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Prosthetic Arm Controlled by Imagining a Motion

Controlling a prosthetic arm by just imagining a motion may be possible through the work of Mexican scientists at the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies. First, it is necessary to know if there is a memory pattern in the amputee's brain in order to know how the arm moved. The pattern is then translated to instructions for the prosthesis.

Posted in: News

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Would You Use A Biometric System to Make Your Purchases?

Many consumers are making transactions today with contactless cards and mobile payments. Quixter, a biometric system developed in Sweden, allows consumers to make purchases quickly by reading vein patterns in their palm. The shopper holds his or her hand over the device after entering the last four digits of a phone number.

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Scott Jensen, Aerospace Technologist (AST) Electronics Engineer, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

Scott Jensen and his team developed the Valve Health Monitoring System (VHMS), a technology designed for detecting deterioration in the mechanical integrity of high-geared ball valves and linearly actuated valves. Beyond valve monitoring, the technology has also been effective at performing real-time verification for structural integrity of hydrogen barge dock facilities.

Posted in: Who's Who

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NASA Tests Robot Swarms for Autonomous Movement

NASA engineers and interns are testing a group of robots and related software that will show whether it's possible for autonomous machines to scurry about an alien world such as the Moon, searching for and gathering resources just as an ant colony does.

Posted in: News

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Coming Soon - Design and Optimization of Turbomachinery using NUMECA CFD

CFD simulations have played a vital role in helping engineers design efficient turbomachines. These simulations not only reduce prototyping cost but also help improve efficiency and performance. One challenge with these simulations is the engineering time required to get accurate solutions. Engineers spend tremendous amounts of time to generate a good quality mesh and then wait for several hours - if not for days - to get a converged solution.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars

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Water Splitter Runs on AAA Battery

Scientists at Stanford University have developed a low-cost, emissions-free device that uses an ordinary AAA battery to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis.  The battery sends an electric current through two electrodes that split liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the Stanford device are made of inexpensive and abundant nickel and iron.In addition to producing hydrogen, the novel water splitter could be used to make chlorine gas and sodium hydroxide, an important industrial chemical. Splitting water to make hydrogen requires no fossil fuels and emits no greenhouse gases. But scientists have yet to develop an affordable, active water splitter with catalysts capable of working at industrial scales."It's been a constant pursuit for decades to make low-cost electrocatalysts with high activity and long durability," said Stanford University Professor Hongjie Dai. "When we found out that a nickel-based catalyst is as effective as platinum, it came as a complete surprise."SourceAlso: Learn about a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell.

Posted in: Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Alternative Fuels, Green Design & Manufacturing, Materials, Metals, Energy, News

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Researchers Create Energy-Absorbing Material

Materials like solid gels and porous foams are used for padding and cushioning, but each has its own advantages and limitations.A team of engineers and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has found a way to design and fabricate, at the microscale, new cushioning materials with a broad range of programmable properties and behaviors that exceed the limitations of the material's composition, through additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. Livermore researchers, led by engineer Eric Duoss and scientist Tom Wilson, focused on creating a micro-architected cushion using a silicone-based ink that cures to form a rubber-like material after printing. During the printing process, the ink is deposited as a series of horizontally aligned filaments (which can be fine as a human hair) in a single layer. The second layer of filaments is then placed in the vertical direction. This process repeats itself until the desired height and pore structure is reached.The researchers envision using their novel energy-absorbing materials in many applications, including shoe and helmet inserts, protective materials for sensitive instrumentation, and in aerospace applications to combat the effects of temperature fluctuations and vibration.SourceAlso: Read more Materials tech briefs.

Posted in: News

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