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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Technologies of the Week

"Micro-needles" have been disclosed that are characterized by their sharpness and side holes that prevent the coring phenomenon seen in standard needles. The needles can be several hundreds of microns in length and avoid most pain receptors in the skin. The sharpness ensures minimal damage to the skin.

Click here...

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Genetically Engineered Cows

Scientists at Hematech (Sioux Falls, SD) have genetically engineered a dozen "prion-protein-knockout" cows to be free from the proteins that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. Prion protein is a natural cellular protein that can become misfolded into infectious particles and cause BSE...

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Nano 50 Awards - Call for Nominations

Nanotech Briefs(R) magazine has announced a "Call for Nominations" for its third annual Nano 50 awards competition. The Nano 50 recognizes the top 50 technologies, innovators, and products with the greatest potential to advance the commercialization of nanotechnology.

There is no cost to submit a...

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Product of the Month

The OP280 series of infrared emitters and the OP580 series of matching silicon photo sensors from OPTEK Technology (Carrollton, TX) were named PTB Product of the Month for January. The OP280 emitter series consists of three standard devices: the OP180 940-nm infrared emitter, the OP280 880-nm infrared emitter, and the OP280K...

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New Directions in Optical Scanning

Optical scanners were first introduced 40 years ago. Since then, they have become the enabling technology behind many innovative products across many different industries, including medical imaging, industrial machining, product identification, biomedical research, automotive manufacturing, and many...

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Technology Business Needs
Alternative Technologies for Storing Mechanical Energy

A Fortune 500 company is seeking technology or joint development proposals for an alternative method of stored energy that can be used in place of a gas-charged cylinder or compression spring for closing valve.

Click here for more info.

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NASA News

The unexpected longevity of NASA's twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity is giving NASA a chance to field-test on Mars some new capabilities useful both to these missions and future rovers. Both rovers begin their fourth year on Mars this month. They are currently testing four new skills included in revised flight software uploaded to...

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Product of the Year Awards

It's that time of year again -- time to cast your vote for NASA Tech Briefs' Readers' Choice Product of the Year. Each month, the editors of NTB select a Product of the Month. At the end of the year, we ask our Readers to choose the Product of the Year -- the one product from those 12 nominees that they feel was the...

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Safer Driving

Engineers at Lehigh and Carnegie Mellon universities, working with Green Lane, PA-based Freedom Lift Corp., have integrated robotics, laser, and wireless technologies into a new system that promises to make it safer for wheelchair users to drive a car.

Current solutions for wheelchair users who desire independent mobility...

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3D navigation devices

Two new 3D navigation devices, SpaceNavigator and SpaceExplorer, from 3Dconnexion(R), a Logitech company, San Jose, CA, have been named NASA Tech Briefs' Product of the Month for January. SpaceNavigator is an entry-level device that lets users move naturally and fluidly in 3D environments without making repetitive mouse...

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Tech Needs of the Week

A method is needed to prevent the evaporation of a liquid out of a porous biological structure or to retain the liquid in the biological structure. The method will be used to decrease the rate of water evaporation through a fingernail. It must be safe and easily applicable by a common user.

Click here to respond to...

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New Polymers

Researchers from the University of Delaware (UD) discovered a new class of ultra-thin polymer films with potential applications ranging from coating tiny microelectronic devices to plastic solar cells. The research focused on formerly nonpolymerizable ethylenes.

The UD researchers developed a polymer-making technique that...

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White Paper

Torque Measurement Methods

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

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Invisible Electronics

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) researchers have combined organic and inorganic materials to produce prototype transparent, high-performance transistors that can be assembled inexpensively on both glass and plastics. To create the thin-film transistors, the Northwestern group combined films of the inorganic...

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Technologies of the Week

Polymer coatings and films have been disclosed that are photochemically processed for producing safer paints and coatings for a wider range of applications.

View this technology at: http://link.abpi.net/l.php?20070102A3

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Mine Detection

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory developed a pinpointed sound beam that can detect buried land mines from a safe distance. Called a parametric acoustic array, the device is made up of ceramic transducers -- devices that emit a powerful narrow acoustic beam at...

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Current Attractions

Embedded Technology magazine features board-level electronics and COTS solutions for design engineers, as well as a variety of product offerings.

The January issue of Embedded Technology contains a feature story on “Sensor Interface Design Demystified.” In this article, Dr. Kevin A. Shaw,...

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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 martini glass. The algorithm locates...

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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 head.

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