Question of the Week
Would You Wear a "Smart" Wristwatch?

Smartphone capabilities have extended, even to the wristwatch. Companies like Apple, Nike, Sony, as well as other startups, have created new wrist devices that connect to an individual’s smartphone. Most display the time, but the bands also provide information that keeps users from having to take out their...

News
2D Materials Self-Assemble into 3D When Exposed to Light

A multi-university research team led by North Carolina State University will be developing methods to create two-dimensional (2-D) materials capable of folding themselves into three-dimensional (3-D) objects when exposed to light. The effort, which is funded by a grant from the National...

News
Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines Could Transform Offshore Wind Technology

Sandia National Laboratories wind energy researchers are re-evaluating vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) to help solve some of the problems of generating energy from offshore breezes. Though VAWTs have been around since the earliest days of wind energy research at Sandia and...

The accuracy of a new model for predicting the size of a key barrier to fusion power, which was developed by physicist Robert Goldston of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton...

News
Interactive Air Force Simulator Enhances Training for Remotely Piloted Aircraft

A significant milestone for remotely piloted aircraft was ushered in with the first student sortie in an innovative T-6 Texan II simulator. The new setup has dramatically increased the ability to train remotely piloted aircraft pilots, and the ingenuity behind the...

News
Army Developing New Aircraft Maintenance Technologies

Researchers at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) are testing new technologies it created for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that could give commercial and military maintenance programs earlier warning of problems. Condition-based maintenance, known as CBM, will get safer aircraft...

News
Remotely Piloted X-48C Makes Successful First Flight

The remotely piloted X-48C aircraft successfully flew for the first time on August 7 at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert.

Researchers from the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton have devised a novel method for forming virtual power plants...

Question of the Week
Do Personalized Learning Methods Show Promise in Remaking Education?

As the school season arrives, an increasing number of students will be studying through Internet-based systems. An NYC-based company called Knewton, for example, uses an adaptive learning technique that tracks learners' progress and shadows their online activities as they work....

News
New Algorithms Guide Autonomous Robotic Plane

New algorithms allow an autonomous robotic plane to dodge obstacles in a subterranean parking garage, without the use of GPS.

Because autonomous plane navigation in confined spaces is difficult, the MIT team is providing the plane with an accurate digital map of its environment.

The plane...

News
Modular Robotic Hand Mimics Human Capabilities

Sandia National Laboratories has developed a cost-effective robotic hand that can be used in disarming improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. The technology is dexterous enough to mimic human capabilities.

The Sandia Hand is modular, so different types of fingers can be attached with magnets and...

News
Mechanical Engineers Develop an Intelligent Co-Pilot for Cars

A driver remotely steers a modified vehicle through an obstacle course from a nearby location as a researcher looks on. Occasionally, the researcher instructs the driver to keep the wheel straight — a trajectory that appears to put the vehicle on a collision course with a barrel....

News
Office of Naval Research Sensors and Software Hunt Down Suspect Boats

A new sensor and software suite sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently returned from West Africa after helping partner nations track and identify target vessels of interest as part of an international maritime security operation. Researchers deployed the...

News
Sharing Data Links in Networks of Cars

Ford Motor Co. expects that by 2015, 80 percent of the cars it sells in North America will have Wi-Fi built in. Two Wi-Fi-equipped cars sitting at a stoplight could exchange information free of charge, but if they wanted to send that information to the Internet, they’d probably have to use a paid service...

News
Resilient 'Meshworm' Robot Stretches and Contracts with Heat

Researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University have engineered a soft autonomous robot that moves via peristalsis, crawling across surfaces by contracting segments of its body, much like an earthworm. The robot, made almost entirely of soft materials, is...

Question of the Week
Will We See a Greater Use of Robots in Homes and Offices?

Robots like the PR2, from the Menlo Park, CA-based Willow Garage, perform a variety of tasks: bringing objects to people, opening doors, and even folding laundry. And while companies including iRobot create technologies to take care of minor jobs such as cleaning floors and pools, others...

Blog
Shock Challenge

If you’re a racing fan who has always thought that, given the opportunity, you could match your technical skills wheel-to-wheel with some of the best engineers in the sport, you’ve got one last chance to make your dream come true.

Mega-distributor Mouser Electronics has been conducting a unique competition this year...

Fifteen years of work by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) team paid off recently with a historic record-breaking laser shot. The NIF...

In a leap forward for laser technology, a team at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has developed the first violet nonpolar vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) based...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Machine Vision Lenses

FSI Technologies Inc. (Lombard, IL) has introduced a line of industrial machine vision lenses, the CLH Series lenses. These lenses provide versatility to work well with most common machine vision applications, and are...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Thermoelectric Modules

Laird Technologies, Inc. (St. Louis, MO) has released its eTEC(TM) Series Thermoelectric Module (TEM) product line. The eTEC Series of TEMs enable high-powered optoelectronics to maintain peak performance by...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Ultrafast Lasers

Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has expanded their family of industrial ultrafast lasers with the Talisker 500, which delivers over 10 Watts of ultraviolet output at 355nm, 15 Watts of green output at 532nm or 25 Watts of...

INSIDER Product: Photonics/Optics
Femtosecond Laser Mirrors

Semrock, Inc. (Rochester, NY) recently released the first two products in its soon-to-be expanded line of PulseLine(TM) femtosecond laser optics. These 45° turning mirrors are IBS-coated for maximum durability and...

News
Software Performs In-Depth Analysis of Simulation Data

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has developed a software tool that enables users to perform in-depth analysis of modeling and simulation data, then visualize the results on screen. The new data analysis and visualization tool offers improved ease of use compared...

News: Energy
Advancement in Highly Conductive, Transparent Thin Film

Thin, conductive films are useful in displays and solar cells. A new solution-based chemistry developed at Brown University for making indium tin oxide films could allow engineers to employ a much simpler and cheaper manufacturing process.

News
Researchers Design Micro-Swimmers

A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has used complex computational models to design swimming micro-robots that carry cargo and navigate in response to stimuli such as light.

The simple micro-swimmers could rely on volume changes in unique materials known as hydrogels to move tiny flaps...

Question of the Week
Will We Send Humans to Mars?

On Sunday, NASA's Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars. The orbiter ushers in a new era of exploration that, some say, could turn up evidence that Mars once had the necessary ingredients for life — or might even still harbor life today. The land rover also creates new possibilities for human exploration of...

News
Kinetic Inductance Shows Promise for Metamaterial Miniaturization

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), collaborating with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have now demonstrated a drastically new way of achieving negative refraction in a metamaterial.

The primary advantages of the new...

News
Researchers Create Wrinkled Surfaces

A team of researchers at MIT has discovered a way to create wrinkled surfaces with precise sizes and patterns. This basic method, they say, could be harnessed for a wide variety of useful structures: microfluidic systems for biological research, sensing, and diagnostics; new photonic devices that can control...

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