January 2018

Blog : Electronics & Computers
Going for Gold: ‘Electro-Osmotic’ Ski Jacket Gets the Sweat Out
Going for Gold: ‘Electro-Osmotic’ Ski Jacket Gets the Sweat Out

As the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to begin next week, creators of a moisture-managing ski jacket are literally going for the gold.

Going for Gold: ‘Electro-Osmotic’ Ski Jacket Gets the Sweat Out
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth
Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth

An electrically-driven demolition probe originally funded by NASA enables a more precise, quieter fracturing method that its creators hope will give construction workers on...

Initially Moon-Bound, A New Demolition Probe Breaks Ground on Earth
INSIDER : Materials
Nanotube Fibers Made by Hand to Cut Production Time

A method developed at Rice University allows researchers to make short lengths of strong, conductive fibers from small samples of bulk nanotubes in about an hour. It can take grams of material and weeks of effort to optimize the process of spinning continuous fibers, but the new method cuts...

INSIDER : Software
Drones Learn Autonomous Flying by Imitating Cars and Bikes
Drones Learn Autonomous Flying by Imitating Cars and Bikes

The algorithm DroNet allows drones to fly completely by themselves through the streets of a city and in indoor environments. It produces two outputs for each single input image: a...

Drones Learn Autonomous Flying by Imitating Cars and Bikes
INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
Electric Propulsion for Nanorobots
Electric Propulsion for Nanorobots

Scientists have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. Traditional nanobots take minutes to carry out actions, sometimes even hours. Therefore, efficient molecular assembly lines...

Electric Propulsion for Nanorobots
Question of the Week : Data Acquisition
Have you implemented Bluetooth- or Internet-enabled data logging?

This week's INSIDER featured a story about one company's transition to Internet-enabled data logging. The deployed system allowed the repair center’s users to remotely analyze a part’s vibration measurements. We want to hear from you. Have you implemented Bluetooth- or...

News : Imaging
Inspired by Star Wars, BYU Researcher Floats 3D Images in Thin Air
Inspired by Star Wars, BYU Researcher Floats 3D Images in Thin Air
A BYU professor and his team have found a way to take the 3D displays of science fiction and make them a reality.
Inspired by Star Wars, BYU Researcher Floats 3D Images in Thin Air
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sound-Off: Do You Data Log?
Sound-Off: Do You Data Log?
In an increasingly mobile world, manufacturers want to keep an eye on their facilities and equipment – no matter how far away they are from their test fixture.
Sound-Off: Do You Data Log?
Blog : Medical
Design Considerations: How to Keep Wearers Wearing Wearables
Design Considerations: How to Keep Wearers Wearing Wearables
In a Tech Briefs Q&A, professor and biosensor creator Albert Titus reviews the state of wearable sensor design.
Design Considerations: How to Keep Wearers Wearing Wearables
Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would you wear a fingernail UV sensor?

Last week’s INSIDER showcased a new UV wearable sensor from L'Oréal and Northwestern University engineers.

News : Semiconductors & ICs
Is 'Artificial Graphene' the New Wonder Material?
Is 'Artificial Graphene' the New Wonder Material?
For the first time ever, Columbia University engineers created “artificial graphene” in a semiconductor device.
Is 'Artificial Graphene' the New Wonder Material?
Blog : Aerospace
Introducing the New TechBriefs.com

Long-time readers of the site may have noticed this week that TechBriefs.com has a whole new look — a more visual, more scrollable design.

Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
And on That Farm He Had a…Robot?
And on That Farm He Had a…Robot?
Farmers in Europe are increasingly turning to robotic weeders. A specialist from University of California, Davis tested out the technologies.
And on That Farm He Had a…Robot?
Question of the Week : Transportation
Are cities ready for the arrival of electric autonomous vehicles?

In this week’s INSIDER, city official David Schirmer shared how Beverly Hills is preparing for the arrival of electric vehicles. Municipalities, he said, will require new kinds of smart traffic signals, charging stations, and changes to building codes. A Tech Briefs reader asked...

