June 2020

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mini Rover Pedals Out of Trouble

The next generation of exploration rovers will need to be good at climbing hills covered with loose material and avoiding entrapment on soft granular surfaces. Built with wheeled appendages that can be...

Special Reports: Transportation
ADAS/Connected Car - June 2020

Today's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and connected cars are paving the way for tomorrow's automated vehicles. To help you keep pace with the latest technology developments, we present this...

Special Reports: Photonics/Optics
Advances in Optics - June 2020

From Automotive LiDAR to Cubesats & space communications to smart cameras for robots, optics technology is enabling exciting new applications across a range of industries. Read all about it in this Special...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Don’t Blame it on the Bearings
New measurement methodologies can save you time that would otherwise be wasted on returning and reordering bearing.
This program provides a relative navigation capability for spacecraft, remotely operated terrestrial vehicles, and machine vision.
Taking a holistic approach to sealing systems in hydraulic systems using chrome alternatives helps engineers achieve optimum function.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Soft Hardware for More Flexible Robots
Combined muscles and sensors made from soft materials allow for adaptable robots.
This type of energy source could be the basis for robots that seek out and “eat” metal, breaking down its chemical bonds for energy like humans do with food.
Application Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Magnetic Transmissions Increase Lifespan of Offshore Wind Farms
In places of limited accessibility and harsh conditions, replacing failed transmissions is a challenging and tremendously costly task.
By observing humans, robots learn to perform complex tasks such as setting a table.
Briefs: Motion Control
Solenoid Valve Health Monitor

The Solenoid Valve Health Monitor System (SVHMS) was developed to remotely monitor the health of solenoid valves, lowering operational costs and increasing reliability by predicting valve failures before they...

The right sensors can cut machine building costs, improve flexibility, and boost customer satisfaction.
The new method produces strips of rubbery material that can pick up and release objects.
An inexpensive gyroscope could help drones and autonomous cars stay on track without a GPS signal.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: June 2020 Motion Design
Positioning System

H2W Technologies (Santa Clarita, CA) offers the SRT-030/360-026-01 two-axis X-Theta positioning system for motion control applications that require coordinated linear and rotary...

Application Briefs: Wearables
Seeables and Hearables for Fitness Feedback
Learn abut Bosch Sensortec's “Light Drive” system.
Technology Leaders: Test & Measurement
Next-Generation Non-Contact Body-Temperature Monitoring
A far infrared temperature sensor is small in size but big in performance.
Application Briefs: Test & Measurement
Selecting Pressure Sensors for Autoclaves
Find the right pressure sensors for your sterilization applications.
Products: Test & Measurement
New Products: June 2020 Sensor Technology
Small Accurate Temperature Sensor

Würth Elektronik (Waldenburg, Germany) is introducing a 2.0 × 2.0 × 0.5 mm temperature sensor. Its accuracy in the measuring range of -40 to 125°C is...

Technology Leaders: Electronics & Computers
MEMS — Smart Sensors for the IoT
Tim Brosnihan, Executive Director of SEMI’s MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG), talks about the current state of the MEMS industry and trends for the future,
Technology Leaders: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Biodegradable and Bio-Interfacing Flexible IoT Sensors

