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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.
3D-Printing an Entire Car & a Bigger, Faster Commercial 3D Printer
Engineering Materials 
3/14/2014  16 comments
Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) is partnering with Local Motors to develop technology that will 3D-print an entire production-model car. A second deal with Cincinnati Inc. will develop a huge, very fast commercial 3D printer.
Slideshow: Helicopter Drones Are Everywhere
Blog 
3/11/2014  33 comments
Drone helicopters are getting used widely these days, from military deployment, to police crime scenes photography, to search and rescue.
Gadget Freak Review: Boeing's Self-Destructing Smartphone & Light Tracker to Improve Health
Gadget Freak 
3/7/2014  16 comments
This Gadget Freak review looks at Boeing's trusted smartphone device and a solar-powered light tracker designed to help improve your health.
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.
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.
Plastic Bearings Are Real & igus Is Proving It on a World Tour
Engineering Materials 
3/3/2014  15 comments
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
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.
The 'Servitization' of Aircraft Design
Guest Blogs 
2/26/2014  7 comments
Regardless of how each aircraft manufacturer ultimately measures success, they all grapple with the same basic question: What can we do to optimize our asset's availability for its intended use?
Slideshow: Why California Matters to the EV Market
Captain Hybrid 
2/25/2014  45 comments
California's Zero Emission Vehicle laws have been adopted by seven other states, and could bring 3.3 million electric vehicles to the road by 2025.
3D Printing Approaches End Production With Single, Multi-Materials
Engineering Materials 
2/25/2014  8 comments
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.
US Army Goes Green With Solar Energy
Blog 
2/24/2014  62 comments
The solar array at Fort Carson, Colo., which is part of the Army's largest microgrid installation, is part of an overall strategy to use solar power to cut costs and for other tactical purposes.
Revelations From the Manufacturing Show Floor
Blog 
2/24/2014  13 comments
Vendors on the floor of the Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show reveal their opportunities and challenges.
3D Printing Using Powder Metals: Choose the Right Process for the Right Application
Features 
2/19/2014  3 comments
Engineers are using additive manufacturing with powder metals to cut costs and cycle times in new product development, low volume manufacturing, and in-service product repair.
Gadget Freak Review: Simple Tool Seals Wounds, Construction Set for Straws, Electronic Wall Outlet Safe
Gadget Freak 
2/7/2014  10 comments
This Gadget Freak review looks at a simple device for sealing gunshot wounds, an open-source construction set that uses straws and cardboard to build shapes and objects, and a hidden electronic safe built into a wall.
Slideshow: Recycled Composites, Plastics Go Commercial
Engineering Materials 
2/7/2014  20 comments
Some plastics, like water bottle materials, are a lot easier to recycle than others, but progress is being made in materials availability. It's often spurred by the demands of big manufacturers.
America Makes Funds Second Wave of 3D Printing Projects
Engineering Materials 
2/6/2014  5 comments
The former National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute awarded funds to a second wave of 3D printing and additive manufacturing projects. They involve multiple processes, metal and polymer materials, and several companies we've discussed before.
Slideshow: Robot Salamanders, Snakes & Bugs; Creepy Defined
Blog 
2/4/2014  42 comments
Some of these robot bugs have very creepy, realistic movements. Many of the snakes and amphibians are designed for inspection or search and rescue operations, while the bug robots are more often aimed at working out specific theoretical problems.
3D Printing & Rapid Prototyping Added to Golden Mousetrap Awards
Engineering Materials 
2/3/2014  20 comments
The products and services in the materials and assembly category of the Golden Mousetrap Awards keep expanding. This year, we've added a new section: 3D printing and rapid prototyping materials, tools, and services.
Learning Labs Focus on Robotics & Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
1/30/2014  3 comments
At the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show next month UBM Canon is introducing Learning Labs. Here's what's up on the sessions covering robotics and manufacturing.
Slideshow: 25 Greatest Engineering Quotes
Electronic News & Comment 
1/29/2014  39 comments

From engineers and business executives to actors and cartoonists, we present insights on engineering from inside and outside the profession.

Carbon-Reinforced Compound Bests Metal Specs for Injection Molding
Engineering Materials 
1/29/2014  15 comments
RTP Company has developed carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic compounds for injection molding with specs that vie with metals in their stiffness and strength.