News : Semiconductors & ICs
A Wearable UV Sensor — At Your Fingertips
A Wearable UV Sensor — At Your Fingertips

Creators of a new, M&M-sized wearable device aim to bring UV detection to users’ fingertips – or more precisely, fingernails.

A Wearable UV Sensor — At Your Fingertips
Blog : Energy
Are Cities Prepared for Electric Autonomous Vehicles?
Are Cities Prepared for Electric Autonomous Vehicles?
A Beverly Hills city official tells Tech Briefs how the city is changing its infrastructure to accommodate a growing number of electric vehicles.
Are Cities Prepared for Electric Autonomous Vehicles?
Blog : Electronics & Computers
What is Intelligent Charging?
What is Intelligent Charging?
As electric vehicles take the road, a new kind of EV infrastructure has emerged to power them. A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert about an emerging, “smart” idea: Intelligent Charging.
What is Intelligent Charging?
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inspiring Young Scientists, One Tiny Fidget Spinner at a Time
Inspiring Young Scientists, One Tiny Fidget Spinner at a Time
ORNL staff scientist Adam Rondinone explains how his team made the tiny toy.
Inspiring Young Scientists, One Tiny Fidget Spinner at a Time
News : Energy
NASA Turns to Students for ‘Big Ideas’ on Mars Exploration
NASA Turns to Students for ‘Big Ideas’ on Mars Exploration
NASA challenged university students to create a deployable solar array for the Martian surface. See which "Big Ideas" impressed Bob Hodson, a leader of the space agency's Game Changing Development Program.
NASA Turns to Students for ‘Big Ideas’ on Mars Exploration
News : Materials
Electropolishing Solutions for the Medical Industry
Electropolishing Solutions for the Medical Industry

As a critical component in patient healthcare, medical device manufacturing is highly regulated and requires the utmost attention to sanitation, safety, and biocompatibility. Used both...

Electropolishing Solutions for the Medical Industry
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
What it Does, How it Works
What it Does, How it Works

Electropolishing is often referred to as a “reverse plating” process. Electrochemical in nature, electropolishing uses a combination of rectified current and a blended chemical electrolyte bath to remove flaws...

What it Does, How it Works
News : Medical
Single-Operation Finish for Improved Biocompatibility of Implants
Single-Operation Finish for Improved Biocompatibility of Implants

Orthopedic and cardiovascular implants are some of the most common medical devices manufactured today that demand high levels of biocompatibility. To ensure better patient...

Single-Operation Finish for Improved Biocompatibility of Implants
News : Materials
Metal Finishing Capabilities
Metal Finishing Capabilities
In addition to electropolishing, other metal finishing capabilities include laser marking, which can be used to ensure compliance with the latest UDI requirements, and color anodizing, which can be used to improve part identification with vibrant hues.
Metal Finishing Capabilities
News : Materials
Cutting Tools and Drills
Cutting Tools and Drills

Cutting tools, drills, and blades are critical devices used in surgical procedures. Blades used in surgical procedures must be free from burrs and laser slag and remain sharp for accurate cutting. Remaining burrs...

Cutting Tools and Drills
Products : Photonics/Optics
New Products: January 2018 Photonics & Imaging Insider
New Products: January 2018 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Imaging System

Edmund Optics® (EO) (Barrington, NJ) has introduced a new Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Imaging System...

New Products: January 2018 Photonics & Imaging Insider
INSIDER : Materials
Addition of Tin Boosts Nanoparticle’s Photoluminescence
Addition of Tin Boosts Nanoparticle’s Photoluminescence

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have developed germanium nanoparticles with improved photoluminescence, making them potentially better materials for...

Addition of Tin Boosts Nanoparticle’s Photoluminescence
INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Changes Inside Hybrid Perovskite Crystals Give Clues to Improving Solar Cells
Changes Inside Hybrid Perovskite Crystals Give Clues to Improving Solar Cells

A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego has for the first time observed nanoscale changes deep inside hybrid perovskite crystals that...

