May 2019

On-Demand Webinars : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Expanding Vehicle Development Testing with Wheel Force Transducers

Acquiring accurate data for road testing of ground vehicles using a wheel force transducer has become the standard in the industry. Wheel force transducers, such as the PCB SWIFT® Evo, have made it possible to obtain high-quality data in an efficient manner. Adaptable and easily...

Blog : Energy
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
An Ohio State researcher shares with Tech Briefs the promise of potassium-oxygen batteries.
Motion Design : Motion Control
Changing How Sound Moves Particles

Researchers at Aalto University have discovered a surprising phenomenon that changes how we think about how sound can move particles. Their experiment is based on an experiment in which particles move on a...

INSIDER : Motion Control
“Knitting” Soft Actuators

Carnegie Mellon University researchers used computationally controlled knitting machines to create knitted objects that are actuated by tendons. The objects emerge from the knitting machines in their desired...

Blog : Transportation
NIWeek 2019: What Will Slow Down 5G? ‘Nothing,’ Says Panel
“Nothing is going to slow 5G down. I mean nothing," said one NIWeek panelist.
Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would You Use a Wearable That Detects Hand Activity?

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University turned a standard smartwatch into a detector of specific hand activities, from playing the piano to scrolling through the phone. Read the Tech Briefs Q&A.

Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
A Leech-Like Robot Climbs Up the Walls

Doctoral Programs student Ayato Kanada came up with his leech-like robot in a place you’d least expect it: His bathroom.

Blog : Software
Markforged Helps Factories Fix Themselves

At RAPID + TCT in Detroit today, Markforged introduced Blacksmith artificial intelligence-powered software that makes manufacturing machines “aware” so they can automatically adjust programming...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
HP’s Digital Disruption

On the opening day of the RAPID + TCT Show in Detroit, HP introduced the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution – an industrial 3D printing system – and the Digital Manufacturing Network, a new global...

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Can a Spray-On Coating ‘Ice-Proof’ Airplanes?

University of Michigan researchers have developed a coating that they believe could lead to the achievement of a long-time goal: Ice-proofing airplanes.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Hummingbird Robots Help with Search-and-Rescue?

Purdue University researchers have created small flying robots that act like hummingbirds. Artificial intelligence, combined with flexible flapping wings, allows the robo-bird to teach itself new tricks.

News : Imaging
PET Imaging Biomarker Could Better Predict Alzheimer's Progression

Researchers have discovered a better way to predict the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

News : Imaging
New Method Improves Infrared Imaging Performance

A new method developed by Northwestern Engineering's Manijeh Razeghi has greatly reduced a type of image distortion caused by the presence of spectral cross-talk between dual-band long-wavelength photodetectors. The work opens the door for a new generation of high spectral-contrast infrared...

News : Imaging
Improving Molecular Imaging Using a Deep Learning Approach

Generating comprehensive molecular images of organs and tumors in living organisms can be performed at ultra-fast speed using a new deep learning approach to image reconstruction developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The research team's new technique has the...

News : Imaging
5-Minute Sample Processing Enhances DNA Imaging and Analysis

JILA scientists have developed a fast, simple sample preparation method that enhances imaging of DNA to better analyze its physical properties and interactions. This gentle yet effective process involves binding DNA to mica, a flat silicate mineral. This process extends the DNA's...

On-Demand Webinars : Materials
Multiphysics Analysis of Composite Materials

Composite materials are widely used in constructing aircraft, wind turbine blades, automobile components, boat hulls, bicycles, and safety equipment, among many other applications. The stiffness-to-weight ratio of composite materials makes them an excellent choice for these applications, but these...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Beyond Just Gesture, A Modified Smartwatch Detects 25 Specific Hand Activities

Your smartwatch can count your steps, but can it tell if you’re typing on a keyboard? Or chopping a vegetable?

On-Demand Webinars : Automotive
DC Fast Charging: A Thermal Challenge

OEMs have made remarkable improvements to the EV powertrain over recent years to extend range, reduce costs, and improve the driving experience. Another key item that will help drive greater consumer acceptance of full electric vehicles is faster charging times.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Use a Robot to Help with Household Tasks?

