November 2019

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Robots Can Pick Up Any Object After Inspecting It

For decades, robots in controlled environments like assembly lines have been able to pick up the same object over and over again. More recently, breakthroughs in computer vision have enabled...

The Foldable Drone: a Morphing Quadrotor that can Squeeze and Fly Davide Falanga, Kevin Kleber, Stefano Mintchev, Dario Floreano, and Davide...

Undercooled metal technology was developed that features liquid metal (in this case, Field's metal, an alloy of bismuth, indium, and tin) trapped below its melting point in polished,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
New Class of Two-Dimensional Materials

A process was developed for producing oxide perovskite crystals in flexible, free-standing layers. A two-dimensional rendition of this substance is intriguing because 2D materials have been shown to...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Camera Enables Surgeons to More Easily Identify Cancerous Tissue

Many surgeons rely on sight and touch to find cancerous tissue during surgery. Large hospitals or cancer treatment centers may also use experimental near-infrared fluorescent agents that bind to tumors so surgeons can see them on specialized displays. These machines are costly,...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Method Enables Robots to Exchange Directed Messages

A novel approach was developed to improve communications range and allow for covert behavior using a team of robots for future multi-domain operations. Specifically, researchers...

Briefs : Motion Control
Motion-Powered, Fireproof Sensor

Researchers have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners, and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen....

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft Robotics Perception System

A perception system for soft robots was developed that is inspired by the way humans process information about their own bodies in space and in relation to other objects and people. The system includes a...

Flying animals both power and control flight by flapping their wings. This enables small natural flyers such as insects to hover close to a flower but also to rapidly escape danger. Animal flight has...

A new wearable could make heart health monitoring easier and more accurate than existing electrocardiograph machines.
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Diamond Technology Enables Low-Cost Medical Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are employed to locate cancerous tumors and aid in the development of treatment plans, while nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines are used to...

Facility Focus : Test & Measurement
Facility Focus: National Science Foundation
In recent decades, NSF-funded researchers have discovered quite a bit, including many of the fundamental particles of matter.
Sherry Towfighian and her team made a big improvement on how microphones are manufactured.
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Toughening Stretchable Fibers Using a Metallic Core

Researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material. The fibers consist of a gallium metal core...

A team of inventors found a fast way to join plastic to metal.

Thermal cameras like forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensors are actively deployed on aerial and ground vehicles, in watch towers, and at check points for surveillance purposes. More recently,...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
X-ray Measurement Approach Could Improve CT Scanners

A new measurement approach could lead to a better way to calibrate computed tomography (CT) scanners, potentially streamlining patient treatment by improving communication among doctors.

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Battery-Free Sensor for Underwater Use

To investigate oceans, researchers aim to build a submerged network of interconnected sensors that sends data to the surface. Supplying constant power to scores of sensors designed to stay for long...

Products : Materials
New on the Market: November 2019
3D-printing platforms, simulation software, transistors, and more.

Understanding how cars, planes, bridges, and other structures handle vibrations and dynamic loads can be critical to their design and performance. Researchers have developed a new way to...

The material used on a shuttle's rocket boosters has several terrestrial applications.
Battelle's simple, cost-effective sensor detects the onset of battery faults.
Learn about the world's first wave-driven desalination system.
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method Produces Three-Dimensional, Curved Electronics

Contact lenses that can monitor the wearer’s health and correct eyesight use embedded electronics. These, and other curved devices such as solar cells and electronics, could be...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Smart Electronic Skin for Robots and Prosthetics

Humans use the sense of touch to accomplish almost every daily task such as picking up a cup of coffee or shaking someone’s hand. Without it, humans can even lose their sense of balance when walking. Similarly, robots need to have a sense of touch in order to interact better with humans but...

By mimicking the outer coating of pearls (nacre or mother of pearl), researchers created a lightweight plastic that is 14 times stronger and eight times lighter (less dense) than steel. It could...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wind Event Warning System

NASA Langley Research Center developed a wind event warning technology that provides a practical early warning system (5-10 minutes) for a severe change in the wind vector. Events such as gusts, shear, microbursts,...

Briefs : Wearables
Wearable Motion Sensors Measure Fetal Heartbeat

A technique was developed that could allow expectant parents to hear their baby’s heartbeat continuously at home with a non-invasive and safe device that is potentially more accurate than any fetal heartrate monitor currently available in the market.

Researchers have developed a formula that enables them to recreate different levels of perceived softness. Based on the results from their experiments, they created equations that can calculate how...