Bio-interfacing and biodegradable flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) devices can help tackle some of the world’s great challenges including environmental degradation and food...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Battlefield Navigation with MEMS
Soldiers tend to dodge, dive, duck, and run, creating motion measurement challenges.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Can a Wearable Help You Get Quality Zzzzs?
Combining pulse oximetry with a heart-rate monitor improves sleep monitoring accuracy.
The process provides a cost-effective solution for applications in space-based imaging systems, military reconnaissance, and satellite and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Cut-to-Length Electrical Cable Cuts Costs
Electrical cables are used in services such as power delivery, automation signaling, and communications.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Mars 2020 – The Anatomy of Perseverance
NASA's Mars 2020 rover looks virtually the same as Curiosity but there are a number of differences.
Technology Leaders: Manufacturing & Prototyping
RF Innovations Give Batteries New Life
Low-power radio design is enabling new connected IoT products for consumer, commercial, industrial, and medical markets.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Mars 2020 – Building Perseverance
Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Keith Comeaux, Deputy Project Chief Engineer, to learn more about the helicopter heading to Mars.
Rensselaer Engineering focuses on solving the “grand challenges” facing humanity.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Device Modulates Light and Amplifies Tiny Signals
This system can amplify a faint signal from a neighboring system even when that signal’s amplitude is as small as ten trillionths of a meter.
Mini-magnets could enable cloud computing systems to process data up to 100 times faster than current technologies.
Articles: Transportation
Products of Tomorrow: June 2020
Nature-Inspired Energy Tech, Superelastic Tires, Wearable Supercapacitors, and more...
Wool from special sheep keeps astronauts and emergency responders safe.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Mars 2020 – Looking for Life
Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Ken Williford, Mars 2020 Deputy Project Scientist, to learn more about the science capabilities of Perseverance.
Briefs: Data Acquisition
Optically Reconfigurable Charge-Transfer Liquid Crystals
These re-writeable materials have applications in data storage and encryption, energy transducers, and optical display technologies.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mars 2020 – Getting to Mars
Perseverance will have the ability to land in more challenging terrain than Curiosity, making more rugged sites eligible as safe landing candidates.
Heat predictably and precisely changes the surface structure of a particle of liquid metal.
The multitasking device could advance development of an electric circuit for faster, next-generation electronics like quantum computing technologies.
This method of producing clean syngas could be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to gasoline.
Q&A: Robotics, Automation & Control
Q&A: Tactile Robot Finger with No Blind Spots
A robotic finger has a sense of touch that can be localized with high precision over a large, multi-curved surface.
This method can be used to protect stored building materials and to remediate in-service wood and wood products.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Wearable Device Monitors Health
The flexible device harvests heat energy from the body to monitor health.
This green process produces pristine graphene in bulk using waste food, plastic, and other materials.
A novel plate-cell architecture reaches the theoretical limit of performance.
These composites could improve how unmanned vehicles dissipate energy.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New on the Market: June 2020
Industrial PCs, power modules, processor blades, and more.
Bacterial pathogens can live on surfaces for days. What if frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, could instantly kill them off?
Learn about the four goals of the Mars 2020 mission.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars 2020 – Perseverance to the Red Planet
Read our special series on the Mars 2020 mission, featuring interviews with NASA experts and designers of the Perseverance rover.
This technology supports CO2 emissions reduction in cement manufacturing.
The rainproof, stainproof technology turns clothing into self-powered remotes while turning away bacteria.
Inspired by the octopus, the structure senses, computes, and responds without any centralized processing.
Products: Electronics & Computers
Product of the Month: June 2020 Tech Briefs
The K6PM provides continuous, remote thermal monitoring of critical components such as high-voltage control panels, transformers, and hydraulic equipment.
White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The Ultimate Shaft-To-Hub Connection

Kinematically ground polygonal shapes have been used as drive connections for more than 45 years. What is now referred to as Polygon Systems was developed by Fortunawerke, Stuttgart, West Germany, who...

Question of the Week: Materials
Will More Manufacturers Go With Metal 3D Printing?

Our most recent issue of Tech Briefs featured a roundtable discussion about the future of 3D printing. The industry pros, including Stratsys Direct Manufacturing CEO Kent Firestone, spoke about how metal additive manufacturing has yet to catch on, due to cost constraints and build limitations....

White Papers: Defense
Empowering Future-Proof Test Organizations Through Standardization

Aerospace and defense organizations find themselves in a continual juggling act of integrating cutting-edge technology while maintaining legacy testers, providing...