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have built Blue, a low-cost robot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and deep reinforcement learning to master human tasks like folding laundry or making coffee.

On-Demand Webinars : Software
Developing Safe and Secure Autonomous Vehicles Across Industries

Autonomous systems can only be released to the public after developers have demonstrated their ability to achieve adequately high levels of safety. Today’s hands-off autonomous systems are largely built with deep learning algorithms that can be trained to make the right decision...

Articles : Test & Measurement
The Inside Story of Pico's 9400 SXRTO
Pico’s RF Business Development Manager Mark Ashcroft introduces the company's SXRTO Sampler Extended Real Time Oscilloscope.
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
A microrobot can take up to 8 hours to make. With the help of a 3D printer, University of Toronto engineers got the process down to 20 minutes
On-Demand Webinars : Medical
MDR Effects on Medical Device Processing

The new Medical Devices Regulation (2017/745/EU) (MDR) brings EU legislation into line with technical advances, chang­es in medical science, and progress in law making. There are many updates that effect reusable medical device manufacturers. This presentation will outline all of the testing and...

Blog : Medical
Answering Your Questions: How Do Medical Robots Help Surgeons?
A reader asks: "With medical robots, what's in it for surgeons?"
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
For Prototyping, Do You Prefer 3D Printing or CNC Machining?

During a live presentation this month, a Tech Briefs reader had a question for Proto Labs machining pro Gus Breiland:

“When can 3D printing be a viable alternative to CNC machining?”

On-Demand Webinars : Medical
How Robotics Are Redefining the Surgical Suite

Robotics are extending the capabilities of surgeons. From artificial intelligence and augmented reality to robotic surgical systems that enable more precision and less trauma, the surgical suite...

Blog : Aerospace
A New Idea for Putting Out Fires in Space: The Vacuum Cleaner?
If a short circuit starts a fire up on the International Space Station, Dr. Yuji Nakamura has an idea to extinguish it: The vacuum.
Photonics & Imaging Technology : Photonics/Optics
Chirality Yields Colossal Photocurrent

An international team led by a group of Boston College researchers reported that a recently discovered Weyl semimetal delivers the largest intrinsic conversion of light to electricity of any material....

Photonics & Imaging Technology : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers 3D Print Metamaterials with Novel Optical Properties

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is possible using...

INSIDER : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Ghostly X-Ray Images Could Assist in Analyzing X-Ray Laser Experiments

X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) produce incredibly powerful beams of light that enable unprecedented studies of the ultrafast motions of atoms in matter. To interpret...

Photonics & Imaging Technology : Test & Measurement
New Products: May 2019 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Software for Enhanced Laser Processing

Prima Power Laserdyne (Champlin, MN) released of the FASTTRIM™ CAD/CAM software for use with its multi-axis precision laser processing...

Blog : Motion Control
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
Three new unmanned helicopters were unveiled at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
Blog : Defense
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Flying Sea Glider
A Navy Sea Glider can look for a target in mid-air or underwater.
News : Software
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Air Force Technology
As always, the Air Force Research Laboratory had a huge presence at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rhombohedron Epitaxial Growth with Molten Target Sputtering (MTS) at 500 °C Substrate Temperature

This invention applies to the field of sputtering, depositing SiGe thin films on sapphire substrates. It is a method of modifying the film...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Helps Soldiers Get Parts Faster
Rize
Woburn, MA
www.rize3d.com

Headquartered at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, The United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC)...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Bendable Electronic Paper Displays a Range of Colors

The combination of conductive polymers on nanostructures was demonstrated as suited to creating electronic displays as thin as paper. The “paper” is similar to the Kindle tablet. It...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
In-Situ Characterization and Inspection of Additive Manufacturing Deposits Using Transient Infrared Thermography

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a rapidly growing field in which solid objects can be produced layer-by-layer. This...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Measurement Method for Radioactive Methane

Anew method for measuring radioactive methane is an optical one based on spectroscopy. Previously, radioactive methane has been measured with accelerator mass spectrometry involving expensive machines. Optical measuring could be a cheaper and more agile method.

