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.

Blog : Materials
Answering Your Questions: How is a Parylene Conformal Coating Used?
Answering Your Questions: How is a Parylene Conformal Coating Used?
Parylene coatings are being used in the medical industry and even space. Our expert explains why.
Answering Your Questions: How is a Parylene Conformal Coating Used?
Blog : Materials
In High Temperatures, A New Class of Ceramics Controls Heat Radiation
In High Temperatures, A New Class of Ceramics Controls Heat Radiation
New ceramics expand on ways to more efficiently use heat radiation.
In High Temperatures, A New Class of Ceramics Controls Heat Radiation
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
A Breakthrough in Earthquake Forecasting: Floating Buoy Measures Seafloor Motion
A Breakthrough in Earthquake Forecasting: Floating Buoy Measures Seafloor Motion
New measurements could help experts guess the location and size of the next earthquake.
A Breakthrough in Earthquake Forecasting: Floating Buoy Measures Seafloor Motion
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Our expert examines the pros and cons of welding, adhesives, and other metal joining methods.
Aluminum Joining Methods: Welding vs. Adhesives
Blog : Imaging
Answering Your Questions: Industrial CT Scanning vs. Medical CT Scanning
Answering Your Questions: Industrial CT Scanning vs. Medical CT Scanning
Computed tomography is being used in the medical and industrial field. An expert explains how the two imaging techniques differ.
Answering Your Questions: Industrial CT Scanning vs. Medical CT Scanning
Blog : Wearables
'Direct Thermal Charging Cell' Turns Waste Heat into Power
'Direct Thermal Charging Cell' Turns Waste Heat into Power
A new charging cell wants to use low-grade heat from our industrial processes to power our devices.
'Direct Thermal Charging Cell' Turns Waste Heat into Power
Blog : Materials
Answering Your Questions: What's Better for Extrusion? Aluminum 6000 or 7000 Series?
Answering Your Questions: What's Better for Extrusion? Aluminum 6000 or 7000 Series?
What's the best aluminum for extrusion? A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert.
Answering Your Questions: What's Better for Extrusion? Aluminum 6000 or 7000 Series?
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
A team in Germany has a quicker, cleaner approach to welding metal to plastic: The HPCI® Joining Gun.
Creating the Future: New Take on Welding Gun Bonds Plastic and Metal — In Seconds
Blog : AR/AI
Creating the Future: Livox Simplifies Communication for People with Disabilities
Creating the Future: Livox Simplifies Communication for People with Disabilities
Livox uses machine learning to ease communication.
Creating the Future: Livox Simplifies Communication for People with Disabilities
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
A minimal, map-less approach to drone navigation takes after the bee.
Acting Like Bees, Tiny Drones Find Their Way Through Unknown Environments
Blog : Aerospace
A Standalone AC Battery Begins with a Cathode, an Anode, and a 'Biode'
A Standalone AC Battery Begins with a Cathode, an Anode, and a 'Biode'
The 'Biode' saves power by eliminating the need for AC/DC conversion.
A Standalone AC Battery Begins with a Cathode, an Anode, and a 'Biode'
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Closer Look at ULiSSES, A Device Extending the Life of Organs
A Closer Look at ULiSSES, A Device Extending the Life of Organs
The ULiSSES device preserves organs, without the ice chest.
A Closer Look at ULiSSES, A Device Extending the Life of Organs
Blog : Electronics & Computers
AUSA 2019: A Really Cool Computer
AUSA 2019: A Really Cool Computer
Ben Sharfi, CEO of General Micro Systems (GMS), says he has the Product of the Year. Do you agree?
AUSA 2019: A Really Cool Computer
News : Electronics & Computers
AUSA 2019: Eyes in the Sky
AUSA 2019: Eyes in the Sky
It just wouldn’t be a military technology show without a few drones on display.
AUSA 2019: Eyes in the Sky
Blog : RF & Microwave Electronics
AUSA 2019: Military Preps for Open Sensor Standards
AUSA 2019: Military Preps for Open Sensor Standards
SOSA, the Sensor Open Systems Architecture Consortium, held a press conference on Monday afternoon at AUSA 2019.
AUSA 2019: Military Preps for Open Sensor Standards
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
Editor Bruce A. Bennett offers a look at the Association of the United States Army's 2019 Annual Meeting.
AUSA 2019: A View From the Show Floor
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
A Tech Briefs reader asks: What's next with military motion control?
Answering Your Questions: How Will the Military Use Motion Control Technology?
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Create the Future: A Drone That Folds to Fit Through Holes and Gaps
Create the Future: A Drone That Folds to Fit Through Holes and Gaps
A new drone “folds” itself into configurations that suit a given environment.
Create the Future: A Drone That Folds to Fit Through Holes and Gaps
Blog : Energy
Create the Future: Water Desalination, Powered by Waves
Create the Future: Water Desalination, Powered by Waves
Inventor Olivier Ceberio found a new way to turn ocean waves into fresh water.
Create the Future: Water Desalination, Powered by Waves
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Answering Your Questions: Why Not Use Fiber Optics for Car Connections?
Answering Your Questions: Why Not Use Fiber Optics for Car Connections?
Copper cables send data around today's vehicles. "Why not fiber optics?" asks a reader.
Answering Your Questions: Why Not Use Fiber Optics for Car Connections?
Blog : Medical
ULiSSES Medical Device Wins 2019 'Create the Future' Design Contest
ULiSSES Medical Device Wins 2019 'Create the Future' Design Contest
Learn more about ULiSSES, a life-saving device for organ and limb transport.
ULiSSES Medical Device Wins 2019 'Create the Future' Design Contest
Blog : Transportation
Answering Your Questions: Which Vehicle Applications Will Require High-Speed Data Rates (of 20 Gigabits per Second?)
Answering Your Questions: Which Vehicle Applications Will Require High-Speed Data Rates (of 20 Gigabits per Second?)
See what a vehicle can do as its data communication rates get faster and faster.
Answering Your Questions: Which Vehicle Applications Will Require High-Speed Data Rates (of 20 Gigabits per Second?)
Blog : Propulsion
By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off
By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off