A fully print-in-place technique for electronics could enable technologies such as high-adhesion, embedded electronic tattoos and bandages with patient-specific...

A prototype of the AC 'Biode' battery has been developed at 20W.
Articles : Test & Measurement
Products of Tomorrow: November 2019

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...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Track Moving Objects with Sub-Centimeter Accuracy

A system was developed that uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to help robots target moving objects with unprecedented speed and accuracy. The system could enable greater...

Make the best selection for your hospital, clinic, or life science organization.
Briefs : Materials
Form-Fitting Nanoscale Sensors

A method was developed to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices to report on what they perceive. Electronically active 2D materials, touted for their strength, are difficult to move to...

Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
Passive Smart Container

Although Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being used widely for pallet and box-level tracking in the commercial sector, significant technology gaps remain for tracking dense quantities at the item...

Articles : Transportation
2019 Create the Future Design Contest Special Awards Section
See the eight winners of the 2019 "Create the Future" Design Contest
Through Livox, non-verbal people can speak, learn how to read and write, and understand abstract concepts.

A transistor has been made from linen thread, enabling the creation of electronic devices made entirely of thin threads that could be woven into fabric, worn on the skin, or...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Quantitative Analysis of Raw Milk Using Spectral Sensors
Measuring milk components has become very crucial for the dairy industry.
Application Briefs : RF & Microwave Electronics
A Vision-Based Lunar Navigator for Next-Generation Landers
Learn about the Draper Multi-Environment Navigator.

Engineers at the University of Illinois have found a way to redirect misfit light waves to reduce energy loss during optical data transmission. In a study,...

LIDAR Systems, Smart Cameras, Optical Communications, and more.
Machine vision systems shed light on processes too small or too fast to see with the human eye.
Laser illumination is scaling in a new direction.

Researchers have developed a new self-calibrating endoscope that produces 3D images of objects smaller than a single cell without a lens or any optical, electrical, or...

Briefs : Materials
Shaping Light with a Smartlens

High quality camera performance on mobile devices has proven to be one of the features that most end-users aim for. The importance of optical image quality improvement and the trend to have thinner and thinner...

A new imaging method extracts a color image from a single exposure of light scattered through a mostly opaque material.

UCLA engineers have made major improvements on their design of an optical neural network — a device inspired by how the human brain works — that can identify objects or process...

Most of us know optical lenses as curved, transparent pieces of plastic or glass, designed to focus light for microscopes, spectacles, cameras, and more. For the most part, a...

Learn more about ULISSES, an organ-preserving device that received top honors in the "Create the Future" Design Contest.
Learn more about the how "CSD" offers a cost-effective, non-invasive way of saving the lives of infants.
Products : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Product of the Month: November 2019 Tech Briefs
OnLogic has introduced the Karbon 700 high-performance rugged computer.
Question of the Week : Aerospace
Will Entire Planes Be Built By 'Assembler Robots?'

Commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations, and then flown to a central plant for final assembly. Researchers at MIT are hoping to change that.

On-Demand Webinars : Medical
Sustainable Innovation in Medical and Health Care Applications

This 30-minute Webinar focuses on how innovative solutions can bring tangible benefits to the medical sector and its supply chain. Today’s medical products demand more from materials used in a variety of applications from medical and dental devices to prosthetics and other...

A team in Germany has a quicker, cleaner approach to welding metal to plastic: The HPCI® Joining Gun.
Webinars : Medical
How 3D Printing Is Changing the Development of Orthopedic Devices

With the advent of 3D printing, prototyping orthopedic implants began to change. In recent years, it has been common to see a patient-specific 3D printed hip or knee created in order to reduce the number of implant options the physician has to choose from. But 3D...

A new instrument mounted on a telescope in Arizona aimed its robotic array of 5,000 fiber-optic “eyes” at the night sky on Oct. 22 to capture the first images...

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion batteries...

Test Equipment

The LDTC LAB series instruments from Wavelength Electronics (Bozeman, MT) combine low noise, high-end digital control laser diode driver technology with an...

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As...

Tech Talks : Medical
The Finishing Process: Preparing Advanced Medical Textiles for Implantation

Implantable medical textiles undergo a rigorous finishing process before becoming viable medical device components used in stents, hernia mesh, or synthetic ligaments. Suppliers employ a variety of finishing techniques such as scouring, heat treatment, coating,...

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Own a Robot Pet?