Articles : Materials
A Guide to Collaborative Robot Safety

The ability of collaborative robots to share tasks with humans and flexibly adapt to new requirements can provide high returns on investment in a wide variety of industrial applications. Manufacturers...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Metamaterial Mirror Reflects Sound Waves in Any Direction

Researchers have constructed a “metamirror” device capable of perfectly reflecting sound waves in any direction. The proof-of-principle demonstration is analogous to looking...

Briefs : Materials
Waterproof Graphene Electronic Circuits

The many applications of graphene, an atomically-thin sheet of carbon atoms with extraordinary conductivity and mechanical properties, include the manufacture of sensors. These transform environmental parameters into electrical signals that can be processed and measured with a computer. Due to their...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
3D Printer Uses Rays of Light to Shape Objects

Most 3D printers, including light-based techniques, build up 3D objects layer by layer. This leads to a “stair-step” effect along the edges. They also have difficulties creating flexible...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Radiometric Temperature Measurement Using a DLP-Based Pyrometer

Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center have identified and evaluated recently available miniature spectrometers that enable compact and robust pyrometry...

Briefs : Energy
Material Could Make Plastic Manufacturing More Energy-Efficient

Anew material was developed that can extract the key ingredient in the most common form of plastic from a mixture of other chemicals while consuming far less energy than usual....

Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Miniature Bearings Play a Major Role in Mars 2020 Mission
Timken
North Canton, OH
www.timken.com

As NASA prepares for the launch of its newest Mars rover in 2020, Timken engineers have designed and tested its miniature...

Briefs : Software
Machine Learning Tool Computes Flow Around Interactively Designable 3D Objects

When engineers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model the flow of air...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Founded on July 1, 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is one of NASA’s largest field centers. Marshall engineers designed, built, tested, and helped launch the Saturn V...

Briefs : Aerospace
High-Performance, Current-Steering Digital-to-Analog Converter

A current-steering digital-to-analog converter (DAC) was developed that achieves improved switching times (up to 75% faster) in high-speed (gigahertz), high-resolution (8-14...

Briefs : Aerospace
Electron Beam Heating and Atomic Restructuring of Sapphire Surfaces

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a new way to reduce the high-temperature heating requirement of sapphire substrates in wafer production. The growth of...

Articles : Energy
LED Lighting Improves Efficiency and Imaging

Rocket engine testing requires a lot of light since all tests are filmed with high-speed cameras to monitor performance; however, those cameras have to adjust to the bright plume from a firing...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fast and Accurate Simulation of Manufactured Parts with Defects

Unwanted porosity is typical to many manufacturing processes — from traditional casting to additive manufacturing (3D printing) — and is difficult to avoid entirely....

Products : Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: May 2019

Position Sensors

Novotechnik, U.S., Southborough, MA, introduced Vert-X 2900 Series sensors that measure angular position and are available in single or redundant versions. Users can specify...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Products of Tomorrow: May 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 : Software
Software Could Help Prevent Arrhythmic Heart Disease

The heart’s pumping ability is controlled by electrical activity that triggers the heart muscle cells to contract and relax. In certain heart diseases such as arrhythmia, the organ’s electrical activity is affected.

5 Ws : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
5 Ws of Foldable Mechanical Devices

Who

Manufacturers across medical, space, aviation, military, and automotive industries could use the technology to build complex machines that integrate with surfaces to be very compact, but can...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technique Reverse-Engineers Complex 3D CAD Models

Nearly all commercial products start as a CAD file — a 2D or 3D model with the product’s design specifications. One method that’s widely used to represent today’s 3D models is...

Briefs : Data Acquisition
Singlet-Based Magnet for Enhanced Data Storage

Anew type of magnet — called a singlet-based magnet — was discovered that differs from conventional magnets in which small magnetic constituents align with one another to create a strong...