Changes Inside Hybrid Perovskite Crystals Give Clues to Improving Solar Cells
INSIDER : Imaging
Software Captures Hyperspectral Images and Video on Standard Cameras
Software Captures Hyperspectral Images and Video on Standard Cameras

New software developed by BGU researchers enables standard cameras to capture hyperspectral images and video, which is a faster and more cost-efficient approach than...

Software Captures Hyperspectral Images and Video on Standard Cameras
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Used Metal Additive Manufacturing?

Today's INSIDER featured a story about the growing role of metal additive manufacturing in industries like aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Float Like a Robot, Think Like a Bee
Float Like a Robot, Think Like a Bee

Cornell University engineers have been experimenting with a new type of programming that mimics the mind of an insect.

Float Like a Robot, Think Like a Bee
Q&A : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Q&A: Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed, Senior Sensor Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD

Dr. Ahmed and scientists from NIST and American University are researching the use of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) as the basis for an inexpensive, easy-to-build gas sensing technology. The problem they faced is that newly...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
5Ws of the Grid Friendly Charger Controller
5Ws of the Grid Friendly Charger Controller
Learn the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of the Grid Friendly™ Charger Controller.
5Ws of the Grid Friendly Charger Controller
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Nd:YAG or Fiber Laser for Micro Welding?
Nd:YAG or Fiber Laser for Micro Welding?

Four lasers can be used for micro welding: pulsed neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG), continuous wave (CW) fiber, quasi continuous wave (QCW) fiber, and nanosecond fiber. Each laser type...

Nd:YAG or Fiber Laser for Micro Welding?
Articles : Imaging
The Effects of Micro-Electric Discharge Machining (μEDM) on the Topography of Stainless Steel
The Effects of Micro-Electric Discharge Machining (μEDM) on the Topography of Stainless Steel

Two basic components make up the value added to a work piece by the micro-electric discharge machining (μEDM) process: form and surface finish....

The Effects of Micro-Electric Discharge Machining (μEDM) on the Topography of Stainless Steel
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Researchers Develop Flexible, Stretchable Photonic Devices
Researchers Develop Flexible, Stretchable Photonic Devices

Researchers at MIT and several other institutions have developed a method for making photonic devices — similar to electronic devices but based on light rather than electricity —...

Researchers Develop Flexible, Stretchable Photonic Devices
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Using Ground Sensors to Defend Aircraft Against Laser Strikes
Using Ground Sensors to Defend Aircraft Against Laser Strikes

A growing safety concern for pilots and aircraft passengers is laser strikes, or the aiming of high-power laser pointers at aircraft. To address the present lack of effective...

Using Ground Sensors to Defend Aircraft Against Laser Strikes
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Wireless Handheld Spectrometer Transmits Data to Smartphone
Wireless Handheld Spectrometer Transmits Data to Smartphone

Spectral images, which contain more color information than is obtainable with a typical camera, reveal characteristics of tissue and other biological samples that can't be seen by...

Wireless Handheld Spectrometer Transmits Data to Smartphone
Articles : Photonics/Optics
3D Vision Made Easy
3D Vision Made Easy

Whether it is the industrial smart robot in the age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), using three-dimensional data to orient itself in its working space, the reverse vending machine counting empty bottles in a...

3D Vision Made Easy
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Transfer Technique Produces Wearable Gallium Nitride Gas Sensors
Transfer Technique Produces Wearable Gallium Nitride Gas Sensors

A transfer technique based on thin sacrificial layers of boron nitride could allow high-performance gallium nitride gas sensors to be grown on sapphire substrates and then...

Transfer Technique Produces Wearable Gallium Nitride Gas Sensors
Products : Test & Measurement
New Products: January 2018 Photonics & Imaging Technology
New Products: January 2018 Photonics & Imaging Technology

High-Speed Cameras

iX Cameras (Woburn, MA and Rochford, UK) has added a new, value-priced camera to the premium ultra-high-speed i-SPEED 7 Series line. The new i-SPEED 713 is...

