February 2021

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

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...

Board-to-board connectors, supercapacitors, li-ion batteries, and more.
When it comes to the research and development of batteries, modeling and simulation (M&S) provide an efficient and low-cost approach.
Battery reuse systems could be profitable for both electric vehicle companies and grid-scale solar operations.
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.
Energy is absorbed in the diamond through a process called inelastic scattering, which is used to generate electricity.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Compact Infrared Spectrometer
This device fits on a computer chip but can analyze infrared light in the same way as a conventional spectrometer.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printing with Wood-Based Ink
By emulating the natural cellular architecture of wood, green products such as clothes, packaging, and furniture can be manufactured with unique properties.
This tool provides faster and more detailed composite damage simulation results.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Wafer-Scale Membrane Release Process
This process fabricates thin dielectric membranes with high mechanical yields.
A newly developed architected metamaterial has the ability to change shape in a tunable fashion.
Briefs: Software
Additive Manufacturing Automated Process Planning Software
The software automatically maps designs from CAD software to additive manufacturing to help cut unnecessary steps.
Facility Focus: Robotics, Automation & Control
Facility Focus: University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering
Some of the technologies coming from the UT labs include COVID antibody tests, self-watering soil, and the "DRACO" robot.
Learn about the kinds of wireless meters that can provide precise test data.
The material could help protect both civilian and military personnel in earthquakes.
This quantum language is the first of its kind that is as elegant, simple, and safe as classical computer languages.
The sensor is suitable for both overt and covert applications, and can detect multiple and variable targets.
Briefs: Aerospace
High-Fidelity Sonic Boom Propagation Tool
The sBOOMTraj software tool predicts and mitigates ground noise generated during supersonic flight.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Printable Chemical Nanosensor
This integrated nanosensor is printed on a daughter board using 3D printing techniques.

Rectennas convert electromagnetic fields at optical frequencies directly to electrical current. Optical rectennas operate by coupling light’s electromagnetic field to an...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technology Remedies 3D Printing’s “Weak Spot”
The technology welds adjacent 3D-printed layers more effectively, thereby increasing the reliability of the final part.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Executive Roundtable: Facility & Network Security
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.
Ultra-thin and flexible metalenses could replace traditional camera lenses.
Briefs: Imaging
Kodiak 3D LiDAR
This system provides low-cost, reliable 3D LiDAR images in nearly any lighting condition.
These nanomaterial strain sensors are ten times more sensitive when measuring minute movements compared to existing technology.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Composites for High-Temperature Uses
The polyimide composites have uses in aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, mechanical systems, and industrial machinery.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
4D Printing of Morphing Structures
A new method manufactures complex shapeshifters for soft robots and biomedical implants.
Applications include terahertz medical imaging and communications.
With a technique first used at NASA, researchers are making glasses that can improve your concentration.
This rapid and cost-effective technique yields a uniform etched surface with 99.5 percent emissivity.
5 Ws: Manufacturing & Prototyping
5 Ws of the Screen-Printed Battery
The battery can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.
Briefs: Materials
Material for Wearable Biosensors
Electrospinning is used to make porous silicone that allows sweat to evaporate.
This system treats light-responsive disorders or deficits such as eating disorders, sleep problems, hormone-sensitive cancers, and cardiovascular disorders.
A new method of linking materials with unique mechanical properties could enable robots made of robots.
A new machine learning algorithm could make smartphones charge faster and increase the time between charges for electric vehicles.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Sensitive Optical Receivers for Space
This concept could help break through the present-day data-return bottleneck in deep space missions.
USC researchers found a way to use idle oil and gas wells for energy storage.
Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: February 2021
Disconnect terminal blocks, oscillioscope probes, test modules, and more.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Innovation on a Larger Scale: Robotic Fiber Placement and 3D Printing
“The disruption promised by Industry 4.0 has already begun,” says Jason Melcher from the aerospace manufacturing company Ingersoll.
The stretchable sensor has applications in environmental monitoring and healthcare.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Split-Ring Torque Sensor
This optical-based device measures position, velocity, and torque.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Smart Fabric Detects and Collects Space Dust
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.
Compared to a LED, the omnidirectional laser light is much brighter and better defined.
Briefs: Materials
Sensing Magnetic Fields
Applications include detection of explosives, navigation, and aerospace altitude sensing.
The material could enable cheaper and more environmentally friendly displays and large-area lighting.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: February 2021 Motion Design
Industrial robots, motor disconnect switches, position sensors, and more.
Once confined to the role of machine visualization, modern unified HMI software now delivers better user interfaces, containerization, and remote device management.
A technique enables manufacturing of minuscule robots by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.
New online tools — coupled with online libraries of pre-selected and tested component specifications — simplify machine design.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Electronic Skin Sensor Decodes Human Motion
This system can track the motion of the entire body with a small sensory network.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Locking Side Pull Hoist Ring
The integrated tool eliminates the need for manual operators or additional custom fixtures.
When specifying servo motors for applications like a new machine or CNC retrofit, there are many considerations regarding servo motor performance and sizing.
As 5G arrives, devices will need to expand I/O counts at the controller, as well as overall networking capabilities.
See why Mohawk Innovative Technology, Inc. is excited for the potential of additive manufacturing.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Capabilities for Grasp-Assisting Gloves
Applications include aiding patients with impaired hand muscle strength and in manufacturing for operating tools for extended periods of time.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
Products of Tomorrow: February 2021
Next-generation solar panels, 3D-printed composites from NASA, and a new way to sterilize medical devices.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Product of the Month: February 2021 Tech Briefs
The Agile Engineering Design System® is an integrated suite of software modules for CAE/CAM of turbomachinery.
These 12 products are the nominees for the 2020 Tech Briefs Readers’ Choice Product of the Year.
White Papers: Motion 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.)

