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

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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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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Sound-Off: With High-Speed Data, How Important is Signal Integrity?

Modern avionics are highly dependent on reliable connectivity — and reliable interconnection systems. As data rates inevitably improve to address greater military requirements, how will the increase impact signal integrity?

Posted in: News, News, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense
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New battery coating could improve smart phones and electric vehicles

High-performing lithium-ion batteries are a key component of laptops, smart phones, and electric vehicles. Currently, the anodes, or negative charged side of lithium-ion batteries, are generally made with graphite or other carbon-based materials.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Precision work: Defect-free coatings for silicon spheres

The prototype kilogram is the unit of mass upon which the weight of a kilo is based. And it’s becoming increasingly lighter. The reason for this, however, is unknown. Now researchers are seeking alternatives for the platinum-iridium alloy artefact that is stored in a safe in Paris. The basic plan is to redefine the kilogram. In the future, a physical constant will replace the material kilogram.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future

As much as we complain about air travel, the fact is, flying has gotten considerably cheaper, safer, faster, and even greener, over the last 60 years.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Lab researchers 3D-print with high-performance carbon fiber

Lawrence Livermore National Lab researchers have become the first to 3D-print aerospace-grade carbon fiber composites, opening the door to greater control and optimization of the lightweight, yet stronger than steel, material. The research represents a "significant advance" in the development of micro-extrusion 3D-printing techniques for carbon fiber.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Pen Device Identifies Cancer in Seconds

Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have invented the MasSpec Pen that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds — more than 150 times as fast as existing technology. The instrument gives surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, helping improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

Posted in: News, Detectors
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