News

Will we drive on piezoelectric highways?

Today's lead INSIDER story showcased efforts from Lancaster University to create road-ready piezoelectric tiles. The electricity generated from the ceramics (and the vehicles driving over them) could someday be used to power street lamps and traffic lights.

What do you think? Will we drive on piezoelectric highways?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Ceramics, Materials
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Sound-Off: Which Vehicle Power-Plant Choices Will Win in 2020?

Today's vehicles feature traditional internal combustion engines, hybrid, plugin, and electric drivetrains. A reader asks: "Which power-plant choice will take the lead in 2020?"

Posted in: News, Automotive, Power Transmission
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Thin Photodetector Increases Performance Without Adding Bulk

In today’s increasingly powerful electronics, tiny materials are a must as manufacturers seek to increase performance without adding bulk. Smaller also is better for optoelectronic devices — like camera sensors or solar cells — which collect light and convert it to electrical energy. Think, for example, about reducing the size and weight of a series of solar panels, producing a higher-quality photo in low lighting conditions, or even transmitting data more quickly.

Posted in: News, Optical Components, Photonics, Sensors
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Single-Photon Emitter Holds Promise for Quantum Info-Processing

Los Alamos National Laboratory has produced the first known material capable of single-photon emission at room temperature and at telecommunications wavelengths. These carbon nanotube quantum light emitters may be important for optically-based quantum information processing and information security, while also being of significant interest for ultrasensitive sensing, metrology and imaging needs and as photon sources for fundamental advances in quantum optics studies.

Posted in: News, Photonics
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Laser Pulses Produce Sharp Images of Organs in Motion

Researchers have developed a photoacoustic imaging technique that uses lasers to create detailed ultrasound images in live animals. The method allows for complete internal body scans with enough spatiotemporal resolution to see active organs, circulating cancer cells, and brain function.

Posted in: News, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems
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Introducing the 2017 OEM Photonics & Imaging Directory

Looking for new cameras, lasers, or optics? Our 2017 OEM Photonics & Imaging Directory, featured in the September issue of Tech Briefs, reviews essential vendors.

Posted in: News, Cameras, Imaging, Machine Vision, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics
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A Piezoelectric Highway? Engineers Take Another Test Drive

Researchers from Lancaster University are looking to pave the next generation of smart road surfaces — with piezoelectric ceramics. When embedded in road surfaces, the tiles convert vehicle vibration into electrical energy.

Posted in: News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Thermoelectrics, Ceramics, Materials
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To Watch the Warehouse, Researchers Turn to Drones

Despite the growing use of wireless radio frequency ID (RFID) tags, lost inventory still costs warehouses billions of dollars every year. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an aerial way of supplementing the RFID technology: small, safe drones.

Posted in: News, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors
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Will origami-inspired crawler robots support pipe inspection?

This week’s lead story featured an origami-inspired robot. Assistant professor Aimy Wissa sees possible pipe inspection applications for the crawler.

"Pipes have different kinds of diameters, and you want something that can fit in there with ease," Wissa said in our Tech Briefs Q&A.

What do you think? Will origami-inspired crawler robots support pipe inspection?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Robotics
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A Balancing Act: How Months in Space Impact Astronauts' Performance

When you arrive back on Earth after a year in space, you’re going to feel it.

NASA and Jacob Bloomberg, senior scientist in the Houston, TX- headquartered Johnson Space Center, have been trying to quantify exactly what those effects will be — and how 12 months of microgravity impact an astronaut’s ability to perform simple operational tasks like opening a hatch or climbing a ladder.

Posted in: News, Patient Monitoring, Monitoring
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