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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
Want to Reduce Paper Consumption? ‘Disappearing Ink’ is No Joke
Carl Yee invented a new kind of "Invisible Ink," so he could print paper without the guilt.
Blog : Automotive
How Will VR and AR Impact Automotive Manufacturers?
How will the use of AR and virtual prototypes impact the role of automotive parts manufacturers? A reader asks our expert.
Blog : Materials
An Alternative to Air Conditioning: A Paint-On Polymer That Cools Down Your Building
A new solution, applied like paint, cools down rooftops, buildings, water tanks, vehicles, and even spacecraft.
Blog : Aerospace
Q&A: How Robert Holmes Finds Near-Earth Asteroids from His Home-Built Observatories
Robert Holmes spoke with Tech Briefs about his path from "amateur" astronomer to NASA pro.
Blog : Automotive
'Invisible Glass’ Takes First Prize in ‘Create the Future’ Contest
The grand-prize-winning nanotechnology coating imparts anti-reflection and water-repellency capabilities to surfaces made of silicon, glass ,and some plastics, including Teflon.
Blog : Test & Measurement
A Closer Look at Bats, Hummingbirds Offers New Ideas for Flying Robots
Rivers Ingersoll spoke with Tech Briefs about why it is so important to have an up-close understanding of the hummingbird and nectar bat.
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Answering Your Questions: How Can Medical IoT Devices Move Beyond Simple Information Gathering?
Is there more to the "Internet of Medical Things" than just data gathering? A reader asks our experts.
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Meet Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer (and Asteroid Hunter)
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
How To Get Your Company to Take 3D Printing Beyond Prototyping
A reader asks: "Why do organizations struggle to see 3D printing or additive manufacturing for more than prototyping? "
Blog : Electronics & Computers
‘Smart’ Squid Material Offers Thermal Conductivity, On Demand
Researchers discovered that an on-and-off kind of thermal regulation is possible if you look to the squid.
Blog : Test & Measurement
NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds a New Way to Drill Down
A NASA researcher spoke with Tech Briefs about the importance of the Curiosity rover's latest find on Mars.
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Answering Your Questions: "What is Your Advice for a 3D Printing Beginner?"
A readers asks two 3D-printing veterans: "What is your advice to someone starting out with additive manufacturing?"
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design Tool Brings a ‘Structural’ Approach to Color
A new approach to structural coloration is more freeform than you might expect.
Blog : Imaging
How to Evaluate a Vision System Integrator
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.
News : Medical
Intelligent Machines: Can You Build a Robot You Can Trust?
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
How to Authenticate a 3D-Printed Part: ‘Explode’ and Embed a QR Code
Researcher Nikhil Gupta tells Tech Briefs why "exploding" a QR code inside a 3D-printed part makes counterfeiting practically impossible.
Blog : Transportation
Are There Limitations in Autonomous-Vehicle Simulation Methods?
A reader asks our expert: As autonomous vehicles enter the market, where are the weak spots in simulation?
Blog : Software
How to Simulate an Avalanche – And All Its Subtle Mechanics

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
How to Power Robots with Popcorn

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

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Functional Fabric Brings Semiconductors Directly to the Fiber
Instead of attaching semiconductors to fabric, an MIT team has found a way to add the technology right into the fiber themselves.
Blog : Data Acquisition
Autonomous Vehicles are Expensive – Why is Hailing One So Cheap?
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?”
Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
A New Way to Replace Plastic Packaging: Crab Shells and Tree Fibers
Georgia Tech researchers have created a sustainable plastic packaging material, using two ingredients you might not expect in a snack machine: crab shells and tree fibers.
Blog : Automotive
How Soon Will Autonomous Vehicle Fleets Take the Streets?
Automated vehicles – fleets of them – may soon change the way we travel through cities. "How soon?" asks a reader.
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Scientists Find Right Combination for a Better Flow Battery

By introducing some new ingredients to the flow battery, Stanford University scientists are advancing a new way to store wind and solar electricity.

Blog : Imaging
Engineers Teach Computers to Detect Radiation Damage
Engineers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are teaching computers to quickly detect microscopic radiation damage.
Blog : Test & Measurement
Researchers Ready Cell-Sized Robots for Inspection Tasks

Researchers at MIT have created cell-sized robots that may someday be used to inspect and analyze hard-to-reach locations, from oil pipelines to the human body.

Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How Would You Use An Electronic Circuit Sensor Sticker?

Researchers at Purdue University and the University of Virginia have designed peelable electronic films that can be cut and pasted onto any object, offering new sensing capabilities to...

Blog : Materials
Is It Important to Know How a Robot is 'Feeling?'

Talking about your feelings can be difficult. Now imagine if you’re a robot.

Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products at Sensors Expo 2018: IMUs, Microcontrollers, Transducers, and More
See five of the new products released this week at Sensors Expo 2018.
Blog : Energy
From Chemical Engineer to Solar-Powered Whiskey and Beer: Meet Jim Batdorf, Chief Distiller
Jim Batdorf tells Tech Briefs about his unique career path, from chemical engineer to distiller of solar-powered spirits.

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