New Products: January 2018 Photonics & Imaging Technology
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Compact Cooling for Superconducting Single-Photon Detectors
Compact Cooling for Superconducting Single-Photon Detectors

A new form of compact cooling technology developed for space astronomy could pave the way for use of advanced superconducting detectors for better cancer treatments, driverless...

Compact Cooling for Superconducting Single-Photon Detectors
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Energy Storage Thermal Management
Energy Storage Thermal Management

A well-designed thermal management system is critical to the life and performance of electric-drive vehicles (EDVs), hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs). Temperature and...

Energy Storage Thermal Management
Articles : Photonics/Optics
SPIE Photonics WEST 2018 Preview
SPIE Photonics WEST 2018 Preview

The SPIE Photonics West 2018 technical conference and exhibition returns to The Moscone Center in San Francisco, January 27 through February 1, offering attendees the opportunity to explore the latest...

SPIE Photonics WEST 2018 Preview
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hybrid 3D Printing Method for Flexible Electronics
Hybrid 3D Printing Method for Flexible Electronics

A new method for digital design and printing of stretchable, flexible electronics, called Hybrid 3D printing, was developed to integrate soft, conductive inks with a material substrate to...

Hybrid 3D Printing Method for Flexible Electronics
Briefs : Medical
Integrated Lab-on-a-Chip Uses Smartphone to Detect Multiple Pathogens
Integrated Lab-on-a-Chip Uses Smartphone to Detect Multiple Pathogens

Infectious diseases remain the world’s top contributors to human death and disability, and with recent outbreaks of Zika virus infections, there is a keen need for...

Integrated Lab-on-a-Chip Uses Smartphone to Detect Multiple Pathogens
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Microwave-Based Test Method for Computer Chips
Microwave-Based Test Method for Computer Chips

A new approach was developed that overcomes the limitation of conventional chip-testing methods on 3D chips, which include many thin horizontal “floors” connected to one another by vertical...

Microwave-Based Test Method for Computer Chips
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Flexible “Skin” Senses Shear Force
Flexible “Skin” Senses Shear Force

To date, it has been difficult or impossible for most robotic and prosthetic hands to accurately sense the vibrations and shear forces that occur, for example, when a finger is sliding along a tabletop,...

Flexible “Skin” Senses Shear Force
Articles : Materials
Design for Metal Additive Delivers New Standards for Metal Parts
Design for Metal Additive Delivers New Standards for Metal Parts

Metal additive manufacturing is being embraced as a choice for parts production across many fields — including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and other industries —...

Design for Metal Additive Delivers New Standards for Metal Parts
Facility Focus : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Facility Focus: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory
Facility Focus: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory

The explosion of the first Soviet atomic bomb in August 1949, followed by the Soviet development of bombers that could traverse the Arctic Circle, created a...

Facility Focus: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory
Briefs : Imaging
Stereoscopic Imaging in Hypersonic Boundary Layers Using Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence

Stereoscopic time-resolved visualization of three-dimensional structures in a hypersonic flow was performed for the first time in NASA Langley Research Center’s 31-inch Mach 10 Air Tunnel. Nitric oxide (NO) was seeded into hypersonic boundary layer flows...

Briefs : Imaging
Color-Changing Surface Tunable Through Electrical Voltage

Video screens are made up of hundreds of thousands of pixels that display different colors to form the images. With current technology, each of these pixels contains three subpixels — one red, one green, and one blue. A new method was developed to tune the color of the subpixels. The...

Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Product of the Month: January 2018
Product of the Month: January 2018

The BGA244 Binary Gas Analyzer from Stanford Research Systems, Sunnyvale, CA, continuously and non-invasively determines the ratio of gases in a binary mixture, or checks the purity of a single gas. It...

