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 : Defense
Will 3D Printing Get Past the Plastic?
Will 3D Printing Get Past the Plastic?
If you think there’s too much hype surrounding 3D printing, perhaps that’s because you’re only thinking about plastic parts.
Will 3D Printing Get Past the Plastic?
News : Electronics & Computers
Answering Your Questions: Is This the End of VME?
Answering Your Questions: Is This the End of VME?
A reader asked our expert: What technology will spell the beginning of the end for the VME embedded computing platform?
Answering Your Questions: Is This the End of VME?
Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
Reusable ‘Oleo’ Sponge Soaks Up Oil Spills
Reusable ‘Oleo’ Sponge Soaks Up Oil Spills

A reusable sponge from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory cleans up spills – not in the kitchen, but on the coast.

Reusable ‘Oleo’ Sponge Soaks Up Oil Spills
Blog : Medical
Answering Your Questions: Are Assistive Robotics Safe for Patients?
Answering Your Questions: Are Assistive Robotics Safe for Patients?
Robotics are increasingly find a role in patient rehabilitation. But are the technologies safe?
Answering Your Questions: Are Assistive Robotics Safe for Patients?
Blog : Medical
Sponge-Inspired XSTAT Device Quickly Seals Gunshot Wounds
Sponge-Inspired XSTAT Device Quickly Seals Gunshot Wounds
With a syringe-like applicator, the XSTAT hemostatic tool injects small, rapidly-expanding sponges into a wound cavity.
Sponge-Inspired XSTAT Device Quickly Seals Gunshot Wounds
Blog : Transportation
How to Control Vehicle Emissions: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) or Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)?
How to Control Vehicle Emissions: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) or Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)?
What's the best platform for controlling vehicle emissions? "It depends!" says one engine expert.
How to Control Vehicle Emissions: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) or Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)?
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Answering Your Questions: Lithium-Air Battery vs. Lithium-Ion
Answering Your Questions: Lithium-Air Battery vs. Lithium-Ion
Larry Curtiss answers reader questions about a new kind of lithium-air battery.
Answering Your Questions: Lithium-Air Battery vs. Lithium-Ion
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Aboard SpaceX Cargo Capsule, New Ideas for Getting Rid of Space Junk
Aboard SpaceX Cargo Capsule, New Ideas for Getting Rid of Space Junk
A “RemoveDEBRIS” satellite set to launch today will demonstrate new ideas for clearing out space junk near the International Space Station.
Aboard SpaceX Cargo Capsule, New Ideas for Getting Rid of Space Junk
Blog : Materials
Metal Additive Manufacturing on the Rise, Says 3D Printing Study
Metal Additive Manufacturing on the Rise, Says 3D Printing Study

A report released this week revealed a spike in the adoption of metal additive-manufacturing systems – an increase due largely to a growing number of new companies.