At the CES Unveiled kickoff event last week, Sony demonstrated Aibo, a social robotic pet. The technology, which will make the trip to CES 2020 in Las Vegas, makes dog noises, responds to commands, and uses cameras to recognize specific owners and their patterns. Take a look at Aibo on our Tech Briefs Instagram.

On-Demand Webinars : Software
Getting Feedback in Minutes: Using a Virtual ECU to Accelerate Automotive Application Software Development

The rapid growth of vehicle software, combined with the complex interaction of hardware, software, and physical components, creates an enormous challenge for automobile manufacturers and their suppliers. To address these challenges,...

Webinars : Medical
The Road to Parametric Release for EO Sterilization

Parametric release can be invaluable to companies by accelerating their sterile product’s release-to-market. But how can it be achieved?

On-Demand Webinars : Automotive
BEV or ICE: Aluminum Extrusions and Tomorrow’s Vehicles

Regardless of the resolution of the current dispute over light vehicle fuel economy and carbon emission standards, the drive to reduce vehicle mass will continue. Engineers developing the next round of vehicles not only have to strive for vehicle efficiency improvements but also...

Tech Talks : Electronics & Computers
How to Achieve Traceable Measurements of Opto-Electronic Devices

With the advancements in electro-optical communication systems to meet the ever-increasing demands for higher data speeds, coupled with the market moving toward lowering the effective cost per bit per mile, component designers are struggling to keep costs low and still...

INSIDER : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensor Saves Children and Pets Left in Cars

A device, developed by grad students at the University of Waterloo, combines radar technology with artificial intelligence (AI) to detect unattended children or animals left in cars. Small...

Inspired by a sticky substance that spiders use to catch their prey, a double-sided tape was developed that can rapidly seal tissues together within five seconds. The tape works much...

NASA Pathways Programs provide opportunities for students and recent graduates to be considered for federal employment. The NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program (IEP) is open to current...

What's the best aluminum for extrusion? A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert.
On-Demand Webinars : Automotive
How to Integrate V2X Communication into Today’s Vehicles

An important step in automotive connectivity involves V2X technology. In the context of a vehicle's architecture, V2X is usually seen as an additional sensor unit with real-time, non-line-of-sight capabilities that enable a wide range of modern ADAS and autonomous driving...

Podcasts : Aerospace
Here's an Idea: A.I. in the Air
Will we be able to trust autonomous drones? We explore the question in our latest episode of Here's an Idea.
Question of the Week : Automotive
Will We Develop Trust in Autonomous Drones and Vehicles?

For developers of A.I.-guided drones and autonomous technologies, failure is not an option.

On-Demand Webinars : Automotive
Multi-Injection SCR Lines for Optimal System NOx Reduction

This 30-minute technical talk examines how multi-injection SCR line solutions achieve ultra-low nitrogen oxide values in diesel engine emissions. The speakers also offer insight on how to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete subsystem design work in order to bring...

A new charging cell wants to use low-grade heat from our industrial processes to power our devices.
On-Demand Webinars : Software
How to Validate Vehicle Behavior and Passenger Experience in Real-Time, Without Sacrificing Accuracy

Validation of autonomous vehicles requires two kind of simulations: how the AI will behave and how the vehicle itself will behave. For the latter, high-fidelity real-time models are essential to understand vehicle dynamics holistically,...

Computed tomography is being used in the medical and industrial field. An expert explains how the two imaging techniques differ.
On-Demand Webinars : Software
How to Effectively Estimate Parameters for Battery Modeling

Battery models are widely used to simulate the cooling, performance, and aging of batteries.

If you’ve ever tried to hold a camera steady for a long exposure in low light, you know exactly what happens: the camera shakes and the image blurs. The same can happen with images from...

MIT and Toyota researchers have designed a new model to help autonomous vehicles determine when it’s safe to merge into traffic at intersections with obstructed views. The model uses its own...

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory took inspiration from flying insects to create a miniaturized gyroscope, a special sensor used in...

Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Our expert examines the pros and cons of welding, adhesives, and other metal joining methods.
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will the Ability to Manipulate Virtual Objects in Real-World Scenes Help Your Design and Manufacturing Efforts?

A Tech Briefs TV video this week demonstrated a Brown University system called Portal-ble. The augmented-reality technology allows you to place virtual objects within real-world backgrounds on smartphone screens. Users can then...

New measurements could help experts guess the location and size of the next earthquake.

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Large Cable, Large Problems: Considerations for Innovation

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robots: Are They as Safe as They Sound?