News

Help NASA Improve Robonaut's Vision

To improve a robot's ability to "see", the fix is in the code.

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Micrchip Enables Palm-Sized Radar Camera

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a chip that allows new radar cameras to fit into the palm of your hand.

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High-Precision Robot Installs Webb Telescope Mirrors

The James Webb Space Telescope team is installing telescope mirror segments using a high-precision robotic arm. To precisely install the segments, the robotic arm can move in six directions to maneuver over the telescope structure. While one team of engineers maneuvers the robotic arm, another team of engineers simultaneously takes measurements with lasers to ensure each mirror segment is placed, bolted, and glued perfectly before moving to the next.

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Soft Electronics Change the Way Robot Fingers Move

A new soft robotic gripper made out of rubber and stretchable electrodes can bend and pick up delicate objects like eggs and paper. It uses electroadhesion – flexible electrode flaps that act like a thumb-index gripper – to pick up fragile objects of arbitrary shape and stiffness, like an egg, a water balloon, or paper.

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Algorithm Analyzes Vibrations to Monitor Machinery Health

An artificial intelligence algorithm was developed that greatly increases accuracy in diagnosing the health of complex mechanical systems. Typical vibration analysis searches for anomalies in the vibration of machinery such as engines and gearboxes. These changes in vibration can signal wear and future maintenance needs long before the machinery fails.

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Robotic Drones to 'Print' Emergency Shelters

Researchers from the University of Bath, Imperial College, and University College London have developed robotic drones designed to "print" emergency shelters. The flying robots will autonomously assess and manufacture building structures to help areas suffering from natural disasters.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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40th Anniversary Reader Contest Winners

In the 1960s, the newly formed NASA began issuing single-sheet reports on the commercially significant technologies the agency was developing in the course of R&D being conducted for the space program – a mandate from Congress. In 1976, NASA turned those single-sheet reports into a magazine format called NASA Tech Briefs.

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NASA Uses Electric Propulsion in Experimental Plane

NASA is researching ideas that could lead to developing an electric propulsion-powered aircraft that would be quieter, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly than today's commuter aircraft. The proposed piloted experimental airplane is called Sceptor, short for the Scalable Convergent Electric Propulsion Technology and Operations Research. The concept involves removing the wing from an Italian-built Tecnam P2006T aircraft and replacing it with an experimental wing integrated with electric motors.

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Graphene Composite Could Keep Wings Ice-Free

A thin coating of graphene nanoribbons in epoxy developed at Rice University has proven effective at melting ice on a helicopter blade. The lab melted centimeter-thick ice from a static helicopter rotor blade in a -4° F environment. When a small voltage was applied, the coating delivered electrothermal heat – called Joule heating – to the surface, which melted the ice.

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The Fourth Revolution in Manufacturing

The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, is all about going digital. But the term – and the basic idea behind it – are not new. First used in 2011 at Hannover Fair in Germany, the term Industry 4.0 originates from a question posed by the German government to its country’s manufacturing industry leaders: What is the next stage of evolution for manufacturing?

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