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2013 Golden Mousetrap Awards: Who Will Reign in the Automation Circle?
Blog 
1/17/2014  Post a comment
The 2013 Golden Mousetrap Award finalists have been announced, and it's just a few short weeks until the winners will be revealed during the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calif. Do you have your tickets yet?
Slideshow: NASA's Ball Bots Explore Titan
Blog 
1/10/2014  21 comments
The latest NASA exploration robots are the Super Ball Bots, and they sort-of look like spheres, but are constructed quite differently from rigid models. These tensegrity-based bots are being designed to go to Titan.
An Evolution in Industrial Robots
Product News 
1/6/2014  5 comments
Customer focus on total cost of ownership is shaping robotic offerings, along with the need for increased payload capacities and greater flexibility.
Slideshow: Nautical Robots Ride Out the Storm
Blog 
1/2/2014  38 comments
Our latest crop of nautical robots are a talented lot. They include a new and growing category of recreational, as well as professional, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and some that look like or emulate the movements of fish, turtles, or octopus.
ABB Adds More Human Intelligence to Industrial Robots
Product News 
1/2/2014  4 comments
ABB has consolidated software that previously was available separately into an Integrated Force Control package that gives industrial robots more intelligent tactile sensing technology.
Slideshow: Building a Better Human
Blog 
12/20/2013  19 comments
Prosthetic limbs and other artificial body parts have come a long way in the last 10 to 20 years, and many on the market and under development today can restore nearly the same functions as the human body parts they’re replacing, or even improve them.
ATX West: Major Manufacturing Show Comes to Anaheim in February
Blog 
12/19/2013  9 comments
ATX West will display manufacturing tech in Anaheim February 11 through 13.
NASA Wants Back in the Space Game
Blog 
12/18/2013  33 comments
NASA's technology developments point to a hot desire to get back into human-based space travel.
Survey: Development Boards Reduce Need for Custom PCB Design
Guest Blogs 
12/18/2013  2 comments
A recent survey conducted by CadSoft found that engineers involved in PCB design are increasingly targeting a variety of applications, with some of the most popular including control systems, open hardware, and robotics.
Eraser or Sledge Hammer? You Decide
Guest Blogs 
12/17/2013  15 comments
Conducting design research up front reduces your risk of problems occurring downstream. As you move through the R&D process, you can start investing more money more confidently.
Slideshow: Composites Go to Mars on MAVEN Spacecraft
Engineering Materials 
12/13/2013  3 comments
A spacecraft on its way to Mars is carrying core structures made with carbon-fiber composites. Launched November 18, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is the first designed for exploring and understanding the red planet's upper atmosphere.
NASA Readies Robonaut for Planetary Environments
Blog 
12/12/2013  12 comments
NASA's Robonauts are being developed for inter-planetary travel, and to take over for astronauts when the work becomes too dirty or dangerous.
Slideshow: Supermarket Baxter Robot Learns to Check Your Eggs
Blog 
12/11/2013  29 comments
An industrial robot known for its safety around humans has been programmed to work a checkout lane and choose how it accomplishes certain tasks.
Is it a Human, a Robot, or an Android?
Blog 
12/10/2013  34 comments
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
Bionic Man Shows What’s Humanly Possible With Artificial Medical Technology
Features 
12/10/2013  30 comments
London-based robotics company Shadow Robot says two thirds of the human body can be replaced with artificial materials. Enter the Bionic Man.
Google Me a Robot
Blog 
12/9/2013  26 comments
Google is developing robots for manufacturing, assembly, and warehouse tasks.
Managing Mechatronics Design Complexity With PLM
Features 
12/6/2013  5 comments
Improving product quality requires an integrated product lifecycle management approach that combines mechanical, electronics, software, and simulation data into a single collaborative environment.
NI's Dr. T to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Blog 
12/6/2013  15 comments
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Factory Automation Design & the AC-DC Equation
Features 
12/5/2013  4 comments
It is important to keep the end goal in mind when determining the best motor for an application.
Slideshow: These Bots Were Made for Walking
Blog 
12/4/2013  52 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.
There's Still Time to Vote for Gadget Freak of the Year
Gadget Freak 
12/3/2013  5 comments
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
Simplifying Cable Specification
Features 
12/3/2013  4 comments
Knowing how to properly spec industrial cable can minimize factory operation downtime.
The 3 Categories of Measurement Systems
Guest Blogs 
12/3/2013  2 comments
Real-time control systems are everywhere and they require accurate measurement.
The Importance of Mentors
Blog 
11/27/2013  42 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.