Product of the Month: January 2018
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Non-Destructive Additive Manufacturing Characterization Coupon

Additive manufacturing (AM) material assurance has relied upon traditional test coupons and testing methods that work well for wrought materials, but fail to address the unique and not as well-known characteristics of AM parts. A new standardized, integrated test coupon was designed...

Briefs : Medical
Methods for Characterizing Nonlinear Fields of a High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Source

Minimally invasive and non-invasive therapeutic ultrasound treatments can be used to ablate, necrotize, and/or otherwise damage tissue. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), for example, is used to thermally or mechanically damage tissue. HIFU thermal...

Briefs : Software
AMMOS-PDS Pipeline Service (APPS)

APPS provides a multi-mission instrument data and metadata (i.e. label) transformation service that interfaces local or remote Mission Data provider’s data processing pipeline/end-products and the PDS (Planetary Data System) data archive to ensure compliance to standards in a schedule/cost-efficient manner...

Briefs : Imaging
Improved 3D Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Improved 3D Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution live imaging technique that can be used for early detection of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration,...

Improved 3D Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Facility for Utilization Primarily in Microgravity Environments

The purpose of this innovation is to create the ability to manufacture off Earth, primarily in a microgravity environment. This additive manufacturing facility (AMF) will have the capability to build tools, parts, experimental hardware, and upgrade hardware...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Joining of Ti, Mo, and Ni Terminated Thermoelectric Segments via Brazing

The joining of low- and high-temperature thermoelectric materials (with ZT optimized to specific temperature ranges) to each other in a segmented configuration can lead to enhanced device efficiency. The resulting joints between these materials must be both chemically and...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
New Quantum Computing Design Based on “Flip-Flop” Qubits
New Quantum Computing Design Based on “Flip-Flop” Qubits

Engineers have invented a new architecture for quantum computing based on novel “flip-flop” qubits. The new chip design allows for a silicon quantum processor that can be...

New Quantum Computing Design Based on “Flip-Flop” Qubits
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Software Improves Ability of Robots to Communicate with Humans
Software Improves Ability of Robots to Communicate with Humans

A software system was developed that helps robots more effectively act on spoken instructions — no matter how abstract or specific those instructions may be — from people who...

Software Improves Ability of Robots to Communicate with Humans
Briefs : Materials
Process Turns Carbon Dioxide into 3D Graphene with Microporous Surface

The conversion of carbon dioxide to useful materials usually requires high energy input due to its ultrahigh stability. A heat-releasing reaction between carbon dioxide and sodium was developed to take carbon dioxide and turn it into 3D graphene with micropores across its...

Briefs : Software
Algorithm Repairs Corrupted Digital Images in One Step
Algorithm Repairs Corrupted Digital Images in One Step

From phone camera snapshots to life-saving medical scans, digital images play an important role in the way humans communicate information. But digital images are subject to a range of...

Algorithm Repairs Corrupted Digital Images in One Step
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Printable Structures Self-Fold Without Heating or Immersion in Water
Printable Structures Self-Fold Without Heating or Immersion in Water

As 3D printing has become a mainstream technology, studies have investigated printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated...

Printable Structures Self-Fold Without Heating or Immersion in Water
Briefs : Imaging
Dual-Field-of-View Multiband Optics

Multi-spectral-band systems are steadily emerging as a desired feature in a camera system. Each spectral band offers different image characteristics. Shorter-wavelength spectral bands provide the potential for better resolution due to the smaller impact of diffraction on the size of the optics blur. This means...

Briefs : Software
Soil Moisture Active-Passive Project Spacecraft Flight Software

The Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) Project Spacecraft Flight Software controls all aspects of command and data handling (CDH) in the SMAP spacecraft. Required capabilities include uplink and command, telemetry and downlink, vehicle attitude control, science instrument control,...

Briefs : Imaging
Optical Ultrasound Needle for Heart Surgery
Optical Ultrasound Needle for Heart Surgery

Doctors currently rely on external ultrasound probes, combined with pre-operative imaging scans, to visualize soft tissue and organs during minimally invasive procedures, as the miniature surgical...

