Billy's Blog

Join the conversation! Tech Briefs' Digital Editorial Manager Billy Hurley provides his take on today’s innovative technology developments and the topics most important to you.

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Beyond Just Gesture, A Modified Smartwatch Detects 25 Specific Hand Activities
Beyond Just Gesture, A Modified Smartwatch Detects 25 Specific Hand Activities

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

Beyond Just Gesture, A Modified Smartwatch Detects 25 Specific Hand Activities
News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
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
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
News : Medical
Answering Your Questions: How Do Medical Robots Help Surgeons?
Answering Your Questions: How Do Medical Robots Help Surgeons?
A reader asks: "With medical robots, what's in it for surgeons?"
Answering Your Questions: How Do Medical Robots Help Surgeons?
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A New Idea for Putting Out Fires in Space: The Vacuum Cleaner?
A New Idea for Putting Out Fires in Space: The Vacuum Cleaner?
If a short circuit starts a fire up on the International Space Station, Dr. Yuji Nakamura has an idea to extinguish it: The vacuum.
A New Idea for Putting Out Fires in Space: The Vacuum Cleaner?
Blog : Motion Control
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
Three new unmanned helicopters were unveiled at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Helicopter Drones
News : Defense
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Flying Sea Glider
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Flying Sea Glider
A Navy Sea Glider can look for a target in mid-air or underwater.
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Flying Sea Glider
Blog : Software
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Air Force Technology
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Air Force Technology
As always, the Air Force Research Laboratory had a huge presence at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL show in Chicago.
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: Air Force Technology
News : Aerospace
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Real Thrill Ride
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Real Thrill Ride
You think riding your Harley Davidson is exciting? Try the ElectraFly.
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Real Thrill Ride
Blog : Aerospace
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Close-Up Look at Air Taxis
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Close-Up Look at Air Taxis
Taxi! A steady stream of AUVSI XPONENTIAL attendees got to see Bell's new air vehicle up close.
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019: A Close-Up Look at Air Taxis
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Glass Paves Way for ‘New Era’ of Photonics
3D-Printed Glass Paves Way for ‘New Era’ of Photonics

