Video: Temporary Tats Harvest Energy from Sweat
Blog 8/29/2014 19 comments Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 8/28/2014 13 comments The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
Update: Converting Plastics to Energy Could Boost US Reserves
Engineering Materials 8/27/2014 23 comments Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
Siemens' Intosite Augments Tecnomatix PLM Platform
CAD/CAM Corner 8/21/2014 4 comments Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
Report: Metamaterials Will Partly Depend on Additive Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 8/20/2014 8 comments Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
The ‘Holy Grail’ for Lithium-Based Batteries
Blog 8/19/2014 9 comments Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
How to Machine Aerospace-Grade Composites
News 8/18/2014 18 comments UK researchers have come up with a method for machining aerospace-grade, carbon fiber-reinforced composites, along with high-strength aerospace alloys, using an ultrasonically assisted machining device. It also works on high-strength aerospace alloys.
Can Plastic Bearings Outperform Metal Ones?
Blog 8/6/2014 7 comments Plastic bearings are replacing metal in some pretty tough jobs. Sometimes they're equally effective and reliable, and sometimes they actually outperform those parts. We'll tell you all about how this is possible in an upcoming Design News Focus on Fundamentals course.
Update: Intelligent Composites for Structural Monitoring
Engineering Materials 8/5/2014 5 comments Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
Teardown: Amazon Fire Phone
News 8/1/2014 29 comments Watch as we teardown Amazon's Fire Phone -- the company's first smartphone, designed to compete with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.
Made w/Code Initiative Trains Female Techies for Google's Ranks
CAD/CAM Corner 7/31/2014 10 comments At this year’s Google I/O, the spotlight was pointed on gender inequality in the high-tech industry. Google has established a new initiative that it hopes will even out the playing field, Made w/Code. Part of this initiative will fund free online courses in basic coding.
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.
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.
Smartwatch Wars: LG G Watch
Blog 7/15/2014 7 comments The LG G Watch is a smartwatch that was released by LG on June 25. It runs the Android-based Android Wear OS. See how it compares to Samsung's Gear Live, released the same day.
Smartwatch Wars: Samsung Gear Live
Blog 7/14/2014 8 comments The Samsung Gear Live is an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced and released by Samsung and Google on June 25, 2014. Join us today as we take a look inside. Then, come back tomorrow as we tear open the LG G Watch to see how it compares.
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.
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.
Smart Bracelet Keeps Tabs on Your Cell
Blog 7/10/2014 13 comments Early wearable technology has come in the form of clothing, such as shirts with sensors for monitoring sleep or exercise levels. But jewelry-inspired technology is starting to emerge as the next innovation in smart wearables.
DARPA Brings Mobile Hotspots to Soldiers
Blog 7/9/2014 5 comments In an effort to bring a mobile hotspot to soldiers serving in remote locations, DARPA is looking to outfit UAVs with a "millimeter-wave communications backhaul network" capable of providing 1 Gbps.
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.
iPod Touch 5th Gen: The Guts & the Glory
Blog 7/7/2014 11 comments Apple has quietly introduced an updated version of the iPod Touch 5th Generation 16 GB. Join us as we explore the newest addition to the iPod Touch family. Ladies and gentlemen, we present the iPod Touch 5th Generation 16 GB 2014 teardown.
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.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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.