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.

A reader asks our expert: "How do road conditions impact vehicle-to-vehicle responses?"
Physical chemists at the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered an emerging class of semiconductors with some unexpected moves.
Scientists have an idea to deflect Earth-bound asteroids: a 9-meter-tall, 8.8-ton spacecraft dubbed the HAMMER.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
Today's humanoid robots are being asked to have more brains than brawn.
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 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.
A Tech Briefs reader asked our expert: What is the best data-processing architecture for truly autonomous, 'Level-5' vehicles?
NASA robotics engineers react to Boston Dynamics' back-flipping robots.
Have a product design idea? The "Create the Future" Design Contest is now open for submissions until July 2, 2018.
Software is the key; hardware is the door, says Xilinx’s Willard Tu.
An energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory used computer simulation to project the impact of in-home charging on the grid.
Tech Briefs spoke with Dr. Lishan Aklog about an innovative pediatric ear treatment: antibiotic-eluting resorbable ear tubes.
The votes are in! See the winners of the Tech Briefs' Readers' Choice Products of the Year.

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

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.

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 –...

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?

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

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.
In a Tech Briefs Q&A, professor and biosensor creator Albert Titus reviews the state of wearable sensor design.
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.

Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
And on That Farm He Had a…Robot?
Farmers in Europe are increasingly turning to robotic weeders. A specialist from University of California, Davis tested out the technologies.
A Beverly Hills city official tells Tech Briefs how the city is changing its infrastructure to accommodate a growing number of electric vehicles.
As electric vehicles take the road, a new kind of EV infrastructure has emerged to power them. A Tech Briefs reader asks our expert about an emerging, “smart” idea: Intelligent Charging.
ORNL staff scientist Adam Rondinone explains how his team made the tiny toy.
Is the future electric? A reader asks an expert from Mercedes-Benz.
Blog: Physical Sciences
The Top Tech Briefs Stories of 2017

With another year of Tech Briefs almost in the books, it's time to look at our most-read news articles of 2017.

Top stories included a look back at the life of Robert Goddard, and a look forward to...

During the historic Apollo 11 mission, the astronauts, mission control specialists, and back-room support staff did plenty of communicating. The University of Texas at Dallas launched a project to make all of the moon-mission audio accessible.
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will Ethics Training be Essential for Tomorrow's Design Engineers?

In our second INSIDER story, Patti Kreh demonstrated that colleges and universities will need to take an "interdisciplinary" approach to train the design engineers of the future.

"What we're seeing is the need for the blending of disciplines – a combination of...

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