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

3D-Printed Glass Paves Way for ‘New Era’ of Photonics
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Some parts should be CNC machined, and some parts should be 3D printed. Our expert compares the two manufacturing processes.
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Blog : Energy
Snow's Power Potential: How to Generate Electricity from a Blizzard
Snow's Power Potential: How to Generate Electricity from a Blizzard
A new 3D printed device turns snowfall into electricity.
Snow's Power Potential: How to Generate Electricity from a Blizzard
Blog : Defense
Higher-Strength Plastics: How to Turn Polyethylene into ‘Transparent Aluminium’
Higher-Strength Plastics: How to Turn Polyethylene into ‘Transparent Aluminium’
Researchers created transparent polythene sheets that have a strength greater than aluminum – at a fraction of the weight.
Higher-Strength Plastics: How to Turn Polyethylene into ‘Transparent Aluminium’
Blog : Imaging
Answering Your Questions: When to CT Scan in the 3D Printing Process
Answering Your Questions: When to CT Scan in the 3D Printing Process
The 3D-printing process has a number of steps. Find out where CT scanning should fall.
Answering Your Questions: When to CT Scan in the 3D Printing Process
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
How Fitness Wearables Began – With a Plug-In Sneaker
How Fitness Wearables Began – With a Plug-In Sneaker
Dr. Peter Cavanagh talks with Tech Briefs about his journey in the 1980s as he turned a running shoe into a tracking computer.
How Fitness Wearables Began – With a Plug-In Sneaker
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Automate Show 2019: Introducing New Robots to North America
Automate Show 2019: Introducing New Robots to North America
On day one of the Automate show in Chicago, Stäubli introduced its new TS2 four-axis robots to the North American market.
Automate Show 2019: Introducing New Robots to North America
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Woven into Clothing, 'Smart' Threads Sense Gases
Woven into Clothing, 'Smart' Threads Sense Gases
The dyed threads change color when they detect a variety of gases.
Woven into Clothing, 'Smart' Threads Sense Gases
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Cobots can help manufacturers automate tasks both known or unknown, says engineer Israel Nunez.
Answering Your Questions: Can Collaborative Robots Help Manufacturers Looking to Scale Their Business?
Blog : Energy
Energy Monitor Helps Coast Guard Find Faulty Electrics on Board
Energy Monitor Helps Coast Guard Find Faulty Electrics on Board
The MIT system can monitor the behavior of electronic devices within a building, a factory – and even a 270-foot Coast Guard cutter.
Energy Monitor Helps Coast Guard Find Faulty Electrics on Board
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
Answering Your Questions: When to Use Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing
Answering Your Questions: When to Use Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing
A reader asks: What types of considerations need to be made before you go in on collaborative robots?
Answering Your Questions: When to Use Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printable Sensor ‘Turns Blue’ to Detect Trace Amounts of Water
3D-Printable Sensor ‘Turns Blue’ to Detect Trace Amounts of Water
The sensor supports new ideas in food-quality control, environmental monitoring, and more.
3D-Printable Sensor ‘Turns Blue’ to Detect Trace Amounts of Water
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Inside the Invention of a Snore-Stopping Sleep Mask – From Idea to Prototype to Product
Inside the Invention of a Snore-Stopping Sleep Mask – From Idea to Prototype to Product
It took two and a half years, 60 prototypes, and even some of his children’s craft foam, but Curtis Ray turned his idea into invention.
Inside the Invention of a Snore-Stopping Sleep Mask – From Idea to Prototype to Product
Blog : Energy
High-Speed Jet Mixer Efficiently Turns Algae into Fuel
High-Speed Jet Mixer Efficiently Turns Algae into Fuel
A new technology may lead to a more mainstream use of algal biofuels.
High-Speed Jet Mixer Efficiently Turns Algae into Fuel
Blog : Software
Readers Select 2018 Products of the Year
Readers Select 2018 Products of the Year
See which three products won our 2018 Readers' Choice contest.
Readers Select 2018 Products of the Year
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Your design idea could win you $20,000.
Calling All Innovators: 'Create the Future' Contest is Open for Entries
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
On a Firefighter’s Jacket, a Self-Powered Tracking Sensor Takes the Heat
On a Firefighter’s Jacket, a Self-Powered Tracking Sensor Takes the Heat
The wearable is fireproof, thanks to a carbon aerogel nanocomposite material.
On a Firefighter’s Jacket, a Self-Powered Tracking Sensor Takes the Heat
Blog : Software
Answering Your Questions: What Areas of Study Are Desirable for the Autonomous Industry?
Answering Your Questions: What Areas of Study Are Desirable for the Autonomous Industry?
With self-driving vehicles poised to take the road, how can today’s engineers prepare themselves to support an autonomous future?
Answering Your Questions: What Areas of Study Are Desirable for the Autonomous Industry?
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Tesla uses batteries to store energy underneath the car seats. What if we could store energy everywhere on the vehicle?
Porous Carbon Fibers: How a Car Could Someday Store Its Energy 'Everywhere'
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Graphene Breakthrough Puts Nanolithography ‘Back in the Toolbox’
Graphene Breakthrough Puts Nanolithography ‘Back in the Toolbox’
Graphene may play a greater role in tomorrow electronics, thanks to an achievement from the Technical University of Denmark.
Graphene Breakthrough Puts Nanolithography ‘Back in the Toolbox’
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Answering Your Questions: Are There Regulations for Machine Learning in Vehicles?
Answering Your Questions: Are There Regulations for Machine Learning in Vehicles?
How do you regulate a system that, in effect, is learning as it goes?
Answering Your Questions: Are There Regulations for Machine Learning in Vehicles?