NIST engineers are working to make the cellular network standard even faster.
In this episode of Here's an Idea, we learn how researcher Roger Wiens went from sketching Mars and making homemade telescopes to bringing science instruments to Mars itself.
White Papers: Power
All the Tools Needed to Study and Optimize Virtually Any Power Project in a Single Instrument

The design of any power conversion system requires the measurement of a large range of electrical parameters that could be made using a lab bench...

Question of the Week: Transportation
Will On-Demand Octane Improve Fuel Economy?

A video on Tech Briefs TV this month demonstrated a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory technology that enables on-demand octane by portioning ethanol from gasoline. PNNL researchers believe their invention could increase fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Do you agree? Watch the video...

Dynamic White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
10 Need-to-Know Facts About Ball-Detent Torque Limiters

Considering the advancements in sensor engineering and electronics, it’s not surprising that the performance capabilities of mechanical torque limiters are often questioned. This 10-minute presentation takes a look at how ball-detent torque limiters have kept up with...

White Papers: Propulsion
Recoma®HT: Rare Earth Magnets for High Temperatures

Arnold Magnetic Technologies has developed Samarium Cobalt magnets for a wide range of applications. The RECOMA®HT grade magnets were developed specifically for applications operating at...

White Papers: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Challenges in Designing and Manufacturing Sensors for Robotic Surgery

The design and manufacture of a haptic feedback sensor for a robotic surgery platform entails two distinct but complementary aspects: overcoming technical obstacles of...

"Who knows? Maybe one day we will have roofs covered with humidity panels together with solar panels," TAU professor Colin Price told Tech Briefs.
White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Embedded Solutions Continue to Outperform Externally Mounted Sensors in Off-Highway Applications

The availability of serviceable designs for embedded sensors continue to prove themselves a more reliable solution than externally mounted...

White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Faster Deployments for the Electronic Battlefield

This solutions brief describes Abaco’s partnership with AMERGINT Technologies to deliver an integrated hardware/software combination that uses modular software to enable more rapid...

White Papers: Energy
Why Do Bolts Loosen

Nord-Lock’s eBook "Why Do Bolts Loosen" explores the topic of why bolted joints lose preload and how to prevent it from happening.

A new metal-air scavenger works like a battery, in that it provides power by repeatedly breaking and forming a series of chemical bonds. But it also works like a harvester,...

Solid state batteries are of great interest to the electric vehicle industry. New technology developed by scientists at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and Xi'an...

Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have demonstrated how to overcome a persistent challenge to potassium metal batteries — dendrites. Their new battery...

Although perovskites are a promising alternative to silicon for solar cells, new manufacturing processes are needed to make them practical for commercial production. To help...

Webinars: Medical
Materials Qualification of Healthcare Products to Radiation Sterilization

Sterilization process monitoring and control are key to product safety in the healthcare industry. New products that are biological in nature or made of materials that are sensitive to standard forms of terminal sterilization are requiring more developed tools to...

White Papers: Aerospace
Bundled White Papers: Strategies to Manage Obsolescence in Aerospace and Defense Test

Test engineers spend as much as 50 percent of their time (or even more in some cases) actively dealing with obsolescence in their test program sets. Read...

Question of the Week: Energy
Will We Ever See Humidity Panels Alongside Solar Panels?

Our lead INSIDER story featured an experiment from Tel Aviv University that supports the idea of water vapor as an alternative energy source.

What do you think? Will We Ever See Humidity Panels Alongside Solar Panels?

Share your questions and comments.

On-Demand Webinars: Imaging
Back to the Future of Video Compression

Have you ever seen pixilation or noticed face details disappear, frames freeze, confetti in dark areas, or simply muddy video? These are negative effects of compression. Most camera outputs (including cinema) and videos from 720p and up are compressed. Why? Compression is needed to enable transport...

Traditional robotic feet are made of rigid components. A team of engineers at UCSD turned to coffee grounds to make legged robots more flexible and able to walk on a variety of rough terrain.
On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control
Mars 2020: The Legacy Continues for NASA Space Robotics

Scheduled for launch in the summer of 2020, the latest NASA rover will continue the legacy of its predecessors – Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity – by taking the next step in space robotics. With innovative instruments, new science goals, and improved technologies,...

