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.

Many vendors at this year's event made their presence known with mega-sized booths.
The increased use of photonics has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions — by 3-billion tons.
Blog: Photonics/Optics
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019
The bi-annual Laser World of Photonics exhibition begins today.
A new water purifier works better because it takes the shape of the rose.
An industry expert tells a Tech Briefs reader what's over the next hill regarding military UAVs.
A new machine-vision tool extracts and reports valuable driving data from the standard traffic cameras already in place.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
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.

An Ohio State researcher shares with Tech Briefs the promise of potassium-oxygen batteries.
“Nothing is going to slow 5G down. I mean nothing," said one NIWeek panelist.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.

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...

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

Blog: 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
A reader asks: "With medical robots, what's in it for surgeons?"
If a short circuit starts a fire up on the International Space Station, Dr. Yuji Nakamura has an idea to extinguish it: The vacuum.
Three new unmanned helicopters were unveiled at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
A Navy Sea Glider can look for a target in mid-air or underwater.
As always, the Air Force Research Laboratory had a huge presence at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
You think riding your Harley Davidson is exciting? Try the ElectraFly.
Taxi! A steady stream of AUVSI XPONENTIAL attendees got to see Bell's new air vehicle up close.

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

Some parts should be CNC machined, and some parts should be 3D printed. Our expert compares the two manufacturing processes.
A new 3D printed device turns snowfall into electricity.
Researchers created transparent polythene sheets that have a strength greater than aluminum – at a fraction of the weight.
The 3D-printing process has a number of steps. Find out where CT scanning should fall.
Dr. Peter Cavanagh talks with Tech Briefs about his journey in the 1980s as he turned a running shoe into a tracking computer.
On day one of the Automate show in Chicago, Stäubli introduced its new TS2 four-axis robots to the North American market.
The dyed threads change color when they detect a variety of gases.

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