Metal Additive Manufacturing on the Rise, Says 3D Printing Study
Blog : Automotive
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
A reader asks our expert: "How do road conditions impact vehicle-to-vehicle responses?"
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
Blog : Semiconductors & ICs
Wobbly ‘HOIP’ Semiconductor Has Researchers in Excited State
Wobbly ‘HOIP’ Semiconductor Has Researchers in Excited State
Physical chemists at the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered an emerging class of semiconductors with some unexpected moves.
Wobbly ‘HOIP’ Semiconductor Has Researchers in Excited State
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
HAMMER Time: A New Spacecraft Idea Aims to Ram an Asteroid Off-Course
HAMMER Time: A New Spacecraft Idea Aims to Ram an Asteroid Off-Course
Scientists have an idea to deflect Earth-bound asteroids: a 9-meter-tall, 8.8-ton spacecraft dubbed the HAMMER.
HAMMER Time: A New Spacecraft Idea Aims to Ram an Asteroid Off-Course
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
Today's humanoid robots are being asked to have more brains than brawn.
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
Blog : Electronics & Computers
A Look Back at the Trailblazing "Manny" Robot – A Firefighter's Friend
A Look Back at the Trailblazing
In 1988, a team at Pacific Northwest Laboratories built a mannequin robot. One of the original engineers talked with Tech Briefs about his time making "Manny."
A Look Back at the Trailblazing
Blog : Energy
Low-Cost Smart Glass? Electrical Engineers Look into It
Low-Cost Smart Glass? Electrical Engineers Look into It
A switchable window – one that transforms from a clear to tinted state – is not a new invention. What is new, however, is a “smart glass” that is low-cost.
Low-Cost Smart Glass? Electrical Engineers Look into It
Blog : Transportation
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
A Tech Briefs reader asked our expert: What is the best data-processing architecture for truly autonomous, 'Level-5' vehicles?
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
A Role for Boston Dynamics’ Back-Flipping Robots: Is Space the Place?
A Role for Boston Dynamics’ Back-Flipping Robots: Is Space the Place?
NASA robotics engineers react to Boston Dynamics' back-flipping robots.
A Role for Boston Dynamics’ Back-Flipping Robots: Is Space the Place?
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
The ‘Create the Future’ Design Contest is Open for Entries
The ‘Create the Future’ Design Contest is Open for Entries
Have a product design idea? The "Create the Future" Design Contest is now open for submissions until July 2, 2018.
The ‘Create the Future’ Design Contest is Open for Entries
Blog : Automotive
How Can Reconfigurable Hardware Secure Connected Cars?
How Can Reconfigurable Hardware Secure Connected Cars?
Software is the key; hardware is the door, says Xilinx’s Willard Tu.
How Can Reconfigurable Hardware Secure Connected Cars?
Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
How Will the Rise of Electric Vehicles Impact the Power Grid? An Engineer Simulates the Effects
How Will the Rise of Electric Vehicles Impact the Power Grid? An Engineer Simulates the Effects
An energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory used computer simulation to project the impact of in-home charging on the grid.
How Will the Rise of Electric Vehicles Impact the Power Grid? An Engineer Simulates the Effects
News : Medical
'Antibiotic-Eluting Resorbable Tubes' Aim to Transform Pediatric Ear Treatment
'Antibiotic-Eluting Resorbable Tubes' Aim to Transform Pediatric Ear Treatment
Tech Briefs spoke with Dr. Lishan Aklog about an innovative pediatric ear treatment: antibiotic-eluting resorbable ear tubes.
'Antibiotic-Eluting Resorbable Tubes' Aim to Transform Pediatric Ear Treatment
Blog : Test & Measurement
Your Readers' Choice Products of the Year
Your Readers' Choice Products of the Year
The votes are in! See the winners of the Tech Briefs' Readers' Choice Products of the Year.
Your Readers' Choice Products of the Year
Blog : Software
Sharks on a Plane? Skin Scales Lift Aircraft Design
Sharks on a Plane? Skin Scales Lift Aircraft Design

To improve a flying vehicle, sometimes you have to turn to a reliable model that has been operating for hundreds of millions of years.

Sharks on a Plane? Skin Scales Lift Aircraft Design
Blog : Electronics & Computers
New Uses for Electro-Osmosis, Beyond the Ski Jacket
New Uses for Electro-Osmosis, Beyond the Ski Jacket

Beyond the slopes, creators of a moisture-managing, sweat-getting ski jacket envision new places for the “electrified” apparel.

New Uses for Electro-Osmosis, Beyond the Ski Jacket
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Shape-Morphing Materials Add 4th Dimension to 3D Printing
Shape-Morphing Materials Add 4th Dimension to 3D Printing

3D printing uses computer control to fuse layers of polymers or powders into a three-dimensional object. Rutgers University researchers found a way to add to a fourth dimension –...

Shape-Morphing Materials Add 4th Dimension to 3D Printing
Blog : Imaging
From Sci-Fi to Surgery: New Uses for ‘Floating’ 3D Imagery
From Sci-Fi to Surgery: New Uses for ‘Floating’ 3D Imagery
A BYU professor and his team have found a way to take the 3D displays of science fiction and make them a reality. A reader asks: Could surgeons use this kind of volumetric display?
From Sci-Fi to Surgery: New Uses for ‘Floating’ 3D Imagery
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Going for Gold: ‘Electro-Osmotic’ Ski Jacket Gets the Sweat Out
Going for Gold: ‘Electro-Osmotic’ Ski Jacket Gets the Sweat Out

As the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to begin next week, creators of a moisture-managing ski jacket are literally going for the gold.

Going for Gold: ‘Electro-Osmotic’ Ski Jacket Gets the Sweat Out
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Sound-Off: Do You Data Log?
Sound-Off: Do You Data Log?
In an increasingly mobile world, manufacturers want to keep an eye on their facilities and equipment – no matter how far away they are from their test fixture.
Sound-Off: Do You Data Log?
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Design Considerations: How to Keep Wearers Wearing Wearables
Design Considerations: How to Keep Wearers Wearing Wearables
In a Tech Briefs Q&A, professor and biosensor creator Albert Titus reviews the state of wearable sensor design.
Design Considerations: How to Keep Wearers Wearing Wearables
Blog : Aerospace
Introducing the New TechBriefs.com

Long-time readers of the site may have noticed this week that TechBriefs.com has a whole new look — a more visual, more scrollable design.