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...

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...

Special Reports: Electronics & Computers
RF & Microwave Electronics - October 2020

In this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Aerospace & Defense Technology and Tech Briefs, read about how advances in RF electronics are enabling new applications in space and...

Special Reports: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Medical Manufacturing and Outsourcing - October 2020

Discover how advances in factory automation, robotics, 3D printing and other fabrication technologies are shaping the future of medical device manufacturing in this Special Report – a...

Special Reports: IoMT
Electronics Innovations - October 2020

In this compendium of articles from the editors of Tech Briefs magazine, discover how advances in electronic components are enabling game-changing applications in mobile healthcare/wearables, autonomous...

The response time of kinetic inductance bolometers can be greatly enhanced by electrothermal feedback for devices that are both sensitive and speedy.
Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: October 2020
Tubing plugs, displacement measurements, CAM software, and more.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
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.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Hybrid Material is an Efficient Photodetector
A metal-organic framework does not contain cost-intensive raw materials and can be produced in bulk.
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 Spinoff: Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Drone Navigation System Ends Reliance on GPS
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.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
“One-Way” Electronic Devices
These non-reciprocal devices on a compact chip pave the way for applications from two-way wireless to quantum computing.
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.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Soft, Rubbery Brain Implants
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: Unmanned Systems
Testing Swarming Drones
This system has a capacity of more than 1,500 times the volume of a typical testing facility.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method Turns Nearly any Object into a Data Storage Unit
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.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Technology Advances Learning Capabilities of Drone Swarms
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.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Drawing Electronics on Human Skin
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.
Taking a cue from birds and insects, the wing design helps drones fly more efficiently and makes them more robust to atmospheric turbulence.
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: Photonics/Optics
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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: October 2020 Motion Design
Accelerometers, actuators, hexapods, and more.
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.
Special Reports: RF & Microwave Electronics
Aerospace & Defense - October 2020

In this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Tech Briefs and Aerospace & Defense Technology, you'll learn about NASA's return to the moon with Apollo's twin sister Artemis, how autonomous...

For nearly 50 years, engineers in the electronics, aerospace, defense, medical device, and transportation industries have relied on Parylene coatings.
Products: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Product of the Month: October 2020 Tech Briefs
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...

Question of the Week: Photonics/Optics
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: Medical
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: Electronics & Computers
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: AR/AI
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: Connectivity
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: Design
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.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
With Water Jets, Machines 'Breathe' to Cool Down

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."

White Papers: Semiconductors & ICs
Electromagnetic Fault Injection (EMFI) for Automotive Safety & Security Testing with the ChipSHOUTER

Electromagnetic fault injection (EMFI) can cause many of the faults listed in ISO26262-11 for digital devices. This fault injection can be...

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...

On-Demand Webinars: Motion Control
Designing for an Electric Aircraft Future

Conventional aircraft configurations have three power options: pneumatic, electrical, and hydraulic. To move to a solely electric aircraft, however, requires new components such as high-speed motors, power electronics, and high-voltage cabling.

On-Demand Webinars: Software
Digital Transformation in Engineering's Most Challenging Industries

Systems and Software Engineering are key to managing spiraling complexity. In this session IBM experts from the Automotive and Aerospace/Defense industries share key engineering challenges like compliance, quality and productivity facing companies today and how they are...

White Papers: Automotive
High-Performance Starter Contactor Design

Shifts in the vehicle market are forcing changes in internal combustion engine (ICE) starting technology. Most substantively, the advent of start/stop engine technology requires a much longer...

Students at Rochester Institute of Technology created a wireless testbed that future research teams can use to investigate secure V2V communications.

On-Demand Webinars: Materials
New Anti-Friction Coating for Metal Gaskets

As the need for environmental protection increases, auto manufacturers are forced to develop engines that are more efficient and environmentally friendly. Besides electrification, engine downsizing is a common method used to help achieve this goal, but smaller engines require materials that can...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Squid-Like Robot Swims, Untethered
A robot being tested at the University of California San Diego takes after an aquatic invertebrate that has a jet-like way moving through the water: The Squid.
White Papers: Aerospace
Accelerating Integration in Automated Test Systems

Defining an automated test system can be challenging. A test system architect's goal is to accelerate the test system design process and ensure that the system can be easily deployed and...

Engineering students at the University of Cincinnati are building tiny custom CubeSat satellites to test the radiation shielding properties of carbon fiber material and take high-resolution photos of the...

On-Demand Webinars: Energy
How to Achieve Alternative Fuel ROI in Less Than 5 Years

This 30-minute Webinar examines how adsorbed natural gas (ANG) can bring operational benefits for fleets and pay for itself in less than five years. ANG is specifically suited to light-duty fleets and offers a simple, alternative fueling solution that costs a fraction of a...

A reader asks, "For AV testing, what are the respective role of simulation, closed course, and public road testing?"
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Use a ‘SwingBot?’

A “SwingBot” robotic arm from MIT can learn the physical features of a handheld object through tactile exploration. Instead of using cameras or vision methods, the robot’s grippers use GelSight tactile sensors that measure the pose and force distribution of the object. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

White Papers: Automotive
Bezel Bonding and Display Gaskets for Integrated Electronics

This downloadable article covers Cutting Edge Display Materials and Techniques from Boyd Corporation and 3M that will improve display performance, ease of assembly, and display...

White Papers: Materials
Thermal Interface Materials for Next-Generation Electronics

Boyd Corporation is the largest global thermal solutions manufacturer and is well known for innovative, fully optimized thermal management solutions and systems. Boyd is also a...

White Papers: Automotive
The Inside Story on Rotary Position Sensors for Electric Vehicle Traction Motors

Wells Vehicle Electronics manufactures more than 1,000 part types for fuel delivery, ignition and emissions and now is expanding on its expertise in control...

NASA’s DuAxel, a pair of two-wheeled rovers each called Axel, can split in half with each half connected only by a tether that unspools as the lead axle approaches a hazard.

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Today’s automotive industry requires precision parts with high performance and reliability at a competitive cost. This 30-minute Webinar discusses a unique process that eliminates the need for complex, expensive machining when producing small, intricate steel and stainless steel components...

An interactive software being developed at the University of Tokyo allows architects and furniture makers with little experience in woodworking to to design and build structurally sound wood joints.
Purdue University innovators are taking cues from the spider to develop 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging.
Tech Talks: Photonics/Optics
Optical Fibers for Gyroscopes

This Tech Talk shares the results of a study that looks at the effects of radiation on a low-bend-loss optical fiber for gyroscope applications. It examines the experiments that were set up and then reviews their surprising results. The irradiation was done at the Naval Research Laboratory. The specifics and...

Trending Stories

NASA Spinoff: Automotive

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics

Underwater Navigation System Powered by Sound

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Passivating Stainless Steel Parts

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D-Printed Working Heart Pump with Real Human Cells

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

A Guide to Collaborative Robot Safety

Q&A: Energy

Q&A: Electricity-Free Cooling

Videos