Researchers 'Paint' Plastic Electronics

A new method for getting semi-conducting polymers in line could pave the way for cheaper, greener, “paint-on” plastic electronics. A Michigan Engineering team created a liquid polymer solution that they could brush over a surface, automatically aligning the molecules with one another in the direction...

Engineers Develop Nanofoams for Better Body Armor

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego are developing nanofoams that could be used to make better body armor; prevent traumatic brain injury and blast-related lung injuries in soldiers; and protect buildings from impacts and blasts.

The nanofoams are made up of a honeycomb, or...

3D Printing Tests Strengths of Modeled Shapes

A University of Chicago research group manufactured granular materials of various shapes in a 3D printer to test their aggregate properties when jammed into a confined space.

Question of the Week
Do the Benefits of Domestic Drones Outweigh Privacy Drawbacks?

Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to open up airspace to unmanned aircraft by October 2015, a decision that will likely see thousands of domestic drones soaring the sky. Many are excited about the many innovative possibilities of the autonomous technology,...

NASA Project Would Turn Blue Skies Green

Air travelers of the future could have quieter, greener and more fuel-efficient airliners because of NASA research efforts that are moving into further development and testing.

Braille Aircraft Lavatory Makes Travel Easier for the Visually Impaired

The School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has recently designed a new aircraft lavatory especially for the visually impaired by providing an organized system for reading Braille and other tactile information. This unconventional design is called...

Aircraft-Based Humidity Sensor Helps Improve Weather and Climate Models

A humidity sensor developed by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the SEALDH laser hygrometer, has proven its worth when used aboard an aircraft; it fulfills all pre-conditions to be used as a transfer standard for conventional humidity-measuring instruments....

Humanoid Robot Assists Children with Autism

An interdisciplinary team of mechanical engineers and autism experts at Vanderbilt University have developed robotic systems that will enhance the basic social learning skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

'Metasurfaces' Enable Advanced Solar Cells, Chemical Sensors

New optical technologies using "metasurfaces" are nearing commercialization, with potential applications including advanced solar cells, computers, telecommunications, sensors, and microscopes.

Pixels Help Guide the Way for the Visually Impaired

Images transformed into pixels and projected onto a headset can help the visually impaired in everyday tasks, such as navigation, route planning and finding objects, according to a study led by researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Engineers Build Self-Healing Electronic Chips

A team of engineers at the California Institute of Technology has developed self-healing integrated chips. The technology will allow chips in a smartphone or computer, for example, to repair and defend themselves on the fly, recovering in microseconds from problems ranging from less-than-ideal...

Question of the Week
Does RSS Still Matter?

Reactions ranged from outrage to apathy when Google announced that it would be shutting down its Google Reader RSS client. The search giant said that the move was due to a decline in usage. Some fans of the 'Reader' and RSS cite its centralized features and its way of organizing a user's content. Others say...

Organic Sensors Increase Light Sensitivity of Cameras

Researchers from Technische Universität München (TUM) have developed a new generation of image sensors that is more sensitive to light than the conventional silicon versions, with the added bonus of being simple and cheap to produce. They consist of electrically conductive plastics, which...

NASA Scientists Build First-Ever Wide-Field X-ray Imager

Three NASA scientists teamed up to develop and demonstrate NASA's first wide field-of-view soft X-ray camera for studying "charge exchange," a poorly understood phenomenon that occurs when the solar wind collides with Earth's exosphere and neutral gas in interplanetary space.

Stretched-out clothing might not be a great practice for laundry day, but in the case of microprocessor manufacture, stretching out the atomic structure of the silicon...

A new type of nanoscale engine has been proposed that would use quantum dots to generate electricity from waste heat, potentially making microcircuits more efficient.

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
High-Speed Data Converter System Evaluation Kit

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (Dallas, TX) has introduced the industry’s first complete high-speed data converter system evaluation kit (HSDC-SEK), which reduces system evaluation costs...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
Digitally Tunable Capacitors

Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation (San Diego, CA), a fabless provider of high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), announced that it has expanded its DuNE™ Digitally Tunable Capacitor...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
PCI-104 RS-232/422/485 Serial Communication Boards

ACCES I/O Products, Inc. has released a new family of PCI-104 serial communication boards—the 104I-COM-8SM Series. These PCI-104 boards feature a selection of 8, 4, or 2-ports of field...

INSIDER Product: Electronics & Computers
Eurocard Subrack Enclosures

Pixus Technologies (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) offers Eurocard subracks for 3U and 6U boards in multiple configurations. The subrack enclosures can house backplanes or special modules for industrial, mil/aero,...

NASA Integrates First Laser Communication System

A new NASA-developed, laser-based space communication system will enable higher rates of satellite communications similar in capability to high-speed fiber optic networks on Earth.

The space terminal for the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), NASA's first high-data-rate laser...

Cricket Hair Inspires Motion Detection 'Cameras'

Crickets use sensitive hairs on their cerci (projections on the abdomen) to detect predators. For these insects, air currents carry information about the location of nearby predators and the direction in which they are moving.

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
'Cheetah' Robot Hits High Speeds, Wastes Little Heat

A 70-pound “cheetah” robot designed by MIT researchers may soon outpace its animal counterparts in running efficiency: In treadmill tests, the researchers have found that the robot — about the size and weight of an actual cheetah — wastes very little energy as it trots continuously...

Researchers Develop New Simulation Capability to Model Plasma

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have developed a new simulation capability to model a classic plasma configuration. They have demonstrated for the first time a fully kinetic model of the dense plasma focus (DPF) Z-pinch device, including the electrodes, in a...

Scientists Develop Novel Single-Photon Detector System

A single photon may not seem like much of a catch. But detecting photons one- by-one with near-perfect reliability is formidably difficult. It is also an extremely important research goal, not only in fiber-based telecommunications, but in numerous other fields from quantum information...

New Surface Coating Cuts Through the Fog

A team of MIT researchers has developed a coating that outperforms others not only in preventing foggy buildups, but also in maintaining good optical properties without distortion. Preventing glass from fogging or frosting up is a longstanding challenge with myriad applications, including eyeglasses,...

Question of the Week
Will Privacy Concerns Keep You from Using Google Glass?

As many users anticipate the arrival of Google Glass, augmented reality technology shaped like a pair of glasses, some technologists are questioning the privacy issues associated with the use of these wearable computers. Many express concern about users' ability to secretly capture audio...

CRAIC Technologies (San Dimas, CA) has added Raman Spectral Surface Mapping™ (S2M™) capabilities to its Apollo™ Raman microspectrometer line. S2M gives CRAIC Raman microspectrometer users the ability to...

Ophir Photonics Group (North Logan, UT) recently introduced a new low cost laser power/energy meter called StarLite that provides both digital and analog screen displays. A compact, handheld unit, StarLite displays a...