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Electricity Generator Mimics Trees

The biomimetic tree's leaves, modeled after cottonwood leaves, rely on piezoelectrical processes to produce electricity. (Photo by Christopher Gannon) Iowa State University scientists have built a device that mimics the branches and leaves of a cottonwood tree and generates electricity when its artificial leaves sway in the wind. The device is derived from biomimetics, or the use of artificial means to mimic natural processes. Such biomimetic technology could become a market for those who want to generate limited amounts of wind energy without the need for tall and obstructive towers or turbines.

Posted in: News, Energy Efficiency, Wind Power

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Energy Management System Cuts Hybrid Fuel Consumption by One-Third

Xuewei Qi and a team of UCR researchers are using vehicle connectivity and evolutionary algorithms to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have taken inspiration from biological evolution and the energy savings garnered by birds flying in formation to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by more than 30 percent.

Posted in: News, Energy Efficiency

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Why Your Leak Test Doesn’t Measure Up – and What Data Can Do About It

On the manufacturing line, the struggle to test for and address leaks that lead to faulty parts and warranty claims is nothing new — but rising expectations for product quality and reliability are putting leak tests to the test. How can quality engineers meet Industry 4.0 requirements for emission control, performance and reliability while coping with increased production volumes that demand shortened cycle times? Make the test better with data.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement

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How to Eliminate Over Half of All Design Errors Before they Occur

This whitepaper explores emerging Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies that significantly reduce the cost and effort of fixing requirements errors - freeing domain experts from tedious & time-consuming tasks.

Posted in: White Papers, Software

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Will telepresence drones take off?

This week’s Question: According to a recent application made public last week, Google is hoping to patent a "mobile telepresence system." The proposed drone is designed for collaboration with colleagues from remote locations. The technology will fly indoors and move from room to room, adjusting to unpredictable floor plans. What do you think? Will telepresence drones take off?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Robotics

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Light-Absorbent Material Keeps Buildings Cool

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a thin, flexible, light-absorbing material that absorbs more than 87 percent of near-infrared light. The technology could someday support the development of solar cells; transparent window coatings to keep cars and buildings cool; and lightweight shields that block thermal detection.

Posted in: News, Materials

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Data Logger Aids in Development of New Vehicles

A new data logger developed by Fraunhofer researchers simultaneously collects data from vehicles with combustion engines, electric drives, external sensors, and location data, and permits the development of new hybrid and electric vehicles. Once installed in a car, it records all the relevant operational data from the trips the car makes over a period of several weeks or months, enabling evaluation of how a car is used, including characteristics such as route profiles or driving style – when does the driver drive more cautiously, when more aggressively?

Posted in: News, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

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