News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
New Method Builds Microscopic Robots of Complex Shapes

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego used an innovative 3D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide, and magnetically controlled.

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fabrication Technique Cuts Cost of Aircraft Turbine Production

Compressor disks for aircraft turbines are milled from a single piece of material. During processing, the blades begin to vibrate. Now, a novel clamping system boosts vibration absorption for the blades by more than 400 times, and cuts manufacturing costs. The new clamping system...

News : Materials
Manufacturing Method Creates Organic Solar Cells With Improved Efficiency

New research findings contradict a fundamental assumption about the functioning of "organic" solar cells made of low-cost plastics, suggesting a new strategy for creating inexpensive solar technology. Because organic solar cells are flexible, they could find new...

News : Imaging
High-Definition 3D Lossless Imaging System

The imaging process is often affected by the field of view, wavefront aberration, ambient light, as well as the resolution of optical imaging system and detector. As a result, the image information of the object cannot be accurately transferred to the image plane, resulting in distortion, deviation, and...

News : Medical
Imaging Innovation Delivers Spatial and Spectral Info Simultaneously

Using physical chemistry methods to look at biology at the nanoscale, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher invented a new technology to image single molecules with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution, thus leading to the first “true-color”...

News : Imaging
Depth-Sensing Camera Captures 3D Information in Sunlight and Darkness

Depth-sensing cameras, such as Microsoft’s Kinect controller for video games, have become widely used 3-D sensors. Now, a new imaging technology addresses a major shortcoming of these cameras: the inability to work in bright light, especially sunlight. The key is to gather...

News : Imaging
Object Recognition for Robots

SLAM, or simultaneous localization and mapping, enables mobile autonomous robots to map their environments and determine their locations. SLAM can be used to improve object-recognition systems, a vital component of future robots that have to manipulate the objects around them in arbitrary ways. A new system...

Question of the Week
Will virtual reality apps catch on?

This week's Question: After its acquisition of Oculus VR, the social network Facebook is working on a stand-alone video app that would support 360-degree, or "spherical" videos. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has called virtual reality the next "computing platform" after mobile devices, imagines that the Oculus...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers Print Glass Structures in 3D

A new system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) creates strong, solid glass structures from computerized designs. The 3D-printing method allows researchers to construct optically transparent objects.

News : Communications
NASA’s Wi-Fi Reflector Chip Speeds Up Wearables

Whether you're tracking your steps, monitoring your health, or sending photos from a smart watch, you want the battery life of your wearable device to last as long as possible. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is working on microchips for wearable devices that reflect...

News : Semiconductors & ICs
Small, Modular Fusion Plant Brings Power Source Closer to Reality

Advances in magnet technology have enabled researchers at MIT to propose a new design for a practical compact tokamak fusion reactor — and it’s one that might be realized in as little as a decade, they say. The era of practical fusion power, which could offer a nearly...

News : Energy
New Technology Could Reduce Wind Energy Costs

Engineers from the University of Sheffield have developed a novel technique to predict when bearings inside wind turbines will fail, which could make wind energy cheaper. The method uses ultrasonic waves to measure the load transmitted through a ball bearing in a wind turbine. The stress on wind...

Question of the Week
Will an aquatic barrier clean up the ocean?

This week's Question: According to recent research from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans. The Ocean Cleanup, an organization seeking to rid waters of plastic waste, has plans to build a massive aquatic...

News : RF & Microwave Electronics
NASA Flight-Tests Sample Return Capsule

A prototype capsule that one day will return science experiments to Earth was tested by releasing it from a high-altitude balloon. Technology like this capsule could one day return biological samples and other small payloads from space in a relatively short time. The balloon was launched to an altitude of...

News : Medical
Paper-Based Test Quickly Diagnoses Ebola in Remote Areas

To facilitate diagnosis in remote, low-resource settings, researchers have developed a paper-based device that changes color, depending on whether the patient has Ebola, yellow fever, or dengue. The test takes minutes and does not need electricity to work.

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design Tool Converts CAD Files into Visual Models

A new system from researchers at MIT and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel automatically turns CAD files into visual models that users can modify in real time. Once the design meets the user’s specifications, he or she hits the print button to send it to a 3D printer.

