October 2020

Researchers at the University of Houston report that they have designed and produced a smart electronic skin and a medical robotic hand capable of assessing vital diagnostic...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
2D Materials for Extra Thin Computer Chips

For a long time, something important has been regularly neglected in electronics. If you want to make electronic components smaller and smaller, you also need the right insulator materials. This...

The proliferation and miniaturization of electronics in devices, wearables, medical implants, and other applications has...

Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed the world’s smallest ultrasound detector. Based on...

The response time of kinetic inductance bolometers can be greatly enhanced by electrothermal feedback for devices that are both sensitive and speedy.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: October 2020
Tubing plugs, displacement measurements, CAM software, and more.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Using Silicon for Battery Anodes
A nanostructure design lends extraordinary strength to a promising storage ingredient.
In 2020, the EPA marks 50 years of preparing for, responding to, preventing, and mitigating natural and manmade disasters.
This technology can work with multiple wavelengths of light simultaneously.
Applications include low-light conditions such as on orbital satellites and VR applications where the lens needs to be larger than a pupil.
This method could benefit next-generation electronics.
NASA's UAS traffic management expertise leads to advances in drone navigation.
The new battery technology could improve electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and supercharge safe, long-range electric cars.
These non-reciprocal devices on a compact chip pave the way for applications from two-way wireless to quantum computing.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
Products of Tomorrow: October 2020
Nanowire masks, underwater imaging, and tiny 3D-printed block that repair bone breaks.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Integrated Microchips for Electronic Skin
Fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits open the path towards the development of electronic skin.
This technique may enable speedy, on-demand design of softer, safer neural devices.
A higher-order network could be built that looks for subtle changes in data that point to suspicious activity.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Testing Swarming Drones
This system has a capacity of more than 1,500 times the volume of a typical testing facility.
This technology makes it possible to save extensive data in objects such as shirt buttons, water bottles, or the lenses of glasses and then retrieve it years later.
The technique could enable the printing of circuit boards, electromechanical components, and robots.
The learning approach allows swarms of unmanned vehicles to optimally accomplish their mission while minimizing performance uncertainty.
New collaborative robot-based vision systems are changing how manufacturers can inspect their parts.
Tiny aircraft that weigh as much as a fruit fly could serve as Martian atmospheric probes.
5 Ws: Green Design & Manufacturing
5 Ws of Algae-Based Flip-Flops
Would you take a walk in biodegradable flip-flops?
This method integrates 3D plasmonic nanoarrays onto stickers that adhere to any surface.
Applications include rapid prototyping, medical, aerospace, and automotive.
People could monitor their own health conditions by picking up a pencil and drawing a bioelectronic device on their skin.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Controlling Defects in 3D Printing
Temperature data is used to tune, and fix, defects in 3D-printed metallic parts.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Quantum Switch Turns Metals into Insulators
This approach could engineer quantum materials atom-by-atom for new electronic, magnetic, and sensing applications.
A nanoLED has up to 1,000 times the brightness of conventional submicron-sized LEDs.
The software assesses the quality of parts in real time, without the need for expensive characterization equipment.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Bio-Inspired Wing Design for Small Drones
Taking a cue from birds and insects, the wing design helps drones fly more efficiently and makes them more robust to atmospheric turbulence.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wavy Surfaces for Better Light Control
This method could impact optical technologies such as smartphone cameras, biosensors, or autonomous vision for robots and self-driving cars.
The algorithm provides an extra layer of safety and security against hackers of electronic devices.
Traditional spark plugs are replaced by an optical pumping source.
This battery would enable a 10-minute electrical vehicle recharge.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Combined Optical Transmitter and Receiver
The tiny unit is significant for the miniaturization of optoelectronic systems.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Measuring Optical Null Lens Aberrations
This method can be used in astronomy, surveillance, and optics manufacturing.
“EasyPass” would enable smart warehouses, automated factories, and more to operate without delays.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Perovskite Solar Cells Take the Heat
Perovskites could be the active ingredient that makes the next generation of low-cost, efficient, lightweight, and flexible solar cells.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fluoride Materials for Extra-Thin Computer Chips
To make electronic components smaller, semiconductor 2D materials are combined with new types of insulator materials.
Neuromorphic computing uses memristors that could function and operate like real brain synapses.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Industrial-Grade Open Source
Open source microcontroller technologies in industrially hardened form factors address critical applications.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Drones Change Shape Mid-Flight
This capability will optimize performance of the vehicle through different phases of flight.
A soft hydrogel, driven by an oscillatory chemical reaction, produces an autonomous integrated pump for microfluidic applications.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Open Controllers Simplify Automation Systems
By consolidating tasks traditionally performed by multiple devices into a single, high-performing controller, manufacturers can improve operations.
Standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) connectors continue to be a great resource for quick prototypes and reference designs.
Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Custom Gimbal for JHU-APL Shows Promise for Others
See how Blue Joule developed and delivered the Mini Mount (MM) Gimbal to Johns Hopkins University.
Products: Photonics/Optics
New Products: October 2020 Motion Design
Accelerometers, actuators, hexapods, and more.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Origami-Inspired Miniature Manipulator
This mini robot improves precision and control of teleoperated surgical procedures.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Torque Limiters 101: Benefits, Types, and Comparisons
Torque limiters protect against damage and downtime caused by machine overloads.
For nearly 50 years, engineers in the electronics, aerospace, defense, medical device, and transportation industries have relied on Parylene coatings.
Users can edit the shape of a model while viewing results and watch the simulation update immediately.
Podcasts: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Here's an Idea: 3D Printing in Space
In this episode of Here's an Idea, NASA's Tracie Prater wants to leave spare parts back on Earth...and 3D print them in space.

