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 : Semiconductors & ICs
How to Make a Transistor – From Thread
How to Make a Transistor – From Thread

Tufts University engineers are making transistors from a material you’re more likely to see in a fabric store than in the field of electronics.

How to Make a Transistor – From Thread
Blog : Defense
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
"Actually it was not something we really planned!" Dr. Andrew Salmon told Tech Briefs.
When Exposed to Light, Artificial 'Chameleon Skin' Changes Color
Blog : Materials
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
How much does windshield glazing matter when cars drive themselves?
Answering Your Questions: Will Glazing Requirements Change When Vehicles Go Autonomous?
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
A Mars Mystery Continues, As Study Rules Out Wind Erosion’s Role in Methane Spikes
A Mars Mystery Continues, As Study Rules Out Wind Erosion’s Role in Methane Spikes
Researchers from Newcastle University continue to explore the source of Mars' mysterious methane.
A Mars Mystery Continues, As Study Rules Out Wind Erosion’s Role in Methane Spikes
Blog : Data Acquisition
AI and Agriculture: How to Spot Bad Bananas — With a Phone
AI and Agriculture: How to Spot Bad Bananas — With a Phone
The Tumaini app will could help farmers spot pests and disease before it's too late.
AI and Agriculture: How to Spot Bad Bananas — With a Phone
Blog : Propulsion
Answering Your Questions: What Kind of Spacecraft Will Bring Astronauts to the Moon in 2024?
Answering Your Questions: What Kind of Spacecraft Will Bring Astronauts to the Moon in 2024?
Lockheed Martin's Rob Chambers is working on a spacecraft that will bring astronauts back to the lunar surface.
Answering Your Questions: What Kind of Spacecraft Will Bring Astronauts to the Moon in 2024?
Blog : Aerospace
Answering Your Questions: How is NASA Studying the Effects of Microgravity on the Human Body?
Answering Your Questions: How is NASA Studying the Effects of Microgravity on the Human Body?

NASA is planning a return to the Moon and an exploration-mission to Mars, but how will the human body hold up in microgravity for long...

Answering Your Questions: How is NASA Studying the Effects of Microgravity on the Human Body?
Blog : Transportation
Camera Sees Objects Around Corners (Even Better Than Before)
Camera Sees Objects Around Corners (Even Better Than Before)
A new-and-improved system from Stanford University captures light from a greater variety of surfaces, allowing a wider, farther imagery than ever before.
Camera Sees Objects Around Corners (Even Better Than Before)
Blog : Materials
How to Generate Electricity — From Rust
How to Generate Electricity — From Rust

Scientists from Caltech and Northwestern University have found a way to generate electricity by combining saltwater with one of life's more undesirable compounds: rust.

