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.

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DESIGN AND WIN TODAY!

If you haven't already submitted your design idea, you only have until this Friday, Nov. 17, to enter the fifth annual "Create the Future" design contest. You could win the Grand Prize of a hybrid car or $20,000 in cash. Visit http://link.abpi.net/l.php?20061113A9 for entry details.

The contest is sponsored by Emhart...

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PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

The Model M7500 infrared camera from Mikron Infrared (Oakland, NJ) was named PTB Product of the Month for November. The camera is an uncooled microbolometer camera that is configurable for mid-wave or long-wave imaging in four different temperature bands, and provides resolution of 320 x 240.

It uses spectral tuning...

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CURRENT ATTRACTIONS

Looking ahead to 2007, optical design software will continue to enhance the capabilities of designers who must predict and analyze the performance of optical systems without experimental prototyping. An article in the November issue of Photonics Tech Briefs (PTB) titled "Optical Software in 2007: Isn't That Easy?" provides an...

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TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS NEEDS

Smart Materials with Precisely Controlled Constriction Properties A multi-billion-dollar electronics company seeks proposals describing responsive materials having controllable planar constriction.

http://link.abpi.net/l.php?20061113A3

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MAKING BLIND CELLS SEE

The newly created UC Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Nanomedicine Development Center is developing a method to put light-sensitive switches in the body's cells that can be flipped on and off. Optical switches like these could trigger a chemical reaction, activate a drug, initiate a muscle contraction, or...

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WHITE PAPERS

Torque Measurement Methods

This white paper from HBM outlines torque measurement in the following areas: calculation from electrical power, measuring reaction torque, measuring in-line torque, and strain gages in torque measurement. It showcases torque measurement products in action and details how measurement experts...

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EVENT ALERT

ATK Launch Systems is the world's leading manufacturer of solid rocket motor systems for space launch vehicles. We are looking for experienced engineers and project managers to work with us on Ares I, the successor to the space shuttle. Open house for qualified candidates will be held November 13 and 14 at the Crowne Plaza Los...

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"CREATE THE FUTURE" TODAY

A hybrid automobile or $20,000 in cash is the Grand Prize in Emhart Teknologies' and NASA Tech Briefs' fifth annual "Create the Future" Design Contest. Engineers, students, and the general public are encouraged to submit their ideas. View the official entry form and contest rules here. Categories are Everyday Products,...

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MOTION CONTROL NEWS

AST Bearings (Montville, NJ) introduced the High Carbon Chromium Steel Tapered Roller Bearings line, comprised of the inner and outer rings, tapered rollers, and a cage (roller retainer). The rings and rollers carry the load; the cage spaces and retains the rollers on the inner ring.

For more information click...

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GRIP-LEARNING ROBOT

Engineers at Stanford University (Stanford, CA) have devised an

algorithm that allows a robot to recognize unfamiliar objects and

determine the best way to pick them up. The robot was first trained in

a computer-generated environment to pick up five items: a cup, pencil,

brick, book, and...

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TECHNOLOGIES OF THE WEEK

This filtration device removes gas phase contaminants from an air

stream in a non-mechanical, non-cyclic, continuous manner. Odor removal

is accomplished by directing an air stream through a filter element

consisting of partially hollow wicking fibers.

View this technology here.

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AERATED SHOWER

Scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research

Organization (CSIRO, Clayton, Australia) have designed a showerhead

that saves 30% more water than conventional heads by adding air into

the water stream. The resulting shower feels just as "wet" as one with

a conventional...

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TECHNOLOGIES OF THE WEEK

This technology is based on an ice model for structural integrity with

regard to load and impact. Understanding how structures perform against

ice-loads is vital to ensure that structures continue to operate

safely.

View this technology here.

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WHITE PAPER

Automated 3D Surface Contact for Nastran FEA

NEiNastran V9 adds a powerful new feature that allows automatic surface

contact generation (ASCG) between discontinuous bodies. This paper

discusses different applications of ASCG as well as some of the more

advanced features.

Click here for...

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TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS NEEDS
Heat-Resistant, High Dielectric Constant Materials

A global electronic components manufacturer is seeking proposals for highly heat-resistant, high dielectric constant materials for capacitors used in power devices.

Click here for more.

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EVENT ALERT

Free Webinar: Validate Avionics Performance with Realistic Simulation

If you design, analyze, or test Avionics equipment, attend this webinar.

In 60 minutes, learn how to accelerate the evaluation and validation of

reliable performance of your Avionics designs and manufacturing processes.

Click...

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LAST CHANCE! DESIGN & WIN TODAY

There is only one day left to submit your original design idea to the fifth annual Emhart Teknologies "Create the Future" Design Contest. Enter your unique idea in one of four categories -- Everyday Products, Safety, Transportation, and Medical -- and you could win a 2007 hybrid car, $20,000 in cash, a 42" plasma...

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TECH NEEDS OF THE WEEK

An organization is seeking to purchase or to exclusively license US patents that improve the performance of LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) panels. They are especially interested in patents leading to higher resolution (such as light-blocking), and high-speed control (the gap control of the LCD layer).

To respond...

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CURRENT ATTRACTIONS

The Embedded Technology supplement to the Air Force Research Laboratory's Technology Horizons magazine features board-level electronics and COTS solutions for design engineers, as well as a variety of product offerings.

The November issue of Embedded Technology features a cover story on "Embedded Databases: Data...

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IMAGING DETECTORS

Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester recently

won $847,000 from NASA's Astronomy Physics Research and Analysis program to

build and test a detector that will capture sharper images and consume less

power than technology currently in use. This new detector could...

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ROCK-AND-ROLL FANTASY

You're a master of the air guitar, playing along with your favorite

rock band. But what if your air guitar actually made real music? A

team of engineers at the Australian government's Commonwealth

Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has created the

wearable instrument...

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SENSOR NETWORKS

Computer science engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have

developed wireless sensor networks with software agents that have been

able to navigate a robot safely through a simulated fire, and spot a

fire by seeking out heat. The sensor networks also can be used to

protect containers in a...

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HUMAN AREA NETWORK

Engineers at Nippon Telephone & Telegraph (NTT, Tokyo, Japan) have

developed three separate prototype devices that use a new electric

field/photonics method allowing the surface of the body to be used as a

safe, high-speed network transmission path. Called "RedTacton," a

transmission path is...

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WIRELESS POWER EMITTER

At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a team led by assistant

professor Marin Soljacic is developing a method to broadcast power to

devices to charge them, rather than depending on cords and cables.

Instead of irradiating the environment with electromagnetic waves, a

power...

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PHANTOM PAIN TREATMENT

Researchers at the University of Manchester (Manchester, UK) have

devised an experimental method of virtual reality for the treatment of

phantom limb pain (PLP) experienced by some amputees. Using headsets,

data gloves, and other sensors, amputees used their remaining physical

limbs to...

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