Slippery Material System Can Start, Stop Liquids
News 4/17/2013 14 comments A new material system invented by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering is continuously "tunable" for transparency and wettability: it repels water or oil to a greater or lesser degree as it becomes more or less transparent.
Can EV Batteries Last 20 Years?
News 4/12/2013 45 comments Lithium-ion batteries for electric cars may last far longer than we’ve been led to believe, a battery expert told the American Chemical Society in a speech this week.
Car Radio Fires Up Check Engine Light
Sherlock Ohms 4/12/2013 19 comments Apparently the 2003 Saturn Vue has some interconnections between sensors that depend upon the integrity of the radio ground strap for proper operation of the engine and transmission control computers.
M2M Gives Eyes & Ears to the Enterprise
Features 4/12/2013 4 comments Just as mobile computing has transformed the lives of consumers, machine-to-machine telemetry is revolutionizing business operations in every field, from healthcare to manufacturing to transportation.
Reference Guide: Light Matters Vol 1 In certain environments, HBLEDs may be subject to corrosion… and failure. While this doesn't happen too often, it is something you should be aware of if the high-brightness LEDs (HBLEDs) in your application will be exposed to the air without the benefit of a suitable enclosure. Perhaps most surprisingly, this problem does not occur with the less-expensive, lowerbrightness "commodity" LEDs that are encased in hard epoxy such as those below.
Reference Guide: Light Matters Vol 2 Building a Low-Cost, HBLED-based Fiber- Optic Illuminator (Part 1) Recently I needed to design and build a dual channel, high-output fiber optic (FO) illuminator. In the spirit of "open disclosure", the unit is intended as an upgrade for a cherished vintage Vision Engineering "TS-3 Dynascope" stereo microscope in my home lab. It was a simple two-weekend project; but the optical, thermal and software development reflect many of the tasks you may encounter in production-level designs.
Reference Guide: Light Matters Vol 3 Good things often come in big packages, at least for certain Solid State Lighting (SSL) applications. A general distinction can be made between two basic types of lighting requirements.
Reference Guide: Light Matters Vol 6 From time to time, I see "glaring examples" of visually discomforting lighting. Glare is annoying at best and a safety hazard at worst. Understanding and managing it is important for well-designed lighting products. In this issue of I’ll explain a common metric used to quantify glare and present a mathematical model to predict it.
Reference Guide: Light Matters Vol 7 Building a better light bulb, especially one intended to replace the ubiquitous pear-shaped A19 incandescent, is not as easy as it might first appear.
Reference Guide: Special Digital Edition: Logic Devices for Automotive Logic for automotive applications is similar in lots of ways to logic designed for other applications. However, it's just as dissimilar, and for a host of reasons. In this Technology Roundup, you'll find a multitude of resources to help you better understand these issues, including what types of devices are available, where specifically they should and shouldn't be deployed, and how automotive technology differs from other applications.
Chip Suppliers Target Vehicle Complexity
Electronic News & Comment 4/2/2013 21 comments Chip makers are hoping a new breed of microcontrollers will begin laying the foundation for a solution to one of the auto industry’s most vexing design problems -- electronic complexity.
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.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.