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Mechatronics
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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.
10 Ways Robots Are Better Than Us
Blog 
4/16/2014  34 comments
Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
Industry 4.0 Is Really My IIoT
Blog 
4/15/2014  3 comments
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
Your Customers May Be Clueless, but You Needn't Be
Guest Blogs 
4/11/2014  6 comments
It’s your job to find the right people, ask the right questions, to dig deeper, and properly prepare your users so they can provide you the most useful and productive answers possible.
'Einstein' Sparks STEM Initiative
STEM Connection 
4/9/2014  7 comments
Einstein in a Box inspires critical thinking with the actual doing and experiencing. They take the statement "inquiring minds want to know" to a whole new level.
Students Design Space Habitats, Tech for NASA
Blog 
4/9/2014  5 comments
NASA is once again calling upon college students to help the space agency design solutions for future space habitats and exploration systems through its Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.
Robots Aid in Search of Missing Malaysian Jet
Blog 
4/8/2014  22 comments
An underwater robot dispatched by Bluefin Robotics is on deck, ready to aid in the intensive search for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane that went missing in March.
Women in Industrial Design
Guest Blogs 
4/8/2014  Post a comment
The first Women in Industrial Design show is coming to San Francisco Design Week this June. The show is the first exhibit organized by the Women in Design section of the Industrial Designers Society of America, and the first exhibit to feature female industrial designers.
Slideshow: 15 Modern Inventions That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype
Blog 
4/7/2014  83 comments
From grocery delivery services to the Segway, here are 15 modern inventions that fell flat.
What Could Go Wrong When Outsourcing Product Development?
Guest Blogs 
4/7/2014  10 comments
To make sound outsourcing decisions, identify the functions and features, all of the must-haves, your new product requires. Then find a product development partner able to marshal the right technologies for each stage of development and use a proven process to ensure timely, cost-effective delivery.
Students Invent a Device to Save the Elderly
Guest Blogs 
4/4/2014  10 comments
The Nano Consultants are a group of high school engineering students from the Walker Career Center in Indianapolis, Ind. They are proud to announce their solution to this year's Phoenix Contact, Nanoline automation-solution Competition: RoboDose.
Mentoring Is the Key to a Competitive Robotics Team
STEM Connection 
4/3/2014  Post a comment
When a school like Boyle Heights’ Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles wants to enter into the high-tech world of competitive robotics, there are three things that are needed to support the project: money, students, and most importantly, skill.
Force-Controlled Finishing Adds Human Touch
Features 
3/31/2014  1 comment
Optimized, power-dense servomotor technology improves the automation of precise finishing and blending operations.
Teen Invents Artificial Arm Controlled by Bluetooth-Powered Brain Waves
STEM Connection 
3/28/2014  24 comments
Shiva Nathan, 15, built the prosthetic for his cousin in India, after she lost her arms in an explosion.
How Does an Engineer Predict Step Motor Pull-Out Torque?
Guest Blogs 
3/27/2014  2 comments
Pull-out torque curves are rarely available for actual application conditions.
Orbiting Solar Panels Beam Energy From Space
Blog 
3/26/2014  34 comments
Paul Jaffe, from the US Naval Research Laboratory, has built modules of satellites outfitted with solar panels and antennas to beam solar power from space.
My Life as a FIRST Robotics Mentor
STEM Connection 
3/25/2014  4 comments
When you experience the energy of FIRST through the students you’re mentoring, you discover that it’s one of the more fun things you can do with your spare time. I encourage you to find a team and help out. You’ll discover that the students who participate are first-rate, dedicated, responsible, and creative. And if you’re already involved with a FIRST team, thank you.
Slideshow: It’s a Simulated World
Blog 
3/24/2014  10 comments
Here's a quick look at the wide array of applications for simulation software tools.
Video: Virtual Reality Makes Human-Robot Interaction Safer
Blog 
3/20/2014  19 comments
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are trying to bridge the distance between humans and industrial robots, not in the real world, but in the virtual one. They have created a way to make these types of interactions safer through a virtual reality environment that enables humans to work closely with robots without being near them.