Optical Ultrasound Needle for Heart Surgery
Briefs : Materials
Electromagnetic Metamaterial with Wide Angular and Broadband Spectral Absorption

Propagation in a waveguide requires proper termination of signals to prevent reflections from interfering with the desired circuit functionality. Conventional termination designs for a two-dimensional planar waveguide topology provide maximum signal suppression in...

Briefs : Medical
Smart Artificial Limbs

Traditional leg prosthetics enable amputees to maintain mobility and lead more active lives. Leg prosthetics most commonly fit amputees’ residual limbs via a socket that encloses the limb like a wooden clog. Because the socket exerts pressure on the limb’s soft tissue, pain and chafing, sores and blisters, and...

Briefs : Materials
Nanoporous Material Reduces Computer Energy Consumption
Nanoporous Material Reduces Computer Energy Consumption

In order to store information in the conventional magnetic memories of electronic devices, the material’s small magnetic domains are oriented “up” or “down” by using...

Nanoporous Material Reduces Computer Energy Consumption
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Objects Connect to WiFi Without Electronics
3D-Printed Objects Connect to WiFi Without Electronics

CAD models have been developed that enable objects to be 3D-printed out of commercially available plastics; these objects can wirelessly communicate with other smart devices, including a...

3D-Printed Objects Connect to WiFi Without Electronics
Briefs : Software
Deterministic Annealing Clustering

This software partitions a dataset into clusters of data using the Deterministic Annealing algorithm, a more sophisticated clustering technique than usually available in scientific and commercial software. The results provided are deterministic, i.e. unique (within the machine precision tolerance), whereas...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Transparent, Hydrogel-Based Robots Move When Inflated with Water
Transparent, Hydrogel-Based Robots Move When Inflated with Water

Engineers have fabricated transparent, gel-based robots that move when water is pumped in and out of them. They are made entirely of hydrogel — a tough, rubbery, nearly...

Transparent, Hydrogel-Based Robots Move When Inflated with Water
Briefs : Materials
Fluorinated Alkyl Ether Epoxy Resin Compositions and Applications Thereof
Fluorinated Alkyl Ether Epoxy Resin Compositions and Applications Thereof

NASA Langley Research Center has developed fluorinated alkyl ether-containing epoxies designed as an anti-insect coating. The robust and durable coating was developed...

Fluorinated Alkyl Ether Epoxy Resin Compositions and Applications Thereof
Briefs : Test & Measurement
High-Sensitivity, Environmentally Isolated Bearing Tester
High-Sensitivity, Environmentally Isolated Bearing Tester

A novel tool was developed that allows users to qualify small-diameter bearings before incorporating them into components. The High-Sensitivity, Environmentally Isolated Bearing...

High-Sensitivity, Environmentally Isolated Bearing Tester
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Sensor Droplets Enable Cheaper, Faster Food Testing
Sensor Droplets Enable Cheaper, Faster Food Testing

The foodborne pathogen Escherichia coli O157 causes an estimated 73,000 illnesses and 60 deaths every year in the United States. Better safety tests could help avoid some of the illnesses...

Sensor Droplets Enable Cheaper, Faster Food Testing
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
System Enables Robots to Understand Contextual Commands

Today’s robots can accomplish many repetitive tasks, but their inability to understand the nuances of human language makes them mostly useless for more complicated requests. For example, if a specific tool is placed in a toolbox and a robot is asked to “pick it up,” it would be...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Extrusion Method Improves Structural Properties of Magnesium
Extrusion Method Improves Structural Properties of Magnesium

Magnesium is 75 percent lighter than steel, 33 percent lighter than aluminum, and is the fourth most common element on Earth behind iron, silicon, and oxygen. But despite its light...

Extrusion Method Improves Structural Properties of Magnesium
Briefs : Materials
Bulk Preparation of Holey Graphene via Controlled Catalytic Oxidation
Bulk Preparation of Holey Graphene via Controlled Catalytic Oxidation

Researchers at NASA have developed new methods to manufacture carbon materials (e.g., nanotubes, graphene) with holes through the graphitic surface of the particles. The...

