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.

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
No Map Needed: ‘MapLite’ Sends Self-Driving Cars Off the Beaten Path
A “MapLite” framework from MIT allows self-driving cars to navigate roads – with just GPS and sensors as a guide.
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A New Approach to Solar-Powered Water Purification: Stay Cool
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found a counter-intuitive way of improving the water-purification process: keeping things cool.
Blog : Propulsion
Answering Your Questions: Will Reducing Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Lead to Increased Particulate?
Does less nitrogen oxide mean more particulate emissions? A reader asks our expert.
Blog : Medical
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.
News : Electronics & Computers
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?
Blog : Materials
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.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Answering Your Questions: Are Assistive Robotics Safe for Patients?
Robotics are increasingly find a role in patient rehabilitation. But are the technologies safe?
Blog : Materials
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.
Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
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.
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Answering Your Questions: Lithium-Air Battery vs. Lithium-Ion
Larry Curtiss answers reader questions about a new kind of lithium-air battery.
Blog : Propulsion
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.
Blog : Materials
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.

Blog : Transportation
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
A reader asks our expert: "How do road conditions impact vehicle-to-vehicle responses?"
Blog : Lighting
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.
Blog : Aerospace
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.
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Understand Humanity Through Humanoids
Today's humanoid robots are being asked to have more brains than brawn.
Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
A Look Back at the Trailblazing "Manny" Robot – A Firefighter's Friend
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."
Blog : Photonics/Optics
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.
Blog : Transportation
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?
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A Role for Boston Dynamics’ Back-Flipping Robots: Is Space the Place?
NASA robotics engineers react to Boston Dynamics' back-flipping robots.
Blog : Aerospace
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.
Blog : Electronics & Computers
How Can Reconfigurable Hardware Secure Connected Cars?
Software is the key; hardware is the door, says Xilinx’s Willard Tu.
Blog : Automotive
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.
Blog : Medical
'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.
Blog : Software
Your Readers' Choice Products of the Year
The votes are in! See the winners of the Tech Briefs' Readers' Choice Products of the Year.
News : Software
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.

Blog : Electronics & Computers
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.

Blog : Robotics, Automation & Control
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 –...

News : Imaging
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?
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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.