Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
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

Warming Up to Cold Forming: An Alternative to Precision Machining?

Designing and manufacturing complex, precision parts can be difficult and costly. Often, Engineers default to traditional machining when designing precision metal parts, but are there other methods that are better suited? Find out if cold forming is the right manufacturing capability for your next project in this 30-minute high-level introduction.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Mechanical Components
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Introducing a Novel Spectral Analysis System for Measuring High-Performance Thin-Film Optical Filters

Alluxa offers and manufactures high-performance optical thin films that are used in wide ranging applications including life sciences, research, semiconductor and LIDAR. All of Alluxa's thin-film optical filters and mirrors are hard-coated using a proprietary plasma deposition process on equipment that was designed and built by our team. This allows us to repeatably produce the same high-performance optical thin films in all of our coating chambers.

Posted in: White Papers, Optics, Photonics
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RF Testing on Automotive Infotainment Devices

The car radio has evolved from a cassette player to a state of the art entertainment system, keeping the driver and passengers connected on the go. The entertainment system brings a design challenge in that communication and broadcast standards have to coexist within a small area in the dashboard of a car. Since the frequencies defined by the RF standards are in close proximity, it is very important that the frequencies coexist and since multiple standards need to be supported in the single assembly, RF modules are placed next to each other on the assembly line. Other than testing the entertainment center in the car, the antennas inside the car are subjected to cross-coupling effects with passengers mobile devices. To ensure the RF performance of the infotainment system, all of these scenarios need to be thoroughly tested. This application note highlights some of the RF measurement challenges and introduces equipment that is required for relevant RF characterization of car infotainment devices.

Posted in: White Papers, Automotive, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Will "Electric Clothing" appeal to consumers?

Last week's INSIDER lead story featured an ultra-thin energy harvester from Vanderbilt University. Made from materials five thousand times thinner than a human hair, the technology may someday be woven into clothing to power personal devices. What do you think? Will "Electric Clothing" appeal to consumers?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage
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New 3D printing method promises superior medical implants for millions

For the millions of people every year who have or need medical devices implanted, a new advancement in 3D printing technology developed at the University of Florida promises significantly quicker implantation of devices that are stronger, less expensive, more flexible, and more comfortable than anything currently available.

Posted in: News, News, Medical
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Study points way to better implantable medical devices

Medical devices implanted in the body for drug delivery, sensing, or tissue regeneration usually come under fire from the host's immune system. Defense cells work to isolate material they consider foreign to the body, building up a wall of dense scar tissue around the devices, which eventually become unable to perform their functions.

Posted in: News, News, Medical
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Flexible glass made for tiny medical devices

Brigham Young University researchers have developed new glass technology that could add a new level of flexibility to the microscopic world of medical devices.

Posted in: News, News, Medical
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Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain

Traditional robots often feature isolated mechanical joints. These discrete components limit a rover’s ability to traverse sand, stone, and other challenging environments. A team at the University of California San Diego has demonstrated a more flexible option: a soft robot that lifts its legs over obstacles and operates on a variety of terrains. The 3D-printed quadrupedal technology may someday support search-and-rescue missions requiring intelligent navigation capabilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control, Automation, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Terrain, Kinematics, Additive manufacturing, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles
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High-Temperature Actuators Bend as They “Breathe”

The mechanical components are made from films that expand and contract as they let oxygen in and out.

Extreme temperatures are hard for mechanical components to endure without degrading. To address the problem, researchers at MIT worked with several other universities to develop a new way to make actuators that could be used in exceptionally hot environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control, Automation, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Heat resistant materials, Materials properties, Test equipment and instrumentation
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3D-Printed Tensegrity Object Can Change Shape

The technology creates a large, lightweight, strong object that can be flattened and then expanded to its full size when heated.

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a way to use 3D printers to create objects capable of dramatic expansion. The technology could someday be used in applications ranging from space missions to biomedical devices. The new 3D-printed objects use tensegrity, a structural system of floating rods in compression and cables in continuous tension. The researchers fabricated the struts from shape memory polymers that unfold when heated.

Posted in: Briefs, Motion Control, Automation, Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Additive manufacturing, Fabrication, Materials properties, Polymers, Smart materials
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