A lake is usually a picture of serenity, perhaps the last place you’d expect to find a flying-fish robot launching itself 85 feet in the air.

By the Lake, a Flying-Fish Robot Takes Off
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Answering Your Questions: Why Land on the South Pole of the Moon?
Answering Your Questions: Why Land on the South Pole of the Moon?
NASA is set to return to the Moon in 2024. But why the lunar south pole?
Answering Your Questions: Why Land on the South Pole of the Moon?
Blog : Aerospace
New on NASA's Menu: A Tool to Predict Vitamin Levels in Spaceflight Food
New on NASA's Menu: A Tool to Predict Vitamin Levels in Spaceflight Food

It took over 3,000 pouches of spaceflight food, but Timothy Goulette and Hang Xiao ultimately created a mathematical model that NASA will soon use to ensure that its...

New on NASA's Menu: A Tool to Predict Vitamin Levels in Spaceflight Food
Blog : Government
Answering Your Questions: What Makes Some Cameras 'ITAR' vs 'ITAR-Free?'
Answering Your Questions: What Makes Some Cameras 'ITAR' vs 'ITAR-Free?'
Two industry experts respond to a Tech Briefs reader question.
Answering Your Questions: What Makes Some Cameras 'ITAR' vs 'ITAR-Free?'
Blog : Electronics & Computers
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
Stanford Professor Eric Pop learned a valuable electronics lesson from his early days as a radio DJ.
A New Heat Shield for Electronics – Just 10 Atoms Thick
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
Prospecting for Ice: NASA Challenges Students to Find Ways to Drill Down on Mars
Blog : Materials
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.
Answering Your Questions: Thermosets or Thermoplastic Composites?
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Answering Your Questions: With EV Battery Assembly, Why Adhesives Over Fasteners?
Answering Your Questions: With EV Battery Assembly, Why Adhesives Over Fasteners?
A reader asks an industry expert why adhesives are a better option for battery assembly in electric vehicles.
Answering Your Questions: With EV Battery Assembly, Why Adhesives Over Fasteners?