February 2021

Briefs: Wearables
A stretchable system can harvest energy from human breathing and motion.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Inficon’s lithium-ion battery cell test can detect a leak many times smaller than current methods identify.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Adding polymers and fireproofing to a battery’s current collectors makes it lighter, safer, and about 20% more efficient.
Articles: Energy
SAE J2954 paves the way for electric vehicle charging without a plug and enables alignment for manual/autonomous parking.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
The method could be key to designing more efficient batteries for specific uses such as electric cars and airplanes.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
This technology charges lithium batteries faster and reduces the risk of device explosions.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Computers or smartphones with folding screens, smart clothing, and wearable sensors all require an energy source, which is usually a lithium-ion battery. These are typically heavy and rigid, making them...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Board-to-board connectors, supercapacitors, li-ion batteries, and more.
Articles: Software
When it comes to the research and development of batteries, modeling and simulation (M&S) provide an efficient and low-cost approach.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Battery reuse systems could be profitable for both electric vehicle companies and grid-scale solar operations.
Articles: Energy
NASA-funded research by Clemson University scientists could lead to the creation of lighter, faster-charging batteries suitable for powering a spacesuit or even a Mars rover.
Articles: RF & Microwave Electronics
Energy is absorbed in the diamond through a process called inelastic scattering, which is used to generate electricity.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This device fits on a computer chip but can analyze infrared light in the same way as a conventional spectrometer.
Briefs: Materials
By emulating the natural cellular architecture of wood, green products such as clothes, packaging, and furniture can be manufactured with unique properties.
Briefs: Software
This tool provides faster and more detailed composite damage simulation results.
Briefs: Materials
Wafer-Scale Membrane Release Process
This process fabricates thin dielectric membranes with high mechanical yields.
Briefs: Materials
A newly developed architected metamaterial has the ability to change shape in a tunable fashion.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Automated Process Planning Software
The software automatically maps designs from CAD software to additive manufacturing to help cut unnecessary steps.
Facility Focus: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Some of the technologies coming from the UT labs include COVID antibody tests, self-watering soil, and the "DRACO" robot.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Learn about the kinds of wireless meters that can provide precise test data.
Briefs: Materials
The material could help protect both civilian and military personnel in earthquakes.
Briefs: Software
This quantum language is the first of its kind that is as elegant, simple, and safe as classical computer languages.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The sensor is suitable for both overt and covert applications, and can detect multiple and variable targets.
Briefs: Software
High-Fidelity Sonic Boom Propagation Tool
The sBOOMTraj software tool predicts and mitigates ground noise generated during supersonic flight.
Briefs: Materials
This integrated nanosensor is printed on a daughter board using 3D printing techniques.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
The improved rectennas could operate low-power devices such as temperature sensors.
Briefs: Materials
The technology welds adjacent 3D-printed layers more effectively, thereby increasing the reliability of the final part.
Articles: Data Acquisition
Tech Briefs asks industry experts about cybersecurity, the cloud, wireless devices, and securing a remote workforce.
Briefs: Software
Space Weather Database
The DONKI application provides daily interpretations of space weather observations, analysis, and models.
Briefs: Materials
Ultra-thin and flexible metalenses could replace traditional camera lenses.
Briefs: Imaging
This system provides low-cost, reliable 3D LiDAR images in nearly any lighting condition.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
These nanomaterial strain sensors are ten times more sensitive when measuring minute movements compared to existing technology.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The polyimide composites have uses in aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, mechanical systems, and industrial machinery.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A new method manufactures complex shapeshifters for soft robots and biomedical implants.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Applications include terahertz medical imaging and communications.
NASA Spinoff: Wearables
With a technique first used at NASA, researchers are making glasses that can improve your concentration.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This rapid and cost-effective technique yields a uniform etched surface with 99.5 percent emissivity.
5 Ws: Materials
The battery can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.
Briefs: Wearables
Material for Wearable Biosensors
Electrospinning is used to make porous silicone that allows sweat to evaporate.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
This system treats light-responsive disorders or deficits such as eating disorders, sleep problems, hormone-sensitive cancers, and cardiovascular disorders.
Briefs: Materials
A new method of linking materials with unique mechanical properties could enable robots made of robots.
Briefs: Software
A new machine learning algorithm could make smartphones charge faster and increase the time between charges for electric vehicles.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
This concept could help break through the present-day data-return bottleneck in deep space missions.
Q&A: Energy
USC researchers found a way to use idle oil and gas wells for energy storage.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Disconnect terminal blocks, oscillioscope probes, test modules, and more.
Application Briefs: Software
“The disruption promised by Industry 4.0 has already begun,” says Jason Melcher from the aerospace manufacturing company Ingersoll.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
The stretchable sensor has applications in environmental monitoring and healthcare.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
This optical-based device measures position, velocity, and torque.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A smart fiber being tested on the International Space Station could be used to develop space dust telescopes and allow astronauts to feel through their pressurized suits.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Compared to a LED, the omnidirectional laser light is much brighter and better defined.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Applications include detection of explosives, navigation, and aerospace altitude sensing.
Briefs: Imaging
The material could enable cheaper and more environmentally friendly displays and large-area lighting.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Industrial robots, motor disconnect switches, position sensors, and more.
Articles: Software
Once confined to the role of machine visualization, modern unified HMI software now delivers better user interfaces, containerization, and remote device management.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A technique enables manufacturing of minuscule robots by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.
Application Briefs: Motion Control
New online tools — coupled with online libraries of pre-selected and tested component specifications — simplify machine design.
Briefs: Materials
This system can track the motion of the entire body with a small sensory network.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The integrated tool eliminates the need for manual operators or additional custom fixtures.
Articles: Motion Control
When specifying servo motors for applications like a new machine or CNC retrofit, there are many considerations regarding servo motor performance and sizing.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
As 5G arrives, devices will need to expand I/O counts at the controller, as well as overall networking capabilities.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
See why Mohawk Innovative Technology, Inc. is excited for the potential of additive manufacturing.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Applications include aiding patients with impaired hand muscle strength and in manufacturing for operating tools for extended periods of time.
Articles: Wearables
Next-generation solar panels, 3D-printed composites from NASA, and a new way to sterilize medical devices.
Products: Software
The Agile Engineering Design System® is an integrated suite of software modules for CAE/CAM of turbomachinery.
Special Reports: Test & Measurement
Test & Measurement - February 2021