Gadget Freak of the Year: Meet the Finalists
Gadget Freak 
11/25/2013  17 comments
Meet the winners from the six rounds of Gadget Freak of the Year semi-final competitions. The winner of this group becomes Gadget Freak of the Year.
Manufacturing Is Officially Coming Home
Blog 
11/22/2013  26 comments
Manufacturers are investigating a new great location for their plants: North America.
Slideshow: DIY Robots With Modular Robotics’ MOSS Dev Kit
Blog 
11/14/2013  7 comments
Modular Robotics is offering a development kit that lets people build their own custom robots using modular building blocks that fit together via magnets and allow for complex designs and movements.
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.
Keep an Eye on Hydraulic Transmission Lines
Guest Blogs 
11/7/2013  2 comments
Neglected transmission lines leads to poor performance and instability.
All I Really Need to Know About Engineering, I Learned From Star Trek
Guest Blogs 
11/6/2013  32 comments
Since its premiere in 1966, the television program Star Trek has inspired multiple generations of young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.
Simulink Offers Easy, Graphical Programming for Raspberry Pi & Arduino
CAD/CAM Corner 
11/5/2013  4 comments
At the Open Hardware Summit, we saw that MathWorks' Simulink allows you to debug your model (embedded software) before deploying it onto hardware.
Slideshow: Robots Turn Housekeepers
Blog 
11/4/2013  28 comments
Companies such as iRobot and Toyota have developed robotic helpers that not only assist with household chores, but also serve as robotic companions.
Hazardous Situations Require a Dependable Brake
Product News 
11/4/2013  1 comment
Safety is an important factor when deciding on the best brake for your application.
Slideshow: Robots Tackle Surprising Tasks
Blog 
10/31/2013  22 comments
Robots from LEGO, Panasonic, Murata, Segway, and Toyota are among a fleet that is working to make the lives of soldiers, the elderly, and even autistic children better.
Teardown: Inside the Anki Drive System
Product News 
10/30/2013  7 comments
The folks at iFixit.com are at it again, this time tearing into the Anki Drive System. Come along for the ride.
Slideshow: Advances in Smart Shopping
Blog 
10/30/2013  23 comments
The integration of sensors and QR codes are playing a big part in the new wave of smart shopping solutions.
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.
Enter the Scary Door... If You Dare!
Blog 
10/28/2013  10 comments
As Halloween draws near, haunted attractions employ the latest technology -- pneumatic actuators and IR sensors -- to up the fear factor.
Slideshow: Packaging Robots Become Superhuman
Blog 
10/24/2013  21 comments
ABB, Yaskawa, and Cognex were just some of the companies that had innovative packaging robots (think Rethink Robotics' Baxter) on display during PackExpo, held in Las Vegas last month.
Valveless Hydraulics Cuts Fuel Consumption in Construction Vehicles
Blog 
10/24/2013  21 comments
Technology developed at Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering hinges on the ability to eliminate the valves typically used to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems.
How to Be a 'Doctor of Engineering' Without Going to Grad School
Guest Blogs 
10/22/2013  21 comments
The process of differential diagnosis, as practiced by physicians, provides a framework for thinking about problem solving in many contexts, of which engineering is just one.
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.
Bud Industries' Board-Ganizer Dev Kit Keeps Wires in Check
Blog 
10/17/2013  6 comments
Bud Industries' Board-Ganizer multi-development board enclosure kit allows users to layout and assemble up to three PCBs/SBCs and shields along with a single breadboard.
MIT's ConceptNet Helps Advance Artificial Intelligence
Blog 
10/15/2013  3 comments
The idea behind MIT's ConceptNet is to give systems and technical devices a better understanding of the human language.
Reader Vote Round 4: Gadget Freak of the Year
Gadget Freak 
10/14/2013  12 comments
Design News and Allied Electronics are looking to crown the first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year, and we need help from you, our readers.
Tactile Sensing: Humanoid Robots With a Sense of Touch
Guest Blogs 
10/11/2013  21 comments
Bots like iRobot's Roomba and Rethink Robotics's Baxter are at the forefront of humanoid robot development.
Teardown: Fitbit Flex
Product News 
10/3/2013  19 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.
Cold Shoulder Leaves Engineer Hot
Made by Monkeys 
10/3/2013  33 comments
After getting presented with every possible solution, the company decided to reject them all.
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.
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Eric Chesak created a sensor that can detect clouds, and it can also measure different sources of radiation.
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.
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
Rockwell Automation recently unveiled a new safety relay that can be configured and integrated through existing software to program safety logic in devices.
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