Billy's Blog

On Billy's Blog, Billy Hurley, Digital Editorial Manager, writes stories about new and innovative achievements in design engineering, from industrial robots and autonomous vehicles to 3D printers and see-through solar cells. Along with other Tech Briefs writers and editors, Billy shares his opinions, poses questions to readers, and finds the fun, interesting, and unexpected stories behind today's leading-edge inventions.

An Israel-based company called Eviation is working on an all-electric aircraft known as "Alice." Will it match the speeds of a jet?
By jumpstarting electrons, a team at Washington University in St. Louis has developed sensors that can power themselves for more than a year.
The model analyzes three factors that drive infection risk: where people go in the course of a day; how long they linger; and how many other people are visiting the same place at the same time.
A new material is especially effective at absorbing indoor light and converting it into usable energy.
The RepelWrap inventors explain why their product is especially valuable as the world confronts a pandemic like COVID-19.
The great tasks of retrieving samples and flying a helicopter on Mars requires a number of small parts — specifically motors and drives.
The soil microbial fuel cells produce energy to filter enough water for a person’s daily needs, with potential to increase scale.
Purdue University innovators are taking cues from the spider to develop 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging.
An interactive software being developed at the University of Tokyo allows architects and furniture makers with little experience in woodworking to to design and build structurally sound wood joints.
A reader asks, "For AV testing, what are the respective role of simulation, closed course, and public road testing?"
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A Squid-Like Robot Swims, Untethered
A robot being tested at the University of California San Diego takes after an aquatic invertebrate that has a jet-like way moving through the water: The Squid.

University of Central Florida researchers are developing a human-like way for large machines to cool off and keep from overheating: Letting the machines "breathe."

Researcher Nina Mahmoudian is finding a new way for underwater robots to recharge and upload their data, and then go back out to continue exploring, without the need for human intervention.
A reader asks, "Will the public feel safe enough in an autonomous vehicle?"
Vanderbilt University engineers are proving that their elastic exosuit can provide relief for people doing the heavy lifting.
Thermal cameras detect heat radiation and can be used to identify the surface temperature of objects and people. So what's their limit, asks a reader.
A new composite from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) increases the electrical current capacity of copper wires, providing a new material that can be scaled for use in ultra-efficient, power-dense electric vehicle traction motors.
New software from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) wants to predict all traffic possibilities, so that self-driving vehicles will never get into accidents.
As Brazil begins mass-producing a NASA-developed ventilator, a Tech Briefs reader asks why NASA didn't go open-source.
The new approach could help pave the way for smaller battery packs and greater driving range in electric vehicles.
A reader asks our expert: When it comes to autonomous vehicles, what’s best: Radar, LiDAR, or cameras?
A new modeling tool from USC engineers generates automatic indicators when data and predictions from AI algorithms are trustworthy.
A Cornell team developed paramecium-sized robots that can be controlled with lasers.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Clang! Robots Detect Objects By Sound
Carnegie Mellon researcher Lerrel Pinto wants to prove that sound can be a valuable asset for robots.
Deciding between edge computing and cloud computing? Make sure to consider these four major factors, says our industry expert.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Scientist Proposes Life on Mars, Below the Surface
Although life has not been found on Mars just year, a researcher from NYU thinks there could be life...under it.
A reader asks: How can self-driving car manufacturers guarantee safety when snow, ice, or mud impair a vision system?
Dr. James Rees is spending the time in his lab testing sensors made from bacteria.
“Food supply” goes beyond just crop production. See how NASA is offering a more comprehensive look at food security and agriculture.

Webcasts

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Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

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Vehicle Electrification

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The Evolution of SOSA

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Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

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Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

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Accelerating Pre-Silicon Software Development with Next-Gen...

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