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 10/18/2013 26 comments MIT researchers have developed self-assembling, flywheel-driven modular cube robots that roll around each other and across a surface. They also appear to jump through the air.
Teardown: Fitbit Flex
Product News 10/3/2013 17 comments The folks at iFixit ripped into Fitbit's newest pedometer/heart-rate monitor/sleep-tracker wristband. What kind of a diet helped this thing fit into its tiny jacket? We're about to find out.
DIY: Build Your Own Robotic Bug
Engineering Materials 10/2/2013 27 comments A crowdfunded DIY version of the cockroach-like DASH robot invented by engineering students at the University of California, Berkeley, is now available on Dragon Innovation.
NASA Seeks Commercial-Sector Tech for Human Missions
Engineering Materials 9/30/2013 8 comments NASA is on a mission to involve commercial suppliers in advancing human space flight. Jacobs Engineering, NASA's partner in getting technologies and materials human-rated for space, will give details at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Texas show.
Video: Baxter 2.0 Extends Robot's Reach
Engineering Materials 9/27/2013 14 comments A new software upgrade to Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot extends the innovative bot's reach, makes it easier to program more precisely, improves overall performance, and expands its uses in the small to medium-sized companies it was designed for.
Slideshow: Robots Will 3D Print & Build Space Structures
Engineering Materials 9/17/2013 21 comments NASA is funding technology that would use robotics and 3D printing to construct parts of very large spacecraft and other structures in space. Doing this could reduce the cost and risk of building and launching systems and allow for bigger structures.
FIR Filter Coefficients
Mechatronics Zone 9/6/2013 2 comments Suppose you wanted to create a FIR filter with your own requirements. How would you find the necessary coefficients, and how many of them would you need?
STEM 101: Give Students Access to 21st Century Tools
Guest Blogs 9/4/2013 25 comments By freshman year of high school, more than 57 percent of students lose interest in pursuing STEM-related careers, and a recent report prepared by the White House indicates a lack of preparation and inspiration as key reasons why students lose interest in STEM.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
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.