10 of the World's Smartest Cities
Blog 7/21/2014 29 comments Major global metropolitan areas are implementing a vast number of technology, energy, transportation, and Internet projects to make the metropolis a friendlier, greener, safer, and more sustainable place to be.
Video: Teen Invents iPhone-Charging Insole
STEM Connection 7/14/2014 10 comments Angelo Casimiro, a 15-year-old living in the Philippines, has designed an insole that uses two pairs of piezoelectric discs that produce electricity when they bend inward. When a person steps down on the discs in the insole, they produce electricity. He used two sets of discs to produce double the amount of electricity that one set would allow.
10 Engineering-Friendly Foods
Blog 7/3/2014 38 comments Normally it’s chefs who find inspiration in food. But a number of clever engineers and inventors are doing the same these days, developing new materials, biofuels, ways to harvest energy, and other inventions by using common foods and food waste to create the foundation or impetus for their designs.
Giant Flow Battery Connects Solar to the Grid
Blog 6/9/2014 16 comments A number of companies and researchers are working on storing energy from renewable sources so it can be reused on a grand scale and connected to the traditional power grid. EnerVault is the latest company to develop a viable solution.
Slideshow: Airbus Launches All-Composite, All-Electric Plane
Engineering Materials 5/27/2014 79 comments Airbus Group's all-electric, all-composite training aircraft took its first public flight last month during the company's E-Aircraft Day in Bordeaux, France. The experimental aircraft was designed and built as a technology demonstrator for small planes used to train pilots.
Congress Is Working on an Energy Bill… Again
Guest Blogs 5/14/2014 6 comments Congress is once again working on the bi-partisan Shaheen-Portman bill that will bring forth many energy efficiency measures to add as many as 190,000 jobs and save as much as 12 quads of energy by 2030.
Would You Pay $30K for an Electric Car?
Automotive News 5/12/2014 103 comments Even if automakers cut the cost of the electric vehicle battery and reach the $30,000 target, big sales are hardly a foregone conclusion. There's still no guarantee that large percentages of mainstream buyers will bite.
Can Tesla's $5 Billion Bet Pay Off?
Automotive News 5/7/2014 37 comments Whether or not the much-publicized “Gigafactory” is successful, Elon Musk’s grand vision of a gargantuan battery plant may turn out to be one of the most ambitious manufacturing efforts in American business history.
Video: Glass-Paved Roads Provide Solar Power
Blog 4/30/2014 28 comments Scott and Julie Brusaw are the inventors of Solar Roadways, a project to develop solar panels durable enough to be driven on so they can replace asphalt or concrete surfaces of parking lots and roadways.
Solar Impulse 2 Flies New Materials
Engineering Materials 4/24/2014 26 comments Solar Impulse 2 -- a 100% solar-powered airplane -- has been completed. It features several advanced materials, some developed specifically for next year's attempted around-the-world flight.
3D Pictures of Huge, Self-Assembled DNA Structures
Engineering Materials 4/15/2014 5 comments Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
Fraunhofer Designs Flexible Energy Harvesters for Wearable Tech
Blog 4/2/2014 2 comments The increasing interest and development of wearable electronics also is calling for new types of power sources that are flexible and compact enough to fit into these devices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany are working on this problem with the design of a flexible energy harvester that can be manufactured through a low-cost printing process.
Slideshow: Bioplastics Concept Car Runs on Biofuel
News 3/28/2014 26 comments Plastics have been a big deal in automotive lightweighting for quite a while, but bioplastics not so much. Until now. The Biofore Concept Car, using biomaterials from Finnish manufacturer UPM and running on UPM's biodiesel, premiered at the Geneva International Motor Show earlier this month.
Slideshow: Drop-in Jet Biofuels Becoming a Reality
Engineering Materials 3/25/2014 16 comments Drop-in jet biofuels have started becoming a reality during the last year. Along with major deals between airlines, engine makers, and fuel producers, one main source may turn out to be renewable diesel already used in ground vehicles, which could make prices competitive with fossil jet fuels.
3D-Printed Wood – Really!
Engineering Materials 3/17/2014 42 comments Does it sound like magic? It's not. You can 3D-print with wood filaments right now, using a choice of colors and filament widths. Objects made from these materials range from things resembling plastic or lumber to stunningly beautiful art pieces that look just like the real thing.
EcoVolt Technology Transforms Beer Into Energy
Blog 3/13/2014 21 comments Boston-based Cambrian Innovation has developed a solution called EcoVolt that uses bioelectrochemistry to treat wastewater so it can be turned into electricity. The company is targeting the beverage industry to convert waste from making beer and wine into energy breweries and wineries can use to run their operations.
Slideshow: Considering the History of Electric Cars...
Automotive News 3/6/2014 39 comments California’s plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isn’t the first such undertaking and certainly won’t be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
Hospitals Require Efficient, Low-Cost Electrical Power Distribution
Guest Blogs 2/28/2014 1 comment Engineers use efficiency enhancing products in hospitals that help cut down on utility costs and increase the efficiency of power distribution across the board. These installation devices can be high-voltage transformers and other circuits that enable a facility to get continuous power supply.
The Tesla Fires Are Fixable
Automotive News 2/21/2014 58 comments By now, most followers of the electric car market know that another Tesla Model S caught fire in early February. The blaze happened in a homeowner’s garage in Toronto. After parking the car, the owner left his garage. Moments later, the smoke detector blared, the fire department was called, and the car was ruined. To date, no one knows why.
Slideshow: Pickups Roll at Chicago Auto Show
Electronics News 2/20/2014 38 comments The Chicago Auto Show has long been a haven for truck introductions, and this year’s edition was no exception. Chevrolet, Nissan, and Toyota all showed off new trucks, while competitors rolled out concept cars and production vehicles.
Obama Ratchets Up Support of Natural Gas Vehicles
News 2/6/2014 36 comments President Obama's State of the Union address last week contained a surprising reference to natural gas cars and trucks and omitted any mention of electric vehicles, leaving some to wonder whether the administration is embracing a slight shift in policy.
2013: Innovations in Automation & Control
Blog 1/27/2014 2 comments Each year, the Golden Mousetrap Awards offer the Design News editorial staff a chance to review the most innovative products of the previous year. In the automation and control area, the process also normally reveals some of the major trends in products and technologies that are making the biggest impacts in manufacturing, since the Golden Mousetrap is all about innovation and forwarding looking designs.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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