June 2020

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control

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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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: Automotive
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: Materials
New measurement methodologies can save you time that would otherwise be wasted on returning and reordering bearing.
Briefs: Aerospace
This program provides a relative navigation capability for spacecraft, remotely operated terrestrial vehicles, and machine vision.
Articles: Test & Measurement
Taking a holistic approach to sealing systems in hydraulic systems using chrome alternatives helps engineers achieve optimum function.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Combined muscles and sensors made from soft materials allow for adaptable robots.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
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: Motion Control
In places of limited accessibility and harsh conditions, replacing failed transmissions is a challenging and tremendously costly task.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
By observing humans, robots learn to perform complex tasks such as setting a table.
Briefs: Motion Control

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...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The right sensors can cut machine building costs, improve flexibility, and boost customer satisfaction.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The new method produces strips of rubbery material that can pick up and release objects.
Briefs: Motion Control
An inexpensive gyroscope could help drones and autonomous cars stay on track without a GPS signal.
Products: Motion Control
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: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Learn abut Bosch Sensortec's “Light Drive” system.
Technology Leaders: Electronics & Computers
A far infrared temperature sensor is small in size but big in performance.
Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Find the right pressure sensors for your sterilization applications.
Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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: Robotics, Automation & Control
Soldiers tend to dodge, dive, duck, and run, creating motion measurement challenges.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Combining pulse oximetry with a heart-rate monitor improves sleep monitoring accuracy.
Briefs: Aerospace
The process provides a cost-effective solution for applications in space-based imaging systems, military reconnaissance, and satellite and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Electrical cables are used in services such as power delivery, automation signaling, and communications.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA's Mars 2020 rover looks virtually the same as Curiosity but there are a number of differences.
Technology Leaders: Connectivity
Low-power radio design is enabling new connected IoT products for consumer, commercial, industrial, and medical markets.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Keith Comeaux, Deputy Project Chief Engineer, to learn more about the helicopter heading to Mars.
Facility Focus: Electronics & Computers
Rensselaer Engineering focuses on solving the “grand challenges” facing humanity.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
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.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Mini-magnets could enable cloud computing systems to process data up to 100 times faster than current technologies.
Articles: Electronics & Computers
Nature-Inspired Energy Tech, Superelastic Tires, Wearable Supercapacitors, and more...
NASA Spinoff: Materials
Wool from special sheep keeps astronauts and emergency responders safe.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
Tech Briefs spoke with NASA’s Ken Williford, Mars 2020 Deputy Project Scientist, to learn more about the science capabilities of Perseverance.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optically Reconfigurable Charge-Transfer Liquid Crystals
These re-writeable materials have applications in data storage and encryption, energy transducers, and optical display technologies.
Articles: Aerospace
Perseverance will have the ability to land in more challenging terrain than Curiosity, making more rugged sites eligible as safe landing candidates.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Heat predictably and precisely changes the surface structure of a particle of liquid metal.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The multitasking device could advance development of an electric circuit for faster, next-generation electronics like quantum computing technologies.
Briefs: Energy
This method of producing clean syngas could be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to gasoline.
Q&A: Robotics, Automation & Control
A robotic finger has a sense of touch that can be localized with high precision over a large, multi-curved surface.
Briefs: Materials
This method can be used to protect stored building materials and to remediate in-service wood and wood products.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
The flexible device harvests heat energy from the body to monitor health.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
This green process produces pristine graphene in bulk using waste food, plastic, and other materials.
Briefs: Materials
A novel plate-cell architecture reaches the theoretical limit of performance.
Briefs: Unmanned Systems
These composites could improve how unmanned vehicles dissipate energy.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Industrial PCs, power modules, processor blades, and more.
5 Ws: Materials
Bacterial pathogens can live on surfaces for days. What if frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, could instantly kill them off?
Articles: Test & Measurement
Learn about the four goals of the Mars 2020 mission.
Articles: Robotics, Automation & Control
Read our special series on the Mars 2020 mission, featuring interviews with NASA experts and designers of the Perseverance rover.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
This technology supports CO2 emissions reduction in cement manufacturing.
Briefs: Energy
The rainproof, stainproof technology turns clothing into self-powered remotes while turning away bacteria.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inspired by the octopus, the structure senses, computes, and responds without any centralized processing.
Products: Test & Measurement
The K6PM provides continuous, remote thermal monitoring of critical components such as high-voltage control panels, transformers, and hydraulic equipment.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
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....

Blog: AR/AI
NIST engineers are working to make the cellular network standard even faster.
Podcasts: Test & Measurement
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.
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...

Blog: Energy
"Who knows? Maybe one day we will have roofs covered with humidity panels together with solar panels," TAU professor Colin Price told Tech Briefs.
INSIDER: Power

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,...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

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...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

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

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers

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...

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.

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
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.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A reader asks NASA experts: How much hardware from the Curiosity rover is being used on the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover?
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,...

INSIDER: Motion Control

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...

Blog: Electronics & Computers
The Human Embodied Autonomous Thermostat, or “HEAT," uses cameras to identify facial temperature, and adjust the room's air accordingly.

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