Bulk Preparation of Holey Graphene via Controlled Catalytic Oxidation
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Wind Turbine Blade Testing System Using Base Excitation
Wind Turbine Blade Testing System Using Base Excitation

Wind turbine designers are working to provide blade designs that allow a turbine connected to the blades or rotor to effectively convert wind into electricity. The blades must also be...

Wind Turbine Blade Testing System Using Base Excitation
Briefs : Imaging
Microscope Scans Tumors During Surgery and Examines Cancer Biopsies in 3D
Microscope Scans Tumors During Surgery and Examines Cancer Biopsies in 3D

Currently there is no reliable way to determine, during tumor-removal surgery, whether the excised tissue is completely cancer-free at its margins — the proof that...

Microscope Scans Tumors During Surgery and Examines Cancer Biopsies in 3D
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Nano Layer Helps Measuring Devices Withstand Extreme Environments
Nano Layer Helps Measuring Devices Withstand Extreme Environments

Measurement devices that can withstand the acid rains on Venus, radiation in space, and the heat of car engines are being developed to improve research in these extreme...

Nano Layer Helps Measuring Devices Withstand Extreme Environments
Briefs : Materials
Nickel Oxide Compound for High-Temperature Superconductors
Nickel Oxide Compound for High-Temperature Superconductors

Superconducting materials are technologically important because electricity flows through them without resistance. Only low-temperature superconductivity seemed possible before 1986,...

Nickel Oxide Compound for High-Temperature Superconductors
Briefs : Medical
Device Heals Organs Through Cell Function Change
Device Heals Organs Through Cell Function Change

A new chip device called Tissue Nano-transfection (TNT) can generate any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient’s own body. This technology may be used to repair injured...

Device Heals Organs Through Cell Function Change
Briefs : Software
Software Verifies Identity by DNA in Minutes
Software Verifies Identity by DNA in Minutes

Researchers have developed a method to quickly and accurately identify people and cell lines from their DNA. The software could be used to flag mislabeled or contaminated cell lines in cancer...

Software Verifies Identity by DNA in Minutes
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Silicon Carbide High-Voltage Switch
Silicon Carbide High-Voltage Switch

High-voltage wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor devices like 15-kV silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs have attracted attention because of potential applications in high-voltage and high-frequency power...

Silicon Carbide High-Voltage Switch
Briefs : Medical
LightCensor Software for Optimized Viewing of Medical Images

Because of improved display quality, the smartphone has been advocated by medical imaging vendors for viewing medical images in specific conditions that require urgency of results, or when full-sized workstation displays are not readily available. As a handheld device, the viewing...

Articles : Materials
Products of Tomorrow: January 2018
Products of Tomorrow: January 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Products of Tomorrow: January 2018
Briefs : Medical
Wearable Biosensor Monitors Exposure to Bacteria, Viruses, and Pollutants
Wearable Biosensor Monitors Exposure to Bacteria, Viruses, and Pollutants

Researchers have created biosensor technology for wearable devices that continuously analyzes sweat or blood for different types of biomarkers such as proteins that...

Wearable Biosensor Monitors Exposure to Bacteria, Viruses, and Pollutants
Briefs : Software
Discontinuous-Galerkin Spectral-Element Solver (Eddy)

Eddy is a fundamental research code for advancing spectral methods for complex geometry. The software is intended to enable researchers to collaborate through a common framework that supports three-dimensional simulations on practical problems. Areas of interest include advanced numerical...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Cryogenic and Non-Cryogenic Liquid Level Instrument

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a unique prototype for measuring the liquid level in a tank, employing a novel process. The technology can operate in a wide range of environments, including high and low temperatures and pressures, and is simpler and less expensive than other...

Briefs : Materials
Freeze-Dried Boron Nitride Foam Soaks Up Carbon Dioxide
Freeze-Dried Boron Nitride Foam Soaks Up Carbon Dioxide

A light foam was created from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) that absorbs carbon dioxide. Freeze-drying h-BN turned it into a macro-scale foam that...