How to Generate Electricity — From Rust
Blog : Aerospace
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
Sign up now to hear how NASA plans to get back to the Moon by 2024.
What is the ‘Lunar Gateway?’ NASA Details Its Return to the Moon
Blog : Automotive
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
A reader asks: What role will emulation play in the verification of modern automotive solutions?
Answering Your Questions: How Will Emulation Be Used in Automotive Design?
Blog : Energy
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Our readers ask: How do you know that you have the right anode? How can you inspect the electrolyte or electrode material?
Answering Your Questions: What Are My Lithium-Ion Battery Inspection Options?
Blog : Nanotechnology
A Self-Healing Glass, Inspired by a Butterfly Wing
A Self-Healing Glass, Inspired by a Butterfly Wing
A team from the University of Pittsburgh looked to the butterfly to create a glass that is self-healing, liquid-repellant, and anti-fogging.
A Self-Healing Glass, Inspired by a Butterfly Wing
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Work of Art: Researchers Create Complex Actuators, Automatically
A Work of Art: Researchers Create Complex Actuators, Automatically
MIT's new way of automatically creating actuators is a bit like solving a Rubik's Cube.
A Work of Art: Researchers Create Complex Actuators, Automatically
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Are Military Standards Influencing Commercial UAV?
Answering Your Questions: Are Military Standards Influencing Commercial UAV?
A reader asks our industry expert: Will air taxis be influenced by military UAV standards?
Answering Your Questions: Are Military Standards Influencing Commercial UAV?
Blog : Aerospace
The Apollo 11 ‘Spinoff’ Technologies We Still Use Today
The Apollo 11 ‘Spinoff’ Technologies We Still Use Today
Many of the technologies we use today – space blankets, hearing aids, food packaging – began on the Apollo 11 mission.
The Apollo 11 ‘Spinoff’ Technologies We Still Use Today
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
With Embedded App, 'Anyone Can Program Robots'
With Embedded App, 'Anyone Can Program Robots'
A new app opens up robotics to a large user base.
With Embedded App, 'Anyone Can Program Robots'
Blog : RF & Microwave Electronics
New at Sensors Expo: Image-Quality LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles
New at Sensors Expo: Image-Quality LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles
At Sensors Expo in San Jose, Innovusion (Los Altos, CA) debuted the Cheetah high-resolution, image-grade LiDAR system with long-distance capability.
New at Sensors Expo: Image-Quality LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
At Sensors Expo: SST Wireless on a 'Journey of Innovation'
At Sensors Expo: SST Wireless on a 'Journey of Innovation'
The key to IoT implementation: Democratizing big data, says SST's Christopher Chong.
At Sensors Expo: SST Wireless on a 'Journey of Innovation'
Blog : Transportation
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 3 — Unusual Exhibits
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 3 — Unusual Exhibits
Editor Bruce A. Bennett takes us through the unusual — and completely unexpected —at this year's LASER World of Photonics.
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 3 — Unusual Exhibits
Blog : Photonics/Optics
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 2: Bigger is Better
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 2: Bigger is Better
Many vendors at this year's event made their presence known with mega-sized booths.
LASER World of PHOTONICS, Day 2: Bigger is Better
Blog : Energy
From LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Light as the Key to Global Sustainability
From LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Light as the Key to Global Sustainability
The increased use of photonics has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions — by 3-billion tons.
From LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019: Light as the Key to Global Sustainability
News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019
The bi-annual Laser World of Photonics exhibition begins today.
LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019
Blog : Energy
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
A new water purifier works better because it takes the shape of the rose.
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
Blog : Imaging
Answering Your Questions: What are New Missions for Military UAVs?
Answering Your Questions: What are New Missions for Military UAVs?
An industry expert tells a Tech Briefs reader what's over the next hill regarding military UAVs.
Answering Your Questions: What are New Missions for Military UAVs?
Blog : Data Acquisition
An ‘Active’ Machine-Vision Tool Adds Intelligence to Traffic Management
An ‘Active’ Machine-Vision Tool Adds Intelligence to Traffic Management
A new machine-vision tool extracts and reports valuable driving data from the standard traffic cameras already in place.
An ‘Active’ Machine-Vision Tool Adds Intelligence to Traffic Management
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Energy-Efficient ‘SlothBot’ Moves Only When It Has To
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.

Energy-Efficient ‘SlothBot’ Moves Only When It Has To
Blog : Energy
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
An Ohio State researcher shares with Tech Briefs the promise of potassium-oxygen batteries.
A Better Battery Offers ‘All-Renewable’ Promise for the Power Grid
Blog : Internet of Things
NIWeek 2019: What Will Slow Down 5G? ‘Nothing,’ Says Panel
NIWeek 2019: What Will Slow Down 5G? ‘Nothing,’ Says Panel
“Nothing is going to slow 5G down. I mean nothing," said one NIWeek panelist.
NIWeek 2019: What Will Slow Down 5G? ‘Nothing,’ Says Panel
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
A Leech-Like Robot Climbs Up the Walls
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.

A Leech-Like Robot Climbs Up the Walls

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robot Applications in the Automotive Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Update on Civil Certification of Multicore Processing Systems in...

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal 3D Printing

On-Demand Webinars: Materials

Enhance Product Design and Dependability with Advanced Coating Technologies

On-Demand Webinars: Green Design & Manufacturing

Rapid, Selective Volatile Emissions Testing for Vehicles and Components

Tech Talks: Medical

New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2