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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Electronics & Computers
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 : Transportation
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 : Motion Control
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 : Imaging
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 : Transportation
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 : Communications
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 : Robotics, Automation & Control
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 : Aerospace
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 : Data Acquisition
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 : Imaging
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?
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
How to Make a Transistor – From Thread
How to Make a Transistor – From Thread

Tufts University engineers are making transistors from a material you’re more likely to see in a fabric store than in the field of electronics.

How to Make a Transistor – From Thread
Blog : Test & Measurement
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
"Actually it was not something we really planned!" Dr. Andrew Salmon told Tech Briefs.
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
Blog : Transportation
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
How much does windshield glazing matter when cars drive themselves?
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
A Mars Mystery Continues, As Study Rules Out Wind Erosion’s Role in Methane Spikes
A Mars Mystery Continues, As Study Rules Out Wind Erosion’s Role in Methane Spikes
Researchers from Newcastle University continue to explore the source of Mars' mysterious methane.
A Mars Mystery Continues, As Study Rules Out Wind Erosion’s Role in Methane Spikes
Blog : Internet of Things
AI and Agriculture: How to Spot Bad Bananas — With a Phone
AI and Agriculture: How to Spot Bad Bananas — With a Phone
The Tumaini app will could help farmers spot pests and disease before it's too late.
AI and Agriculture: How to Spot Bad Bananas — With a Phone
Blog : Propulsion
Answering Your Questions: What Kind of Spacecraft Will Bring Astronauts to the Moon in 2024?
Answering Your Questions: What Kind of Spacecraft Will Bring Astronauts to the Moon in 2024?
Lockheed Martin's Rob Chambers is working on a spacecraft that will bring astronauts back to the lunar surface.
Answering Your Questions: What Kind of Spacecraft Will Bring Astronauts to the Moon in 2024?
Blog : Aerospace
Answering Your Questions: How is NASA Studying the Effects of Microgravity on the Human Body?
Answering Your Questions: How is NASA Studying the Effects of Microgravity on the Human Body?

NASA is planning a return to the Moon and an exploration-mission to Mars, but how will the human body hold up in microgravity for long...

Answering Your Questions: How is NASA Studying the Effects of Microgravity on the Human Body?
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Camera Sees Objects Around Corners (Even Better Than Before)
Camera Sees Objects Around Corners (Even Better Than Before)
A new-and-improved system from Stanford University captures light from a greater variety of surfaces, allowing a wider, farther imagery than ever before.
Camera Sees Objects Around Corners (Even Better Than Before)
Blog : Energy
How to Generate Electricity — From Rust
How to Generate Electricity — From Rust

Scientists from Caltech and Northwestern University have found a way to generate electricity by combining saltwater with one of life's more undesirable compounds: rust.

How to Generate Electricity — From Rust
Blog : Aerospace
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
Sign up now to hear how NASA plans to get back to the Moon by 2024.
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
Blog : Semiconductors & ICs
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
A reader asks: What role will emulation play in the verification of modern automotive solutions?
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
Blog : Test & Measurement
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Our readers ask: How do you know that you have the right anode? How can you inspect the electrolyte or electrode material?
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Self-Healing Glass, Inspired by a Butterfly Wing
A Self-Healing Glass, Inspired by a Butterfly Wing
A team from the University of Pittsburgh looked to the butterfly to create a glass that is self-healing, liquid-repellant, and anti-fogging.
A Self-Healing Glass, Inspired by a Butterfly Wing