November 2019

Briefs: Data Acquisition

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...

Articles: Test & Measurement
The Foldable Drone: a Morphing Quadrotor that can Squeeze and Fly Davide Falanga, Kevin Kleber, Stefano Mintchev, Dario Floreano, and Davide...
Briefs: Energy

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: Electronics & Computers

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: Medical
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

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: Materials

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

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...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

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...

5 Ws: Test & Measurement
A new wearable could make heart health monitoring easier and more accurate than existing electrocardiograph machines.
Briefs: 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
In recent decades, NSF-funded researchers have discovered quite a bit, including many of the fundamental particles of matter.
Q&A: Semiconductors & ICs
Sherry Towfighian and her team made a big improvement on how microphones are manufactured.
Briefs: Materials

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...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

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: Medical
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: Energy

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: Software
3D-printing platforms, simulation software, transistors, and more.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

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...

NASA Spinoff: Aerospace
The material used on a shuttle's rocket boosters has several terrestrial applications.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
Battelle's simple, cost-effective sensor detects the onset of battery faults.
Articles: Energy
Briefs: Wearables

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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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...

Briefs: Nanotechnology

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

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: Internet of Things
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.

Briefs: Medical

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...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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

Articles: Transportation
A prototype of the AC 'Biode' battery has been developed at 20W.
Articles: Electronics & Computers

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

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...

Articles: Test & Measurement
Make the best selection for your hospital, clinic, or life science organization.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers

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: Electronics & Computers

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

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: Test & Measurement
Measuring milk components has become very crucial for the dairy industry.
Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Learn about the Draper Multi-Environment Navigator.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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,...

Products: Motion Control
LIDAR Systems, Smart Cameras, Optical Communications, and more.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Machine vision systems shed light on processes too small or too fast to see with the human eye.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Briefs: Photonics/Optics

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: Imaging

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...

Briefs: Imaging
A new imaging method extracts a color image from a single exposure of light scattered through a mostly opaque material.
Briefs: Data Acquisition

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...

Briefs: Imaging

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...

Articles: Medical
Learn more about ULISSES, an organ-preserving device that received top honors in the "Create the Future" Design Contest.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Learn more about the how "CSD" offers a cost-effective, non-invasive way of saving the lives of infants.
Products: Transportation
OnLogic has introduced the Karbon 700 high-performance rugged computer.
Special Reports: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotics & Machine Vision - November 2019

Advances in robotics and machine vision are transforming the factory floor. To help you keep pace with the latest developments in industrial automation, we present this compendium of recent articles...

White Papers: Automotive
White Paper: Why Electromechanical Actuators are Increasingly Replacing Hydraulic Actuators

Hydraulic actuation has traditionally provided much of the muscle for the industrial revolution, but that functionality has come with a cost....

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.

White Papers: Aerospace
Urban Air Mobility Industry Study

Ensuring the safety of people on the ground and in the aircraft is the top concern for urban air mobility manufacturers and operators, a new industry study shows. But choosing the right standards and...

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A team in Germany has a quicker, cleaner approach to welding metal to plastic: The HPCI® Joining Gun.
INSIDER: Photonics/Optics

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...

INSIDER: Automotive

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...

INSIDER Product: Imaging

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...

INSIDER: Imaging

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...

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.

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition

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...

INSIDER: Materials

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...

INSIDER: Government

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...

Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
What's the best aluminum for extrusion? A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert.
White Papers: Automotive
Analyzing Li-ion Battery Components

The global lithium-ion battery market is expected to reach 93.1 billion USD by 2025. This is largely driven by increased usage in electric vehicles, grid storage, and portable consumer electronics where...

White Papers: Medical
Current Trends in Medical Kit Packaging

In days of yore, when house calls were common, physicians used black leather bags to tote instruments from appointment to appointment. Those medical bags are long gone, but the logic behind them - a...

Podcasts: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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: Transportation

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

Blog: Energy
A new charging cell wants to use low-grade heat from our industrial processes to power our devices.
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Computed tomography is being used in the medical and industrial field. An expert explains how the two imaging techniques differ.
INSIDER: Motion Control

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...

INSIDER: Software

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...

INSIDER: Motion Control

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...

White Papers: Energy
Test of Complex Autonomous Vehicle Designs

Autonomous vehicles (AV) combine multiple sensors, computers and communication technology to make driving safer and improve the driver’s experience. Learn about design and test of complex sensor...

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Our expert examines the pros and cons of welding, adhesives, and other metal joining methods.
Question of the Week: Imaging
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...

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New measurements could help experts guess the location and size of the next earthquake.

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