Freeze-Dried Boron Nitride Foam Soaks Up Carbon Dioxide
Articles : Materials
Zinc-Silicate Coating Blocks Corrosion
Zinc-Silicate Coating Blocks Corrosion

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields of health...

Zinc-Silicate Coating Blocks Corrosion
Briefs : Software
Data Compression and Pattern Recognition Software for Hypersensor Data

Historically, there have been various approaches to problems relating to the detection of small, weak, or hidden objects, substances, or patterns embedded in complex backgrounds. One approach has been to use low-dimensional sensor systems that attempt to detect a clean...

Application Briefs : Energy
Creating an Impedance Matching Method for Wireless Battery Charging
Creating an Impedance Matching Method for Wireless Battery Charging
Keysight Technologies
Santa Rosa, CA
www.keysight.com

Implantable medical biosensors are commonly used to treat health problems via the unobtrusive...

Creating an Impedance Matching Method for Wireless Battery Charging
Briefs : Medical
Portable Device for Rapid Detection of the Zika Virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed more than 5,000 cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. from January 2015 to February 2017. The vast majority of those cases were travelers returning from affected areas. Florida has the highest number of cases of the Zika virus at 1,069...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Controlling Soft Robots Using Magnetic Fields
Controlling Soft Robots Using Magnetic Fields

A fundamental advance in controlling soft robots involves using magnetic fields to remotely manipulate microparticle chains embedded in soft robotic devices. Several devices have been developed...

Controlling Soft Robots Using Magnetic Fields
Briefs : Software
Adjoint Error Estimation for Embedded-Boundary Cartesian Meshes for use with Cart3D

This technology provides means of estimating numerical errors in user-specified output functionals, such as lift or drag, for fluid flow simulations. The new method computes an improved estimate of the output (relative to the baseline simulation), an estimate of...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Evolving and Controlling Behaviors in a Computation-Free Robot Swarm

Flocks of birds, schools of fish, and colonies of ants exhibit a remarkable robustness and resilience, despite the limited capabilities of each individual. Recently, research into bio-inspired swarm robotics has been gaining popularity due to the low-cost, robust, redundant,...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Component Leak Test Apparatus
Component Leak Test Apparatus

A component leak test apparatus investigates the performance of fittings at low temperature and/or high pressure. Its performance was quantified by measuring the ability to hold cold pressurized gaseous helium...

Component Leak Test Apparatus
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Semiconductor Blocks Heat Transfer and Preserves Conductivity
Semiconductor Blocks Heat Transfer and Preserves Conductivity

A collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor was discovered to block most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity — a rare pairing...

Semiconductor Blocks Heat Transfer and Preserves Conductivity
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Resolution, 3D Cell-Printing of Living Tissues

Printing high-resolution living tissues is difficult, as the cells often move within printed structures, and can collapse on themselves. A method of 3D-printing laboratory-grown cells to form living structures was developed that produces tissues in self-contained cells that support the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Stress-Induced Nanofabrication

Currently, the synthesis of nanomaterials relies on special inter-particle chemical and physical reactions, which restricts their development. However, stress-induced nanofabrication can effectively render arrays of nanomaterials uniform in length, diameter, and density.

Briefs : Materials
Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Polymers for High-Temperature Applications

A new class of polymeric materials was developed with resistance to heat, dielectric breakdown, and oxidation at high temperatures. For applications that demand high temperature resistance coupled with greater strength, these polymers can be easily transformed into ceramics with...

NASA Tech Needs : Aerospace
Weightless “Weight”-Lifting Builds Muscle on Earth
Weightless “Weight”-Lifting Builds Muscle on Earth

NASA Technology

NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid spent hundreds of hours exercising during her 188-day stay on the Russian space station Mir in 1996. Although it was her least...

Weightless “Weight”-Lifting Builds Muscle on Earth