Sensors to search for ancient life on Mars...nano-thermometers that could revolutionize temperature measurement...a major advance in semiconductor testing. These are just a few of the technologies you'll...

Special Reports: Photonics/Optics
LIDAR Technology - February 2021

LIDAR sensors and systems are the "eyes" of ADAS and autonomous vehicles. Read about the latest advances in this compendium of articles from the editors of Automotive Engineering and Autonomous Vehicle...

Products: IoMT
These 12 products are the nominees for the 2020 Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year.
White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
NBK's Anti-Vibration Couplings Help Bring Out Your Servo Systems Performance

How can replacing your current shaft couplings to improve your industrial productivity?

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Can 'Bluebots' Preserve Coral Reefs?

A team of Harvard researchers have developed fish-inspired robots that can synchronize their movements like a real school of fish, without any external control. (Watch the robots in action on Tech Briefs TV.)

Tech Talks: Software
The Future is Virtual for Automotive Electronic System Software Development

From electric vehicle control to advanced driver assistance systems, electronic content in automotive systems is accelerating. With it comes the need to develop and test automotive embedded software, which is time-consuming and costly. Today the development...

INSIDER: Motion Control

A research team from National University of Singapore (NUS) has taken a first step towards improving the safety and precision of industrial robotic arms by developing a new range of...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition

A hacker can reproduce a circuit on a chip by discovering what key transistors are doing in a circuit — but not if the transistor “type” is...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

Light-emitting diodes — LEDs — are important in many more applications than just illumination. These light sources are useful in microelectronics too. Smartphones, for example,...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

Scientists around the world are working to develop electronic skins that attach to the body and monitor vital signs. These E-skins need to be comfortable, breathable, and flexible for...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Electric-Vehicle Transmission Development Priorities

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more prominent in OEMs’ product ranges, the specialization of their driveline components will expand, with transmissions emerging as an important performance and efficiency factor.

Blog: Photonics/Optics
Should you replace your big coordinate measurement machine with laser radar? Or should you just add a laser scanner with a CMM? A reader asks our expert.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will ‘Bubble Robots’ Catch On?

A group of researchers are using a surprising ingredient in their robot design: Bubbles. (Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.)

On-Demand Webinars: Aerospace
6 Ways to Reduce Aerospace and Defense Program Risk

This presentation describes how a development environment employing a complete digital twin of the platform electrical system reduces program risk. It discusses the importance of employing a mature and fully functional, multi-domain digital thread to enrich the digital twin throughout...

