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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
An FMEA provides a step-by-step way of identifying product failures. Carl Carlson explains just how long the process takes.
Blog: Test & Measurement
InSight project manager Tom Hoffman spoke with Tech Briefs about the importance of digging deep in our knowledge of Mars.
Blog: Energy
Professor Hart spoke with Tech Briefs about why his team's new battery may someday find its way beyond niche applications and into electric vehicles.
Blog: Software
A reader asks our industry experts: "How good are the simulation models for automotive ADAS sensors?"
Blog: Materials
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are trying to solve the problem of plastic waste by converting it into something useful: Aerogels.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Professor Hadas Kress-Gazit tells Tech Briefs about the "great promise" of autonomous modular robots.
Blog: Aerospace
For an electric-aircraft future, it's not enough to just change components. You have to rethink design, our expert tells one reader.
Blog: Green Design & Manufacturing
Have you heard of "fatbergs?" Researcher Asha Srinivasan explains how her team is turning masses of fat, oil, and grease into biofuel.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Richard Duke spoke with Tech Briefs about the nature of the space-junk problem — and how his team plans to fix it.
Blog: Green Design & Manufacturing
Carl Yee invented a new kind of "Invisible Ink," so he could print paper without the guilt.
Blog: Automotive
How will the use of AR and virtual prototypes impact the role of automotive parts manufacturers? A reader asks our expert.
Blog: Energy
A new solution, applied like paint, cools down rooftops, buildings, water tanks, vehicles, and even spacecraft.
Blog: Imaging
Robert Holmes spoke with Tech Briefs about his path from "amateur" astronomer to NASA pro.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
Rivers Ingersoll spoke with Tech Briefs about why it is so important to have an up-close understanding of the hummingbird and nectar bat.
News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Is there more to the "Internet of Medical Things" than just data gathering? A reader asks our experts.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
NASA's Lindley Johnson explains how the exciting business of asteroid detection does have its moments that are “like any other office job.”
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A reader asks: "Why do organizations struggle to see 3D printing or additive manufacturing for more than prototyping? "
Blog: Electronics & Computers
Researchers discovered that an on-and-off kind of thermal regulation is possible if you look to the squid.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
A NASA researcher spoke with Tech Briefs about the importance of the Curiosity rover's latest find on Mars.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A readers asks two 3D-printing veterans: "What is your advice to someone starting out with additive manufacturing?"
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A new approach to structural coloration is more freeform than you might expect.
Blog: Imaging
Many manufacturers are relying on vision system integrators to implement machine vision. Our expert tells a reader how to find the right one for you.
Blog: Medical
For social robots to become commonplace in clinical settings, engineers will need to build both technology improvements as well something slightly more complicated: Trust.
Blog: Imaging
Researcher Nikhil Gupta tells Tech Briefs why "exploding" a QR code inside a 3D-printed part makes counterfeiting practically impossible.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A reader asks our expert: As autonomous vehicles enter the market, where are the weak spots in simulation?
Blog: Software

Simulation is a helpful go-to tool for assessing risk, but what if the event being simulated is an avalanche – a complex event with countless parameters and physical...

Blog: Motion Control

Cornell researchers have discovered a novel – and delicious – way to power simple robots: Popcorn.

Blog: Photonics/Optics
Instead of attaching semiconductors to fabric, an MIT team has found a way to add the technology right into the fiber themselves.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A reader asks: “If autonomous vehicles are too expensive for an individual to own, how is the cost per mile so low to hail one?”

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