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Control Under Pressure

Biomedical and life science applications depend on precise, repeatable liquid handling. Pressure-controlled liquid dispensing systems provide a simple, quick and cost-effective way to dose nanoliter- to...

White Papers: Automotive
Dundon Motorsports fast-tracks production of auto racing parts with HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutions

In the fast-paced world of auto racing, Dundon Motorsports stays ahead of the competition by 3D printing parts for Porsche GT racecars...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Ultra-Thin and Highly Sensitive Strain Sensors

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...

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...

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
Making Cheaper Biocompatible E-Skin Electrodes

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.

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.)

Upcoming 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
Here's an Idea: Hospital Robots
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.
Design engineers should be cautious in how they design and deploy mixed-reality technologies, says an industry expert.

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

White Papers: Power
Efficient Power Supply Burn-in Using Regenerative Electronic Loads

Switch-mode power supplies used in data centers, industrial equipment, medical devices, and other critical applications are typically subjected to burn-in operation at full...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Programmable DC Power Supply

Choosing the right DC programmable power supply for your test system or application can feel overwhelming if you are not sure of all the considerations involved. This book guides you through the process of...

White Papers: Power
Testing Electric Vehicle Motor and Controller with a Bidirectional Power Supply

Each year ,vehicle electrification continues to increase, with all signs pointing to this trend accelerating in the future. Some of the factors contributing to...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Optimizing Laser Diode Control

Extremely low noise and stable output wavelength can be achieved with laser diodes using the proper techniques and design. Laser system integrators must have a good understanding of the application and how the...

White Papers: Power
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: Power
Why You Need Bidirectional DC Power Supplies to Test Batteries

In today’s fast-paced world, the need to create quicker, more mobile mechanical devices is steadily increasing. One primary method for doing this is to replace traditional...

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...

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: Electronics & Computers
Testing and Optimizing Low-Power Designs

Power consumption is a key performance parameter for almost every electronic device. Conserving energy is good for the environment and has a large impact on operational costs, customer experience, and...

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: Aerospace
Carbon Fiber Rotor Encapsulation

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...

White Papers: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Growing Importance of Electronics to Control and Convert Power

The modern world relies on electric power in countless ways. It is almost impossible to imagine life without electricity and the many applications it enables. This reliance...

Watch as the Perseverance rover lands on Mars.
On-Demand Webinars: Test & Measurement
Radar Measurements: Triggering, Analysis, and Generation

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

What can you do with a credit card sized pump? "Power clothing!" Prof. Jonathan Rossiter tells Tech Briefs?
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.
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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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.

Upcoming 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...

White Papers: IoMT
Smart Sensors – A Key Factor in IoT Success

Sensors have evolved to perform a technically and economically viable role within the IoT environment. In this article, we have seen how chip manufacturers and researchers have been responding to...

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
A Robot Walks — No Electronics Needed
To move, a new UCSD robot just needs a constant source of pressurized air.
White Papers: Medical
What to Consider When Attempting to Meet Fda Requirements on Medical Device Security

There has been an explosion in the number and types of medical devices available on the market. More and more of these devices are connected to the outside...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
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...

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,...

Question of the Week
Would You Use the 'LaserFactory?'

Trending Stories

Articles: Software

Modeling & Simulation for Battery Development

Articles: Data Acquisition

Executive Roundtable: Facility & Network Security

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

A New, Highly Improved Two-Cycle Engine

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers

Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control

Mars 2020 – The Science of Mars 2020

NASA Spinoff: Energy

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Videos