Billy's Blog

Join the conversation! Tech Briefs' Digital Editorial Manager Billy Hurley provides his take on today’s innovative technology developments and the topics most important to you.

 Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
A Work of Art: Researchers Create Complex Actuators, Automatically
MIT's new way of automatically creating actuators is a bit like solving a Rubik's Cube.
 News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Are Military Standards Influencing Commercial UAV?
A reader asks our industry expert: Will air taxis be influenced by military UAV standards?
 Blog : Electronics & Computers
The Apollo 11 ‘Spinoff’ Technologies We Still Use Today
Many of the technologies we use today – space blankets, hearing aids, food packaging – began on the Apollo 11 mission.
 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
With Embedded App, 'Anyone Can Program Robots'
A new app opens up robotics to a large user base.
 Blog : RF & Microwave Electronics
New at Sensors Expo: Image-Quality LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles
At Sensors Expo in San Jose, Innovusion (Los Altos, CA) debuted the Cheetah high-resolution, image-grade LiDAR system with long-distance capability.
 Blog : Data Acquisition
At Sensors Expo: SST Wireless on a 'Journey of Innovation'
The key to IoT implementation: Democratizing big data, says SST's Christopher Chong.
 Blog : Photonics/Optics
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 3 — Unusual Exhibits
Editor Bruce A. Bennett takes us through the unusual — and completely unexpected —at this year's LASER World of Photonics.
 News : Photonics/Optics
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 2: Bigger is Better
Many vendors at this year's event made their presence known with mega-sized booths.
 Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
From LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Light as the Key to Global Sustainability
The increased use of photonics has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions — by 3-billion tons.
 Blog : Test & Measurement
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019
The bi-annual Laser World of Photonics exhibition begins today.
 Blog : Energy
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
A new water purifier works better because it takes the shape of the rose.
 Blog : Imaging
Answering Your Questions: What are New Missions for Military UAVs?
An industry expert tells a Tech Briefs reader what's over the next hill regarding military UAVs.
 Blog : Test & Measurement
An ‘Active’ Machine-Vision Tool Adds Intelligence to Traffic Management
A new machine-vision tool extracts and reports valuable driving data from the standard traffic cameras already in place.
 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Energy-Efficient ‘SlothBot’ Moves Only When It Has To

While robots like the WildCat from Boston Dynamics reach speeds of just under 20 miles an hour, engineers from Georgia Tech have gone with a decidedly slower approach.

 Blog : Energy
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
An Ohio State researcher shares with Tech Briefs the promise of potassium-oxygen batteries.
 Blog : Communications
NIWeek 2019: What Will Slow Down 5G? ‘Nothing,’ Says Panel
“Nothing is going to slow 5G down. I mean nothing," said one NIWeek panelist.
 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Leech-Like Robot Climbs Up the Walls

Doctoral Programs student Ayato Kanada came up with his leech-like robot in a place you’d least expect it: His bathroom.

 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Markforged Helps Factories Fix Themselves

At RAPID + TCT in Detroit today, Markforged introduced Blacksmith artificial intelligence-powered software that makes manufacturing machines “aware” so they can automatically adjust programming...

 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
HP’s Digital Disruption

On the opening day of the RAPID + TCT Show in Detroit, HP introduced the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution – an industrial 3D printing system – and the Digital Manufacturing Network, a new global...

 News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Beyond Just Gesture, A Modified Smartwatch Detects 25 Specific Hand Activities

Your smartwatch can count your steps, but can it tell if you’re typing on a keyboard? Or chopping a vegetable?

 News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
A microrobot can take up to 8 hours to make. With the help of a 3D printer, University of Toronto engineers got the process down to 20 minutes
 Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Answering Your Questions: How Do Medical Robots Help Surgeons?
A reader asks: "With medical robots, what's in it for surgeons?"
 Blog : Test & Measurement
A New Idea for Putting Out Fires in Space: The Vacuum Cleaner?
If a short circuit starts a fire up on the International Space Station, Dr. Yuji Nakamura has an idea to extinguish it: The vacuum.
 Blog : Propulsion
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
Three new unmanned helicopters were unveiled at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
 Blog : Transportation
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Flying Sea Glider
A Navy Sea Glider can look for a target in mid-air or underwater.
 News : Aerospace
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Air Force Technology
As always, the Air Force Research Laboratory had a huge presence at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
 Blog : Aerospace
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Real Thrill Ride
You think riding your Harley Davidson is exciting? Try the ElectraFly.
 Blog : Transportation
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Close-Up Look at Air Taxis
Taxi! A steady stream of AUVSI XPONENTIAL attendees got to see Bell's new air vehicle up close.
 Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Glass Paves Way for ‘New Era’ of Photonics

For the first time, researchers have 3D printed a unique material that demonstrates optical transparency in the mid-infrared range: chalcogenide glass.

 Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Some parts should be CNC machined, and some parts should be 3D printed. Our expert compares the two manufacturing processes.

Technology Leaders

Webcasts

 Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Adaptive AUTOSAR and a Ready-to-Go Vehicle Run-Time Environment

 Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

The Next Giant Leap: Back to the Moon and On to Mars

 Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

SOSA and Its Impact on OpenVPX

 Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Automotive Glazing: Past, Present, and Future

 Upcoming Webinars: Materials

Lightweighting with Composites and Plastics

 On-Demand Webinars: Imaging

Innovative Approach for Ultrahigh-Speed Machine Vision