As the number of electric vehicles grows, so does the need for advancements in battery technologies, especially in areas of thermal management, safety, durability,...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft Robots Deliver Medical Treatments

Researchers created a way to send tiny, soft robots into humans. Doctors would use magnetic fields to steer the soft robot inside the body, bringing medications or treatments to places that need...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Measuring Torque Ripple and Its Effects on Electric Power and Noise & Vibration

Torque ripple can create challenges in electric motors including control, power output, noise, vibration, and durability. Torque ripple can be described as the...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will Flat Fisheye Lenses Play a Greater Role in Medical Imaging and Consumer Electronics?

A recent Tech Briefs TV video demonstrated an achievement from engineers at MIT and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The teams designed the first completely flat fisheye lens to produce crisp, 180-degree panoramic images. The lenses, according to...

On-Demand Webinars: Test & Measurement
Standardization for Automated-Vehicle Testing and Simulation

With an ever-increasing worldwide number of automated-vehicle developers comes the need for standards for physical and simulation testing. There currently are many global and regional endeavors to formulate AV testing standards, but the piecemeal nature of these efforts...

White Papers: Design
How to Select the Right Transformer for High Voltage Energy Storage

Efficient power isolation is necessary to help increase safety in today’s automotive designs that use high voltage energy storage. Bourns’ app note details the advanced,...

White Papers: Materials
Extruding High-Performance Thermoplastic Filaments for 3D Printing

Over the last few years, high performance thermoplastics have become a widely discussed topic in the 3D printing community. However, due to the characteristics of high...

White Papers: Design
On-Demand Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Rotary Position Sensing for EV Powertrain Applications

This 30-minute Webinar examines a patented breakthrough sensor technology for electric vehicle (EV) traction motor applications. These rotary position sensors are an alternative...

Vanderbilt University engineers are proving that their elastic exosuit can provide relief for people doing the heavy lifting.
A reader asks, "Will the public feel safe enough in an autonomous vehicle?"
White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Machine Learning and Virtualization are Driving the Future of Manufacturing

In the smart factory of the future virtualization and machine learning will optimize productivity, reduce waste, improve product quality and eliminate unplanned...

Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Will We Someday 'Draw' Sensors On Our Skin?

A Tech Brief featured in our October issue showcases how University of Missouri researchers are creating pencil-drawn sensors. The engineers demonstrated that the simple combination of pencils and paper could be used to create personal, health-monitoring devices.

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Best Practices for Avoiding Systematic Faults and Handling Random Faults in Automotive Electronic Systems

As automotive electronic systems become increasingly complex, the potential impact on the safety of the vehicle’s occupants and bystanders becomes a critical consideration. As per ISO 26262 guidelines, two classes of safety...

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
How to Identify Good Collaborative Robot Projects

Statistics show that collaborative automation is the fastest growing segment in the industry – and for good reason. Cobots are safe, easy to use, and quick to deploy. To get...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
Addressing the Time to Charge Industrial and Commercial Transportation Vehicles

Refueling a commercial vehicle at the lowest cost in the shortest amount of time has always been a critical piece of the total cost of ownership (TCO) puzzle. As...

White Papers: Software
The State of Product Development & Hardware Design 2020

The most successful companies are always striving to get better, to deliver more innovative products and get them to market faster. What do today’s product development teams think...

On-Demand Webinars: Transportation
Commercial Vehicle Electrification: Still on Track?

Development and fleet testing of electric commercial vehicles is accelerating as manufacturers attempt to satisfy ever-stricter emissions regulations. Electrification strategies can prove effective for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in a variety of applications, including “last mile”...

Tech Talks: Materials
Advances in Thermally Conductive, Electrically Insulated Materials for E-Motor Applications

When plastics are used in electric components, the selection process examines mechanical properties, temperature capability, flammability, thermal conductivity, and moldability, as well as the need for electrical resistance to isolate the system...

Researcher Nina Mahmoudian is finding a new way for underwater robots to recharge and upload their data, and then go back out to continue exploring, without the need for human intervention.

University of Central Florida researchers are developing a human-like way for large machines to cool off and keep from overheating: Letting the machines "breathe."

Question of the Week: Electronics & Computers
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

University of Michigan engineers reported that their new self-erasing chips could help stop counterfeit electronics or provide alerts if sensitive shipments are tampered with. The chips use a new material that temporarily stores energy, changing the color of the light it emits. The self-erase period takes seven...

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