News

Sound-Off: How Does ‘Cold Forming’ Impact a Part?

The manufacturing process of "cold forming" applies force to a metal as it is staged in a die. The technology, used originally in the early 1900s to create artillery shells, supports the creation of a variety of sophisticated, small parts, including fasteners, pins, and screws. But how do the residual stresses caused by the process affect the life of the part?

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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Sound-Off: How Do Collaborative Robots Spot Human Operators?

In a “speed and separation” manufacturing scenario, a safe distance must be maintained between a collaborative robot and a human operator. When the gap reaches below a specific threshold, the cobot then initiates a monitored stop. But how does the robot “see” the human?

Posted in: News, Automation, Robotics
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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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Researcher Sees the Power of Solar Glasses

New eyeglasses from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology generate solar power. Featuring semitransparent organic solar cells, the eyewear powers a microprocessor and two small displays integrated into the solar glasses’ temples. In a Tech Briefs Q&A, one KIT researcher explains why the proof-of-concept is the first step to even smarter devices.

Posted in: News, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Solar Power, Detectors, Sensors
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Writing with Light: An ‘Etch A Sketch’ Electrical Circuit

Physicists from Washington State University (WSU) have used lasers to draw conductive circuits into a crystal. The achievement demonstrates a new kind of transparent, three-dimensional electronics: circuits that can be erased and reconfigured, like the drawings of an Etch A Sketch.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics
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Using Spider Silk, Surgeon Hits a Nerve

Christine Radtke, a Professor for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Austria’s MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, has 21 spiders. The silk obtained from the Tanzanian golden orb-weavers offers Radtke and her team a valuable material to repair nerve and tissue.

Posted in: News, News, Materials, Implants & Prosthetics
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Sound-Off: What’s Next for Optical Design Processes?

Mechanical engineers require a variety of tools to ensure the proper design of optical products like cell phones and autonomous vehicle sensor systems. In a presentation titled "Trends Driving Innovations in Optical Product Design," an attendee asked our expert: What will be integrated into the design process next?

Posted in: News, Optical Components, Optics
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Do you see augmented reality as a way of improving design processes?

A report last week concluded that the augmented reality (AR) market is expected to grow from $2.39 billion in 2016 to $61.39 billion by 2023. The research from the Hadapsar, India-based analyst firm MarketsandMarkets cites increasing demand for AR devices and applications in healthcare, retail, and e-commerce sectors.

AR plays a potential role for design engineers looking to model a product directly into an environment. What do you think? Do you see augmented reality as a way of improving design processes?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Imaging, Visualization Software, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
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Future Fashion Statement? New Material Generates Power from Human Motion

Vanderbilt University researchers developed an ultra-thin system that can harvest energy from the slightest of human motions — even sitting. Made from materials five thousand times thinner than a human hair, the technology may someday be woven into clothing to power personal devices.

Posted in: News, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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Electromagnetic Actuator Decouples Linear and Rotary Motions

A lightweight module for rapid, accurate, and versatile positioning of semiconductor chips features a novel electromechanical actuator that can move objects both linearly and rotationally. The technology was developed by researchers at the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (A*STAR SIMTech) and National University of Singapore (SIMTech-NUS) Joint Lab.

Posted in: News, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Positioning Equipment
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