News : Lighting
New Technology Can Expand LED Lighting

Highly efficient, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) could slash the world’s electricity consumption. They are already sold in stores, but more widespread adoption of the technology has been hindered by high costs due to limited availability of raw materials and difficulties in achieving acceptable light...

News : Semiconductors & ICs
What Makes Quantum Dots Blink?

Quantum dots are nanoparticles of semiconductor that can be tuned to glow in a rainbow of colors. Since their discovery in the 1980s, these remarkable nanoparticles have held out tantalizing prospects for all kinds of new technologies, ranging from paint-on lighting materials and solar cells to quantum computer...

News : Lighting
Blue LEDs Could Provide Chemical-Free Food Preservation Technology

A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found that blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) have strong antibacterial effects on major foodborne pathogens, and are most effective when in cold temperatures (between 4°C and 15°C) and mildly acidic...

Wireless Occupancy Sensors

Dialight (Farmingdale, NJ) has unveiled its new wireless occupancy sensor, a battery-powered plug-and-play sensor designed to integrate seamlessly with any Dialight smart lighting system. Using Pyroelectric InfraRed (PIR) technology, each sensor can instantly switch a single light or a group of lights from off to on or...

Networked Lighting Controls

Hubbell Building Automation (Austin, TX) NXTM networked lighting controls now have added daylighting capability. The NXDS daylight sensor auto-configures with the NX Room Controller. The NXDS daylight sensor is designed for open loop operation, measuring natural light coming in through a window. It communicates with...

LED Driver

Innovations in Optics, Inc. (Woburn, MA) has introduced the Model 5000A-100 LED Driver/Controller for powering its patented and patent-pending High Power LED Light Engines. The 5000A-100 LED Driver provides constant current in continuous, pulsed or pulsed width modulation (PWM) modes. An embedded system adds network control with...

Intelligent Lighting System

The BrainLight series by EVT (Karlsruhe, Germany) is an intelligent lighting system that allows the user to control both color and brightness, as well as create and save individual lighting patterns. At present the BrainLight series consists of a back light (BrainLight QC) and a ring light (BrainLight R). The back...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Position Sensor Technology for Hydraulic Cylinder Feedback

Position feedback sensors for hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders have used one of three traditional technologies: magnetostrictive, variable resistance, and variable inductance. As the demand for increased control and functionality has increased, sensor-instrumented cylinders are becoming...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Detection of Gases and Vapors Present at Low Concentrations

A nanostructure-based mechanism was developed for sensing the presence of, and estimating concentration values of, specified chemical components in a sample gas to which the mechanism is exposed, where the concentrations may be as low as five parts per billion. The mechanism receives a...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Broadband Photon-Counting Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector

The planar Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector (MKID) is very compact and allows a large number of detectors to be fabricated simultaneously and implemented in a focal plane of a telescope using a minimal number of wiring interfaces. In this detector, the incident power is guided...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Micro-LIDAR for Flow Velocimetry

A miniature light detection and ranging (LIDAR) velocimetry sensor has been developed to analyze high-velocity and boundary layer flows in real-world conditions. Using Rayleigh scattering, as opposed to the more common particle scattering, the patent-pending sensors provide multiple flow parameters without the...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensitive, Specific Molecular Detection of Single Bacteria Cells

A unique amplification chemistry was developed that allows highly specific isothermal detection of bacteria, and presumably eukaryotic cells, at sub-single-cell sensitivities. This is based on the ability to detect rRNA (ribosomal RNA) rather than DNA, as is typical. The difference...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Hotspot Conductive Fluid Flow Sensor

The Optical Hotspot Flow Sensor (OHFS) enables optical measurement of electrically conductive liquid metal flow rate by exploiting the electrically conductive nature of liquid metals or any other conductive fluid to enable thermal tagging of liquid flow in tubes (US Patent 7,409,875). It is well...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Cost Backup RPOD System

Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. (AOS) developed a low-cost Rendezvous, Proximity Operations, and Docking (RPOD) system that has applications for the future NASA Orion vehicle. Docking operations between the space shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS) required the coordination of real-time sensor data...