The Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot (PUFFER) that’s in development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, was inspired by origami. It travels with a rover, and its lightweight...

Question of the Week: Physical Sciences
Should Pluto be restored as a planet?

This week’s Question: Last week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Johns Hopkins University's Kirby Runyon reignited an often fierce debate within the scientific community:...

INSIDER: Materials
Non-Toxic Material Generates Electricity Through Heat, Cold Air

Imagine a body sensor powered by one's jewelry, or a cooking pan that charges a cell phone in a few hours.

Using a combination of the chemical elements calcium, cobalt, and terbium, University of Utah researchers created an efficient, inexpensive and bio-friendly material...

In outdoor locations, firefighters and emergency responders can use GPS technology to track one another. Indoor environments like high-rises and...

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Silk Sensor Finds Composite Flaws

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a way to embed a nanoscale damage-sensing probe into a lightweight composite made of epoxy and silk.

INSIDER Product: Software
Optical Design Software

Lambda Research Corporation (Littleton, MA) has released OSLO 7, which contains significant updates and enhancements. OSLO 7 includes Windows 10 support, improved Zemax and CodeV import, and STEP export that supports...

INSIDER Product: Motion Control
Differential Measurement System

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products, Inc. (Middletown, CT) has released the KD-5100 differential measurement system, which provides resolution to a nanometer of positional change. Featuring a...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Smart Cameras

EVT (Karlsruhe, Germany) offers three ZYNQ platforms for the EyeVision machine vision software. The systems are based on a DualCore ARM with FPGA. The EyeCheck ZQ smart camera features a 20 x 20 50 mm housing size, an S-Mount...

INSIDER Product: Imaging
Optical Device Tester

Anritsu Company (Richardson, TX) has introduced the BERTWave MP2110A, an all-in-one instrument that conducts simultaneous BER measurements and eye pattern analysis to more efficiently evaluate multi-channel optical...

Even when an X-ray beam is steered and focused with advanced mirrors and other optics, abnormalities can creep in. These problems have names familiar to those with imperfect...

Researchers working at the Ultrafast Laser Lab at the University of Kansas successfully created a new bilayer material, with each layer measuring less than one nanometer in...

Limitations of the piezoelectric array technologies conventionally used for ultrasonics inspired a group of University College London researchers to explore an alternative mechanism...

Question of the Week: Communications
In five years, will light-enabled Wi-Fi "find a home?"

This week’s Question: A PhD student at Eindhoven University of Technology has developed a way of using infrared rays to carry wireless data to a laptop or smartphone. The wireless data comes from central "light antennas" that could, for example, be mounted on a ceiling to direct the rays...

INSIDER: Materials
Researchers Find 'Golden' Idea for New Wearables

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a way to “grow” thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials. The discovery could lead to new wearable...

Advances in diagnostic imaging technology have meant that more trauma patients are being diagnosed with blunt cerebrovascular injuries, and as a result, stroke...

About 30 neuroscientists and computer programmers got together earlier this year to improve their ability to read the human mind. This hackathon was one of several that researchers from...

As imaging and sensing technologies grow in both sophistication and accessibility, they do more than just gather data and produce images. They are research tools in their own right, providing...

A team of physicists at the Australian National University (ANU) has used a technique known as “ghost imaging” to create an image of an object from atoms that never interact with it. This is the...

This week's Question: San Francisco-based startup Apis Cor recently used its giant 3D printer to build a small home — in under 24 hours, according to the company. The mobile technology printed out...

INSIDER: Imaging
NASA Satellite Data Supports Global Maps of Volcanic Emissions

Volcanoes around the world continuously exhale ash and water vapor laced with heavy metals, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide. Researchers from Michigan Technological University created the first, truly global inventory for volcanic sulfur dioxide emissions.

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore developed an ultrafast high-contrast camera that could help self-driving cars and drones see better...

Researchers have developed a simple device that can detect an oil spill in water and then pinpoint the type of oil present on the surface. The device is designed to float on the water, where...

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Algorithm Improves Robots' Ability to Fetch Objects

An algorithm developed at Brown University will improve robots' ability to ask clarifying questions and more effectively retrieve objects, an important task for future robotic assistants.

Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Will robotic voice assistants improve children's ability to learn?

This week's Question: Toymaker Mattel recently announced the introduction of a smart baby monitor; The voice-controlled "Aristotle" uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate functions like changing lights, playing lullabies, or triggering white noise. With an estimated 25...

Podcasts
Darmindra Arumugam, Senior Research Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

In outdoor locations, firefighters and emergency responders can use GPS technology to track one another. Indoor environments like high-rises and steel-reinforced structures, however, frequently block radio signals. With the development of POINTER (Precision...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
High-Power Fiber Lasers

High-power (multi-kW) fiber lasers are revolutionizing industrial materials processing markets by offering an unmatched combination of performance, reliability, and cost advantages. For example, in sheet metal cutting...

You have a great idea that could potentially revolutionize your industry: a new surgical technique, diagnostic solution, or inspection system. You already know getting there will require the...

Traditional applications for 2-micron photodetectors have been largely dominated by passive remote sensing where detectors having bandwidth of even...

Articles: Photonics/Optics
Thermal Imaging: How Does It Work?

By detecting very subtle temperature differences of everything in view, infrared technology reveals what otherwise would be invisible to the naked eye.

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

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