Slideshow: Robot Ants, Termites & Honeybees Get Autonomous
Engineering Materials 
3/19/2014  11 comments
We've found some swarms of robot termites, a robot modeled after a honeybee, and studies of ants to produce stronger robot joints and muscles.
Slideshow: View Automation's History, From George Washington to Robots Everywhere
Blog 
3/17/2014  10 comments
The history of automation begins in 1790 and roars through the 20th Century with stunning advances. One of the highlights was the Ford River Rouge Plant -- iron ore went into one end of the plant and a finished Model T came out the other end.
Knowing When to Say When: Product Retirement Strategies
Guest Blogs 
3/7/2014  9 comments
Knowing when and how to retire a product is as important to maximizing profits as knowing when to introduce new offerings.
Control Products Proliferate at Pacific Design Show
Blog 
3/5/2014  4 comments
A wide assortment of new automation and control products were on display at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this month.
Building a Drone Whirly Bird: Copter Mechanics
Blog 
3/5/2014  10 comments
The mechanical design of a helicopter drone involves attention to weight, strength, and vibration.
Machines Can’t Do What Engineers Do So Well
Guest Blogs 
3/5/2014  23 comments
Engineers are well positioned to be the leaders for innovation in this new age of machines. Human-centered design enables us to manage the vast amounts of information and the power of technology in solving the world’s problems.
Military Mechatronics Stores a Lethal Punch
Features 
3/5/2014  4 comments
A new weapon storage management system converts helicopters and single-engine aircraft for surveillance and precision strike missions.
My Opinion on Walking the STEM Walk
STEM Connection 
3/4/2014  19 comments
We are giving the First folks (and any associated parties) a mechanism to get their word out. If you're involved with First or have anything to say about the organization, let us know.
Border-Patrolling Bots Combat Drug Smugglers
Blog 
3/3/2014  9 comments
Applied Research Associates has delivered several of its Pointman Tactical Robots to the CBP in Tucson, which the agency is using to explore drainage tunnels that run between Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Mexico. These tunnels are out of sight from border surveillance and are increasingly being used for illegal activity.
DoD Awards $70M for Digital Manufacturing Open Research Lab
News 
2/27/2014  5 comments
As part of President Obama's promise to invest in innovation in American manufacturing, the US Department of Defense has awarded Chicago-based UI Labs $70 million to open the Digital Lab for Manufacturing, a research and commercialization institution.
Guardbot Rolls Into Position
Features 
2/27/2014  9 comments
An unmanned vehicle, the Guardbot is able to travel over most terrains, including snow, sand, mud, and water, for a wide variety of applications with special security needs.
Baxter Shows Off His Moves at ATX West
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2014  16 comments
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
Reshoring, TCO & DFMA
Guest Blogs 
2/25/2014  9 comments
With labor becoming a smaller part of most companies’ total cost and much of the cost-savings opportunities residing in lean and DFMA manufacturing, why endure the higher costs and negative aspects of offshoring?
Slideshow: What You Missed at Pacific Design & Manufacturing
Blog 
2/19/2014  22 comments
Thousands of companies came together at the Anaheim Convention Center last week to display their technologies during the Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, and WestPack shows, among others.
Pains & Gains on Tech Street
Blog 
2/14/2014  12 comments
Word on the showfloor at Pacific Design & Manufacturing reveals manufacturing trends.
First's Robotics Competition Highlights Aerial Assistance
Blog 
2/14/2014  3 comments
First, the nonprofit that runs a series of robotics competitions, showcased some past winners and the parameters of the current contest at SolidWorks World 2014.
Slideshow: Robots Are Taking Over the Plants
Blog 
2/13/2014  28 comments
Industrial robots are taking on a greater range of tasks, from picking up delicate items to running a clean food line.
Top 7 Skills for Management
Guest Blogs 
2/11/2014  18 comments
If you can transform yourself into a successful manager, you can heighten the productivity of your company, and thus establish a reputable business presence.
Video: Double Robotics Gives Telecommuters a Virtual Office Presence
Blog 
2/7/2014  14 comments
Once the topic of debate about its validity to the workplace, telecommuting has now become an integral and sometimes even necessary part of the modern work style.
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