Podcasts: Robotics, Automation & Control
In this episode of Here's an Idea, we look at a set of robots already helping out hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.
Blog: AR/AI
Design engineers should be cautious in how they design and deploy mixed-reality technologies, says an industry expert.
On-Demand Webinars: Medical

This 60-minute Webinar shows how medical device, industrial machine, and process control manufacturers and researchers are leveraging fiber...

White Papers: Energy
RF & Bench Essentials Reference Guide

Much has been written, published, and presented about the basics of RF and wireless fundamentals. Basics are often told from the perspective of reviewing academic concepts focusing on design...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Power Electronics T&M Solutions

When selecting suitable passive and active components in the early development phases, an LCR meter is ideal for assessing capacitors and inductors. Developing converters and inverters requires test and...

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

The range of properties available across the family of zinc die casting alloys, combined with the multiple options for casting zinc, provides unparalleled...

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
NH/NS Linear Guides Technology

For designers and engineers of industrial machines that employ linear motion functions, achieving high load capacities, high speed positioning accuracy, and a compact form factor is the holy grail. If such a...

White Papers: Medical
Mechatronic Integration for Precision Medical Device Linear MotionMechatronic Integration for Precision Medical Device Linear Motion

Nowhere is the need for smooth, precise, repeatable and reliable motion more critical than with medical...

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Evaluating Performance Modes In Precision Ground Ball Screws

For a vast array of industrial applications including milling-machine tables, robotics, medical equipment, and semiconductor manufacture, ball screws deliver extremely accurate and...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
New Ways To Increase Productivity With ‘Smart’ Systems

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) like the Festo Motion Terminal promise to increase production, simplify value chain processes and future-proof plants. In a new white paper, we explore...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Do You Like the Idea of Robots in the Hospital?

Our brand-new episode of Here’s an Idea highlighted a growing use of robots and robotic arms in the hospital. While technologies like “Tommy” and “Tiago” are helpful in completing tedious, repetitive tasks, the robots do lack a certain human touch, says our editor Sherrie Trigg.

Tech Talks: Materials

As the aerospace and other high-tech industries continue to evolve toward more energy-efficient, power-dense systems, new technologies are emerging that place greater demands on motors in terms of...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Watch as the Perseverance rover lands on Mars.
Upcoming Webinars: Test & Measurement

Advanced instruments handle the wide bandwidth, high dynamic range needs of radar and electronic warfare specialists. Diverse pulse and modulation techniques are needed for...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
What can you do with a credit card sized pump? "Power clothing!" Prof. Jonathan Rossiter tells Tech Briefs?
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Darin Skelly spoke with Tech Briefs about how he felt during the landing of the Perseverance rover, and what he's most looking forward to finding out about Mars.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dr. Axel Krieger from Johns Hopkins University explains how he is getting a robotic system ready for the fight against COVID-19.
Question of the Week: Photonics/Optics
Would You Use the 'LaserFactory?'

A technology from MIT known as the "LaserFactory" integrates 3D printers and laser cutters to fabricate wearables, robots, and electronics components like sensors and actuators.

On-Demand Webinars: Materials
Designing with Silicone for Space

Designing a satellite and working in the extremes of space have their challenges, but finding the right material shouldn’t be one. In this 30-minute Webinar, an expert in space-grade silicones explores the capabilities of these materials and examines how their low outgassing proprieties can enable...

On-Demand Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Developing Standards for Odor Sensors and Data

The next evolution of smart sensors is being built around the ability to mimic the human sense of smell. With the power to assess the strength of an odor, determine if it is pleasant, or what the presence of an odor signifies (new car smell, rotting food in a refrigerator, a cake that is...

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
To move, a new UCSD robot just needs a constant source of pressurized air.
White Papers: Automotive
Your Guide to 4,000 Solutions

Find the best product for your project by following this guide and sampling free products. Our main objective is to be a solutions partner by delivering cost-effective solutions, improve processes and provide...

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Transforming Automotive Engineering by Tackling Complexity

Electrification and ADAS are accelerating product complexity to unmanageable levels. The nexus of this complexity is where software and electrical engineering converge. The problem with current processes and tools is they’re disconnected and discontinuous, creating challenges...

INSIDER: Motion Control

Perseverance – the largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world – touched down on Mars last week after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles. About the size of a car,...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

The Art of EV Propulsion System Design

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Solutions for Automotive Interior Colors

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Latest Enhancements for ADAS Sensor Testing and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Adhesives and the Future of Battery Designs

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Using High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography to Inspect...

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Digital Solutions to Design Vehicles for Noise and Vibration

Videos