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15 Great Robots of 1980s Film & TV
Blog 
7/25/2014  30 comments
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
20 Engineers From the World of Sports
Electronic News & Comment 
7/23/2014  38 comments
From pitchers and forwards to quarterbacks and defensemen, we offer a peek at some of the more memorable engineers in sports history.
Baxter the Robot Becomes More Trainable
Product News 
7/23/2014  3 comments
Rethink Robotics has upgraded Baxter the Robot so it can be easily trained by co-workers who simply show the robot how to move.
16 Robot Stars From the 1970s
Blog 
7/22/2014  26 comments
Robots came into their own in the 1970s. Gone were the low-budget black-and-white B movies. Now robots roamed in full-color feature films with A-list actors.
Will Robots Give Jobs or Take Them Away?
Engineering Materials 
7/21/2014  45 comments
Lots of people who write about robots say they give us jobs, instead of taking them away from humans. Based on the evidence in some recent studies, I'm not so sure.
Robot Can Detect Gas Pipe Leaks
Engineering Materials 
7/18/2014  21 comments
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Great Film & TV Robots From the 50s & 60s
Blog 
7/17/2014  45 comments
Here’s a look at robots depicted in movies and on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to collect the classics here, omitting the scores of forgettable B movies such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Stay tuned for slideshows of robot stars from later decades.
Micro Python Preps for Mass Production
CAD/CAM Corner 
7/17/2014  6 comments
Micro Python is priming the presses. After smashing its Kickstarter campaign, the programming platform is almost ready to release its Micro Python boards into the public market.
Fast, Cheap, Stretchable Electronics Made With Sewing Machine
Engineering Materials 
7/11/2014  11 comments
Purdue researchers have used a commercial sewing machine to quickly create stretchable electronics from conventional thin wire and a silicone elastomer used for making special-effect movie masks.
AirDog Drone Provides the Ultimate Selfie
Blog 
7/11/2014  6 comments
AirDog is a small, foldable quadcopter that follows users everywhere they go and records their every move with the GoPro camera. The drone was intended for persons who already use the GoPro camera but want footage of themselves in action -- ideal for extreme sport enthusiasts or filmmakers.
Video: Wear Your Own Pair of Robot Arms
Engineering Materials 
7/10/2014  53 comments
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
Who Deserves to Make the Big Bucks?
STEM Connection 
7/9/2014  17 comments
In the words of FIRST founder Dean Kamen, "Why are we celebrating someone who can throw a baseball 90 miles per hour or who can put a basketball through a hoop, when the real stars are the kids who are starting down the path toward changing the world?”
Video: Power Line Perching UAV Doubles Down on Drone Delivery
Blog 
7/8/2014  21 comments
Last December Amazon.com unveiled a plan for a delivery system of drones that can deliver packages to people living within 10 miles of a distribution center. One of the reasons for that mileage limit is that the unmanned aerial vehicles the company plans to use only have enough battery life to cover that distance without recharging. MIT is out to change that.
Hummingbird Makes Coding Easy
STEM Connection 
7/8/2014  5 comments
Hummingbird has unveiled a new robotics kit -- Hummingbird Duo -- that can teach anyone the basic of robotic engineering, even children. The kit was released on Kickstarter and has surpassed its funding goal of $30,000.
10 Nautical Robots Brave the High Seas
Engineering Materials 
7/1/2014  13 comments
Some of the latest nautical robots take a variety of forms. They can look like small boats, tiny four-wheeled vehicles, or realistic fish. One design from Sandia Labs will be able to transform itself from a swimming robot to one that flies through the air or uses wheels on land.
15 Engineering Disciplines by Salary & Job Prospects
Blog 
6/30/2014  33 comments
Here’s a snapshot of the salaries and job prospects for engineering careers by discipline. These numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that some professions such as biomedical engineering will see growth as high as 62% through 2020. Other disciplines do not look as promising.
Gears in Motion Control Systems
Guest Blogs 
6/30/2014  17 comments
It seems that gears have been around forever -- what could be new?
Slideshow: Tokyo Museum Features Eerily Human Robot Guides
Blog 
6/27/2014  63 comments
The Japanese have long been early adopters of robots and are generally more comfortable with human-robot interaction than people in many other countries, including the US.
15 Steps to Becoming a Mechanical Engineer
STEM Connection 
6/23/2014  25 comments
Here are 15 steps you must take in order to become a mechanical engineer. Some are easy, some are very difficult, but all of them can be fun.
Video: Roombots Transform Into Reconfigurable Furniture
News 
6/23/2014  17 comments
The Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has developed robotic blocks that autonomously self-assemble to form reconfigurable, adaptive furniture.
Gadget Freak Review: Action Sports Drone; Fashionable Wearable Tech
Gadget Freak 
6/20/2014  12 comments
This Gadget Freak review looks at a Kickstarter campaign for an auto-follow action sports drone and a fashionable wearable ring that will discretely alert you of an incoming notification on your smartphone.
The IIoT: It’s Everywhere
Blog 
6/18/2014  8 comments
The Industrial Internet of Things is becoming an important factor in the growing efficiency and optimization of plants.
KIBO Appeals to Kids' Imagination
STEM Connection 
6/17/2014  5 comments
The robotic building kit is aimed at children four to seven years old, with a goal of instilling in children an interest and affinity for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields with a varied way of teaching.
