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

New cellular imaging paves way for cancer treatment

Researchers at the Universities of York and Leiden have pioneered a technique that uses fluorescent imaging to track the actions of key enzymes in cancer, genetic disorders, and kidney disease. Scientists hope this new development will aid drug design for new anti-cancer, inflammation, and kidney disease treatments. It will also provide diagnostic tools for disease identification and allow medical professionals to measure the effectiveness of drug treatment regimes in an easy laboratory manner.

Posted in: News, Imaging
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Sound-Off: How Does Recycled Powder Impact a 3D-Printed Part?

In the additive manufacturing process, leftover powder is often recycled for the next job. Do the raw materials degrade with time and exposure?

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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Sound-Off: Who is Using 3D Printing for Thermal Management?

By reducing size and weight, 3D-printed parts provide an opportunity to improve thermal control systems. So which major industries are leading the way and using additive manufacturing to stabilize product temperatures?

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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Nanotube Yarns Generate Electricity When Stretched

Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and South Korea’s Hanyang University have developed tiny, high-tech yarns that generate electricity when stretched or twisted. The nanoyarns, constructed from hollow carbon nanotubes, create current when coated with an ionically conducting material — even a simple mixture of table salt and water.

Posted in: News, News, Energy, Energy Harvesting
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From Seawater to Drinking Water? Nanotubes Upgrade Desalination Efforts

Looking to nature for inspiration, scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Northeastern University have used carbon nanotubes to mimic the water-filtering proteins of the body. The super-thin graphene cylinders improve water desalination efforts and support a new generation of high-flux membranes.

Posted in: News, Composites, Materials
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Harmonic Air Motor Offers Very High Efficiency

Currently available air motors have many advantages over electric motors. They are more compact, lighter-weight, instantly reversible without sparking, create no heat buildup, are undamaged by stalling or overloading, and supply extremely broad torque and speed range. Generally available commercial air motors, however, have only 5% to 20% of ideal efficiency.

Posted in: News, Motion Control, Motors & Drives
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Robotic Gripper Cleans Up Space Debris

Currently there are about 500,000 pieces of human-made debris in space, orbiting our planet at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. This debris poses a threat to satellites, space vehicles, and astronauts aboard those vehicles. However, cleaning up the debris is problematic. For example, suction cups don’t work in a vacuum, and traditional sticky substances like tape are largely useless because the chemicals they rely on can’t withstand extreme temperature swings.

Posted in: News, Motion Control, Robotics
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Wireless Magnetic Field Powers Folding Robots

A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University has created battery-free folding robots that are capable of complex, repeatable movements powered and controlled through a wireless magnetic field. The system requires only basic, passive electronic components on the robot to deliver an electric current, and the structure of the robot itself takes care of the rest.

Posted in: News, Motion Control, Robotics
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Sound-Off: What is Live Tooling?

When features need to be removed from a product, manufacturers often use a subtractive process known as CNC machining. In a Tech Briefs presentation last week, engineer Tony Holtz made a case for a more “Rapid” method.

Posted in: News, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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The Next 3D-Printed Part: A Hack?

See what’s new on Tech Briefs, including a three-layer way of securing the growing number of 3D-printed parts being placed in today’s vehicles and airplanes.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling
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