A reader asks NASA experts: How much hardware from the Curiosity rover is being used on the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover?
White Papers: Electronics & Computers
Accelerating the World’s Electric Vehicles, One Connection at a Time

Electrification of the powertrain and accessory applications for trucks, buses, construction, agricultural & recreational vehicles is taking the commercial...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Do You See Yourself Someday Printing in 4D?

You’ve heard about 3D printing, but what about 4D?

A Tech Briefs TV video this week showcased how Rice University researchers’ new way of making shape-shifting materials. The “4D-printed” objects can be manipulated to take on alternate forms when exposed to changes in temperature,...

On-Demand Webinars: Test & Measurement
Linking FMEA, FMEDA, and FTA for Safety Analysis and Hardware Metrics for Functional Safety

FMEAs traditionally have only incorporated single-point faults. This 30-minute Webinar examines a groundbreaking methodology used to conduct safety analysis and hardware metrics for functional safety using linked FMEA, FMEDA, and FTAs. It shows...

On-Demand Webinars: Imaging
Producing Optimal High-Speed Images for Automotive and Industrial Engineers

Whether you’re an engineer who analyzes high-speed images or you’re a photographic technician who is responsible for capturing those images, a solid understanding of high-speed imaging fundamentals will help you efficiently create quality images for...

INSIDER: Motion Control
Smallest Motor in the World

The smallest motor in the world — consisting of just 16 atoms – measures less than one nanometer or about 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The rotor rotates on the surface of the...

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Additive Manufacturing Moves into High-Precision Applications

This 60-minute Webinar compares Projection Micro Stereolithography (PµSL) with traditional micro-fabrication methods and other additive manufacturing technologies. PµSL has been developed to address segments of the market that historically have not been well served by...

On-Demand Webinars: Materials
Advanced Joining and Materials Technologies for Lightweight Vehicles

The rush to increase vehicle content of lightweight materials is demanding increasingly sophisticated techniques for joining non-traditional materials in non-traditional applications. The use of adhesives in body-in-white assembly is increasing at a feverish pace, and...

White Papers: Test & Measurement
Understanding Medical Device Extractable and Leachables Testing in 2020

The world of physics has a foundation built on beautiful universal constants, which work their way steadfastly into the equations governing electrodynamics, and then...

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers
The Keys to Choosing Passive Components for DC/DC Converters

The work designing in a DC/DC regulator to power electronic systems doesn’t stop with your choice of switcher. All the careful work done to select the perfect device can be undone by poor passive component choices. This 60-minute Webinar looks at the choices, tradeoffs, and...

The Human Embodied Autonomous Thermostat, or “HEAT," uses cameras to identify facial temperature, and adjust the room's air accordingly.
On-Demand Webinars: Automotive
Using the Virtual Prototype of the S32G Safe and Secure Vehicle Network Processor in Production

The challenge with highly complex automotive devices is to bring up the software as soon as the silicon becomes available, which applies to the entire automotive ecosystem, including internal teams, software partners, and external customers....

Question of the Week
Would You Use a ‘SwingBot?’

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive

Metal Injection Molding’s Role in Automotive

Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Technical Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials

Upcoming Webinars: Software

PPAP Reviews Using AI and Machine Learning

Upcoming Webinars: Motion Control

Customizing Actuators Using COTS Drive Components for Martian...

Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

2020 Create the Future Contest Awards

Upcoming Webinars: RF & Microwave Electronics

Advancement of Spectrum Analysis Techniques for Tracking,...

Trending Stories

Application Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Selecting Pressure Sensors for Autoclaves

Briefs: Materials

Film Blocks Electromagnetic Interference

Articles: Energy

Smart Sensor Technology for the IoT

NASA Spinoff: Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology Repairs Engine Damage in Cars

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

High-Power-Density Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Development of Vapor-Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal System

Videos