10 Uses for Drones That Could Change Your Opinion of Them
Blog 
6/12/2014  52 comments
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are still largely tied in public image to their use to deliver deadly missiles during military engagements. This has tarnished their reputation for many people, but that is currently changing as drones move beyond their military use and more and more into the commercial sector.
Video: Intel Joins Robotic Revolution
Blog 
6/11/2014  3 comments
Chip maker and tech giant Intel is the latest company to jump on board with plans in the next few months to sell a design-your-own robot kit that will allow people to develop an interactive, humanoid robot.
10 Robots You Don't Want to Mess With
Engineering Materials 
6/10/2014  76 comments
Our current crop of military robots includes small, tank-like unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), more specialized types like large autonomous vehicles, and both large and small winged robots, one carrying its own fuel cell.
'Less Is More' Precision Motion Control
Features 
6/10/2014  3 comments
Robots are working alongside humans more often than ever before, so safety, weight, and user friendliness are becoming bigger concerns for designers of these systems.
Video: Bake-Your-Own Robots
Blog 
6/5/2014  11 comments
Researchers out of MIT have come up with a way to create robots that self-assemble when heated.
20 Celebrities Who Are Also STEM Stars
STEM Connection 
6/4/2014  10 comments
Here are 20 celebrities from acting, music, and comedy who also happen to hold technical degrees.
Why the Goodman Diagram Is Not So Good
Guest Blogs 
5/30/2014  5 comments
It's time for the Goodman diagram to be retired. More accurate equations are available and are just as easy to use.
The Importance of UAVs
Guest Blogs 
5/28/2014  5 comments
Control is the defining enabler for UAV technologies.
Why We Need More Women in Engineering
STEM Connection 
5/23/2014  24 comments
A large number of studies have shown that men and women have different approaches to solving complex problems. It is precisely because of the differences between men and women that the engineering profession would benefit from greater participation of women.
Top 10 Influential Female Engineers
Blog 
5/20/2014  50 comments
Engineering is often criticized for being a male-dominated field, but that is definitely changing. There are many enormously successful female engineers that currently have leadership roles in business and research, making decisions that have a broad impact on global markets and people’s lives. Here are 10 of them.
Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary
Blog 
5/19/2014  52 comments
Here are the top 15 engineering schools, ranked by the average starting salaries of their graduates. The list also show each school's mid-career average salary.
TinkerBots Gives Tots a Robotic Building Kit
STEM Connection 
5/14/2014  21 comments
Two German engineers have created a kit that lets kids build robots from individual modules in much the same way they snap Legos together.
Video: Carbon Dioxide-Powered Robo Fish Moves Like the Real Thing
Blog 
5/12/2014  7 comments
A new soft robot that moves like a fish represents a key breakthrough in the movements and safety of robots, according to the team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that designed the robot.
'Necessary & Sufficient' Cover the Safety Level
Guest Blogs 
5/7/2014  10 comments
There are many basic principles and maxims that engineers can use to solve simple problems. One trick is to ask at least two questions. First, what is necessary to satisfy the requirement? Second, what is sufficient to satisfy the requirement?
No Matter Your Expertise, You Belong on the Vehicle Design
Blog 
5/7/2014  6 comments
Design News recently published a Technology Roundup, which consists of a series of articles that help that multi-disciplined engineers get their jobs done. Regardless of which subsystem you’re responsible for, we all know that there’s a “need to know” on just about the entire vehicle. Hence, you’ll likely find this series of articles quite informative.
Slideshow: Robotic Renovation at International Space Station
Blog 
5/6/2014  22 comments
Last month, NASA launched the rocket carrying the SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Robots aided in its berthing on the ISS, and satellite-launching robots will be sent up later this year.
RoboClam Digs Deep to Monitor Ocean Floor
Engineering Materials 
5/5/2014  6 comments
A robotic razor clam -- actually a digging robot -- burrows into sand with high efficiency.
12 Engineering Toys for Your Youth
Blog 
5/1/2014  30 comments
A review of some of today's top engineering toys shows a wide range of possibilities for budding engineers.
Video: Robotic Rock Star Jam Session
Blog 
5/1/2014  5 comments
The talented swarming robots that danced to light and music at Cannes in 2012 have learned how to play Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Star Spangled Banner, and The Carol of the Bells.
Wind Power Is Getting Big
Blog 
4/30/2014  31 comments
National Instruments is helping Clemson University test a 15 MW wind turbine, the largest for the wind industry.
A FIRST Cinderella Story
STEM Connection 
4/24/2014  15 comments
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.
10 Technologies That Make Us Super-Human
Blog 
4/22/2014  57 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.
Bionic Olympic Games Set for 2016
News 
4/21/2014  12 comments
Cybathlon is an Olympic-style competition for those with bionic prosthetics.
World Demand for Service Robots Still Rising
Blog 
4/21/2014  18 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  20 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.
'Control, Control, You Must Learn Control'
Guest Blogs 
4/18/2014  5 comments
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
10 Engineering Toys From Your Youth
Blog 
4/17/2014  81 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.
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In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
Mac Cameron of Stratasys describes the company’s Connex3 technology, which allows users to 3D-print complex parts in one build with no assembly required.
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