Software Will (Help) Make 3D Printing Metals in Space a Reality
Engineering Materials 
1/28/2014  19 comments
Granta Design's materials information management software has helped optimize materials and processes for additive manufacturing in the ESA's AMAZE program to make space-quality metal components in space.
Slideshow: Why Ford Was Able to Use Aluminum in F-150 Truck
News 
1/24/2014  44 comments
If the aluminum body in the new F-150 pickup is successful, Ford Motor Co. can thank the engineers at Aston Martin and Jaguar.
Learning Labs Focus on Materials & 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
1/24/2014  6 comments
Next month the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, and co-located events, will feature 30 two-hour Learning Labs. Here's the skinny on the sessions covering materials and 3D printing.
Google Buys Boston Dynamics: Is That a Good Thing?
Engineering Materials 
1/22/2014  28 comments
Google's expected target applications for its new robot division are in manufacturing and retailing, and its other robot purchases are right in line. So why did it buy Boston Dynamics, the leading-edge military robot company?
Altair Speeds Smartphone Drop Testing
Blog 
1/20/2014  23 comments
Altair has reduced drop-testing time in smartphones significantly with the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE). The company worked with LG Engineering to create a simulation model that puts a smartphone through its toughest test -- dropping it on a hard surface.
First 3D-Printed Metal Part Flies on UK Military Jet
Engineering Materials 
1/16/2014  23 comments
A 3D-printed metal aircraft end-production component has been successfully flown on a test flight conducted by BAE Systems for Britain's Royal Air Force.
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.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Metals in Space
Engineering Materials 
1/7/2014  24 comments
The European Space Agency (ESA) has begun a program for designing a large-scale 3D printer that will work in space to make high-performance metal components and even entire satellites.
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.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Shifts to End-Production Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
12/31/2013  14 comments
EOS is taking steps to establish additive manufacturing as an efficient process in industrial production. The shift comes as interest grows in several vertical industries to integrate AM technologies and processes into existing manufacturing flows.
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.
Slideshow: 3D Printed ABS & Nylon 12 Get Stronger, Tougher
Engineering Materials 
12/16/2013  2 comments
Stratasys has introduced two 3D printing materials stronger than their predecessors: the second generation of digital ABS for Objet Connex multimaterial 3D printers and FDM Nylon 12, which is designed for the company's Fortus 3D Production Systems.
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: NIOSH Gives Nanomaterials Handling Recommendations
Engineering Materials 
12/12/2013  1 comment
New materials handling guidelines from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health give recommended engineering controls for nanoscale materials, which just keep proliferating.
NASA Test Launches Planetary Vehicle
Blog 
12/10/2013  13 comments
NASA is developing Project Morpheus, a vehicle that can lift off and set itself down on planetary surfaces.
IEEE’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2014
Blog 
12/4/2013  16 comments
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
Amazon 'Octocopters' Face Technical Challenges
Electronic News & Comment 
12/3/2013  53 comments
Amazon.com's proposed drone-based package delivery scheme is achievable, but it could face significant technical hurdles before reaching the marketplace.
New Journal Covers Responsible Innovation
Blog 
11/20/2013  5 comments
The Journal of Responsible Innovation will offer practitioners and scholars a place to articulate, strengthen, and critique perspectives about the role of responsibility in research and development. It intends to provide a forum for discussions of ethical, social, and government issues related to innovation.
4D Printing Self-Assembled Shapes Using Shape Memory Plastics
News 
11/19/2013  13 comments
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have combined 3D printing on the Objet Connex multi-material 3D printer with making shape-memory composites, calling that process 4D printing.
Slideshow: Seismic Shifts in 3D Printing Materials
Engineering Materials 
11/15/2013  15 comments
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
Reducing Cost With ERP Automation
Guest Blogs 
11/13/2013  1 comment
Implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in aerospace and defense can prove valuable for the automation of activities currently performed manually.
Early Safety Consideration Speeds the Design Process
Blog 
11/12/2013  6 comments
Bringing safety into the design process early improves time to market.
Daylight Savings Foils Mouse-Less Machine
Made by Monkeys 
11/8/2013  22 comments
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Hazardous Situations Require a Dependable Brake
Product News 
11/4/2013  3 comments
Safety is an important factor when deciding on the best brake for your application.
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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.
Two students have created a voice-command system for our homes, based on the simple and affordable Raspberry Pi.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Texas Instruments is rolling out a new microcontroller that could make the design of sensor networks and data logging systems simpler and less costly.
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