Q&A : Electronics & Computers
Q&A: NASA's Dr. Mahmooda Sultana Makes Multifunctional Sensors

Dr. Sultana won funding to advance a nanomaterial-based detector platform that can sense environmental parameters from minute concentrations of target gases and vapors, to atmospheric pressure and temperature, and then transmit that data via a wireless antenna — all from the same 3...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
S-Curve Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

Time-of flight mass spectrometers are commonly used in analytical chemistry and many other applications. They contain a region where ions travel toward a detector. A new geometry was developed that...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Changing the Automation Conversation

With advancements in manufacturing processes and materials, components in many industries are more precise with a new level of complex shapes. There is significant demand to create parts and assemblies...

Briefs : Medical
Method Shrinks Objects to the Nanoscale

Existing techniques for creating nano-structures are limited in what they can accomplish. Etching patterns onto a surface with light can produce 2D nano-structures but doesn’t work for 3D structures....

Briefs : Materials
Coating Prevents Fogging on Transparent Surfaces

Anyone who skis, wears glasses, uses a camera, or drives a car is familiar with the problem: Coming into a humid environment from the cold causes eyewear, camera lenses, or windshields to...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Medium-Frequency Transformer Transitions from AC to DC

Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid coolant. For the heat sink to work, it has to...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Transparent, Self-Healing Electronic Skin

Scientists have taken inspiration from underwater invertebrates like jellyfish to create an electronic skin with similar functionality. Like a jellyfish, the electronic skin is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and self-healing in aquatic environments.

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Novel Techniques Trick Object Detection Systems

New adversarial techniques developed by engineers at Southwest Research Institute can make objects “invisible” to image detection systems that use deep-learning algorithms. These techniques...

Briefs : Medical
Pocket-Sized Imaging Device Improves Accuracy Of Epidural Placement

A team of bioengineers supported through a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has...

Application Briefs : Energy
Improving Vehicle Fuel Economy with ADAS

Fuel economy is a key factor in worldwide energy-consumption. One way to improve fuel economy is using driver feedback to promote efficient habits (eco-driving). Emerging research is looking into...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Industrial Blue Lasers

What Does It Takes to Change the Game?

Industrial lasers are integrated into manufacturing and fabrication facilities around the world. Every moment, there is an industrial laser somewhere that is cutting,...

Articles : Test & Measurement
An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging

Three-dimensional (3D) imaging applications are used in many different industries ranging from industrial pick and place, palletization/depalletization, warehouse, robotics, and metrology to...

Products : Test & Measurement
New Products: May 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology

Sony Pregius Sensor

FRAMOS (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) now offers the Sony IMX392, a 1/2.3 type of imager with a square 1920 (h) × 1200 (v) active pixel array. The sensor has a...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Detect Ultra Rare Proteins in Blood Using a Cellphone Camera

One of the frontiers of medical diagnostics is the race for more sensitive blood tests. The ability to detect extremely rare proteins could make a life-saving difference for many...

Briefs : Materials
Tiny Optical Elements Could One Day Replace Traditional Refractive Lenses

A Northwestern University research team has developed tiny optical elements from metal nanoparticles and a polymer that one day could replace traditional refractive...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Advances in Laser Welding Technology

There have been many changes in laser technology over the past 30 years. With each advancement comes new challenges and opportunities. The CO2 laser with 10-micron wavelength was king for many...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Researchers Create Smartphone System to Test for Lead in Water

Researchers at the University of Houston have created an inexpensive system that can detect lead in tap water at levels commonly accepted as dangerous, using a lens made with an...

Articles : Test & Measurement
Live Cell Imaging Using Holotomography

Since Robert Hooke's microscopic observations of cork cells in the 17th century, optical imaging has proven an indispensable technique in elucidating the pathophysiology of diseases. Perhaps the real...

Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage

Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) is arguably America's most recognized hot rod shop. Founded in 2004 by charismatic serial entrepreneur Richard Rawlings, the Dallas, Texas garage is a state-of-the-art restoration and...

Products : Imaging
Product of the Month: May 2019 Tech Briefs

S. Himmelstein and Company, Hoffman Estates, IL, announced Model 700+ Series signal conditioners that are flexible, one- or two-channel signal conditioners/displays. They feature user-settable...

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