Special Coverage

Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water
Computer Chips Calculate and Store in an Integrated Unit
Electron-to-Photon Communication for Quantum Computing

Surface Texturing for Improved Medical Device Strength

Today’s implantables are highly engineered assemblies with multiple complex elements that require innovative materials and sophisticated manufacturing. The development and use of new and novel materials and processes have enabled advances in both medical device performance and patient safety. Whether it’s a lighter material, a smoother surface, or a process that can be made automated and repeatable, advanced technologies such as scratch-free surfaces or specialized coatings for stimulation can help you extend or improve the life of your implantable device.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Medical
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Technical Webinar Series from the Editors of TBMG: Integrating Motion Control for Safe Robot Operation

Manufacturing is changing. Robots and autonomous systems are used in more and more applications every day – many in safety-critical settings. No longer are robots kept in cages; they are working side-by-side with their human co-workers. Ensuring the safety of both robots and humans is vital and must be addressed early in the design stage. Designing robots for these safety-critical applications requires careful consideration of all aspects of the system, including proper motion control technologies that enable robots to maneuver in tight spaces originally designed for humans. Modifying standards for robot safety and human/robot interaction also must be a continuous process as these systems "learn."

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Motion Control
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High Performance Long Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials

Long fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites are the go to material for structural components in applications that push the envelope of what plastics can do, even replacing metals.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Materials
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MDSAP and a MDSAP Audit Experience

The Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) is a new medical device auditing plan with potential for several advantages. This discussion addresses an actual MDSAP audit experience and demonstrates how the organization dealt with its complexities. The MDSAP program is described including country involvements. Audit personnel and experiences are discussed. Example documents are described. An example hourly schedule is presented. The observation rating system is described and example audit finding are presented. Differences compared to and FDA audit are considered. The MDSAP is the biggest change in medical device regulations since the introduction of the European MDD in the 1990’s. Time will tell whether MDSAP will ultimately lead to a better quality in design, manufacturing, and regulatory control.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Bio-Medical, FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Medical
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Infrared 3D Scanner Measures Like Human Vision

With the new infrared 3D scanner, people can be measured without disturbing projections. (© Photo Fraunhofer IOF)

A 3D scanner, with a resolution of one million pixels and real-time data processing, operates using measuring technology that works in a similar way to human vision. To detect an object, periodic patterns are projected onto the surface using a specially developed near-infrared projector. A sequence of different patterns is projected in rapid succession in order to record as many measurement points as possible by the two cameras.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

This week’s Question: Today’s lead INSIDER story described a potentially new way of building Mars habitats. What do you think? Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials
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High-Efficiency Power Converter for the Internet of Things

Researchers from MIT’s Microsystems Technologies Laboratories (MTL) have designed a new power converter that maintains its efficiency at currents ranging from 100 picoamps to 1 milliamp.

Internet of Things sensors will have to operate at very low powers to extend battery life for months, or make do with energy harvested from the environment. But that means that they’ll need to draw a wide range of electrical currents. Researchers from MIT developed a new step-down power converter that features a variable clock that can run switch controllers at a wide range of rates.

Posted in: News, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy
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Self-Charging Battery Could Make Chargers Obsolete

New technology developed by Hydro-Québec and McGill University is capable of harvesting and storing energy using light – a self-charging battery. To create the light-charged batteries, a standard cathode from a lithium-ion battery can be “sensitized” to light by incorporating photo-harvesting dye molecules.

Posted in: News, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage
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New Device Harnesses Heat to Power Computers

The thermal diode may allow computers to use heat as an alternate energy source. (Karl Vogel/Engineering)

One of the biggest problems with computers is keeping them cool so they don’t overheat. University of Nebraska–Lincoln engineers developed an alternative energy source that would allow computing at ultra-high temperatures. The nano-thermal-mechanical device, or thermal diode, could be used in space exploration, for exploring the core of the earth, for oil drilling, or in applications requiring calculations and data processing in real time in places where computers have not been able to function.

Posted in: News, Energy Harvesting, Thermoelectrics
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Architectures for Implementing a Hardware-in-the-Loop System

Safety, availability, or cost considerations can make it impractical to perform all the necessary tests with the complete embedded control system. Using hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation, you can simulate the parts of the system that pose these challenges. By thoroughly testing the embedded control device in a virtual environment before proceeding to real-world tests of the complete system, you can maintain reliability and time-to-market requirements in a cost-effective manner even as the systems you are testing become more complex. Download this whitepaper to find out more about implement a HIL system into your test environment.

Posted in: White Papers, Automotive, Electronics & Computers, Test & Measurement
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