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 : Test & Measurement
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 : Energy
'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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : RF & Microwave Electronics
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
News : Data Acquisition
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
Blog : Aerospace
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 : Aerospace
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
News : Aerospace
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 : Aerospace
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Internet of Things
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Automotive
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 : Materials
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 : Transportation
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 : Automotive
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 : Semiconductors & ICs
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 : Materials
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