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.

NIST engineers are working to make the cellular network standard even faster.
New software sets the stage for A.I.-enabled robotic prostheses that predict user terrain and initiate mechanical changes accordingly.
The Los Angeles, CA-based company Nanotech Energy is using graphene to prevent thermal runaway and create a non-flammable battery.
A team at Georgia Tech has discovered a Velcro-like way of mass-producing gecko-inspired adhesives.
A proof-of-concept soft robot has a cheetah-like gait that avoids the usual crawl.

An empty airport tells you more than you might think.

See how NASA engineer Mike Buttigieg is creating a device that will free up ventilators for patients with COVID-19

A low-cost, low-complexity ventilator developed by NASA engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.

By taking a closer look at the delta deposits on Mars, Stanford University researchers concluded that the Jezero Crater is still the best place to search for signs of life on Mars.
A team used to making pollutant-detection systems is adapting their technologies to spot coronavirus.
To speed up the design process, researchers from the University of Texas are finding more efficient ways to predict, or "learn," a rocket's behavior.
A team at Northwestern University is developing a material so porous that if you were able to unfold a gram of it, you could go farther than a football field.
A Berkeley Lab system provides a much more sensitive probe of the chemical state of battery electrodes, especially when the battery is operated under high capacity mode.

In just three weeks, the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) at UC Berkeley built a robotic COVID-19 laboratory.

Robots are in high demand as medical professionals seek hands-free ways to disinfect environments and contain the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19.

Bridget Pelaez spoke to Tech Briefs about the 1,000 face shields being printed for Florida hospitals.
See how Prof. Olaf Diegel built a hands-free door opener.
As autonomous cars collect data on passing pedestrians, cyclists, and license plates, what privacy measures are in place? A reader asks.
3D printing is being used to quickly create life-saving parts and prototypes like masks, shields, and ventilator valves.
A reader asks, "What market drivers need to occur for electric vehicles to be considered an acceptable replacement for vehicles with internal combustion engines?"
Massive manufacturing bots have evolved into something new — collaborative robots.
NASA wants small businesses to help the safe operation of UAVs in airspace.
NASA’s big return to the Moon by 2024 will call for the support of small technologies – specifically, the miniature spacecraft known as CubeSats.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Readers Select 2019 Products of the Year
The votes are in. Our readers selected top products in data acquisition, software, and ultrasonic sensing.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Next Mars Rover Name? 'Perseverance'
The new Mars Rover Name is Perseverance, thanks to a suggestion from Virginia 7th grader Alex Mather.
University of Washington engineer James Koch observed patterns in a promising, but often-unpredictable rocket part: The rotating detonation engine.
How does testing a metal 3D-printed part compare to testing a casted one? That's the elephant in the room, says industry pro Kevin Brigden.
An energy breakthrough from the City University of Hong Kong finds power in a single drop of water – up to 140 volts, in fact.

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