MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) have the versatility to solve specialized problems, and the demonstration of that versatility continues at Sandia National Laboratories. Researchers there have devised an advanced gas-sampling procedure using picoliters of gas to check whether the atmosphere inside a MEMS device is pure.
A small commercial valve crushes a tiny object—the MEMS chip under
investigation—and feeds the released gases to a custom-built intake manifold.
Because the test mechanism requires only picoliters of gas, it can re-evaluate
dozens of times, using bursts of puffs of gas that it receives. This repetition
increases the final test's validity due to the repeated sampling and testing
during a 20-minute period, compared with the uncertain validity of a single test
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
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.
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