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Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
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Five-Fingered Robot Gets a Grip

Intricate tasks that require dexterous in-hand manipulation — rolling, pivoting, bending, and sensing friction — are a challenge for today's robots. A University of Washington team of computer scientists and engineers has built a robotic hand that performs dexterous manipulation and "learns" from its own experience. The five-fingered robot, for example, can spin a tube full of coffee beans without needing human direction.

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Students' Decelerator Design Wins NASA's 'Big Idea' Challenge

Students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took top honors in NASA’s first Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. The challenge: To increase the lift-to-drag ratio on the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) in ways that could potentially help NASA land heavier payloads. The HIAD inflatable device is designed to slow down a spacecraft upon atmospheric re-entry to Earth or other planets.

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'SkinTrack' Turns Lower Arm into Touchpad

A new wearable technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University could turn one's entire lower arm into a touchpad.

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NASA Tests 3D-Printed Rocket Fuel Pump

NASA tested a 3D printed rocket engine turbopump with liquid methane – an ideal propellant for engines needed to power many types of spacecraft for NASA’s journey to Mars. During the full-power test, the turbines generated 600 horsepower and the fuel pump got its “heartbeat” racing at more than 36,000 revolutions per minute, delivering 600 gallons of semi-cryogenic liquid methane per minute – enough to fuel an engine producing over 22,500 pounds of thrust.

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Flexible Silicone Sensors Enable Stepless Control Devices

Researchers have created flexible silicone sensors that make it easier to steplessly control devices such as a multifunction steering wheel that lets the driver control music, light, and ventilation at the touch of a finger. Multifunction steering wheels are standard in most automobiles today, and drivers can easily manipulate the cruise control and stereo without taking their hands of the wheel. However, the buttons are inflexible and the driver can often only switch something “on” and “off.”

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Beach Buoys Detect Water Contamination

Beachgoers may soon be able to know in a timely manner if the water is clean enough for swimming. The technology comes in the form of buoys that are deployed in the water near a beach. By combining statistical models with real-time data gathered by sensors embedded in the buoys, they provide quick and dependable information on water quality.

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Tactile Power Steering Senses Direction of Motorized Carts

Tactile handles forklifts, industrial trucks, and motorized carts are being developed that employ pressure sensors to detect the direction in which a user is pushing or pulling the cart. Workers can get a cart moving in the right direction with very little effort using the pressure sensors. Since the handles are equipped with sensors for both hands, a cart does more than just detect whether it is being pushed or pulled.

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