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.

See how Prof. Olaf Diegel built a hands-free door opener.
As autonomous cars collect data on passing pedestrians, cyclists, and license plates, what privacy measures are in place? A reader asks.
3D printing is being used to quickly create life-saving parts and prototypes like masks, shields, and ventilator valves.
A reader asks, "What market drivers need to occur for electric vehicles to be considered an acceptable replacement for vehicles with internal combustion engines?"
Massive manufacturing bots have evolved into something new — collaborative robots.
NASA wants small businesses to help the safe operation of UAVs in airspace.
NASA’s big return to the Moon by 2024 will call for the support of small technologies – specifically, the miniature spacecraft known as CubeSats.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Readers Select 2019 Products of the Year
The votes are in. Our readers selected top products in data acquisition, software, and ultrasonic sensing.
Blog: Robotics, Automation & Control
The Next Mars Rover Name? 'Perseverance'
The new Mars Rover Name is Perseverance, thanks to a suggestion from Virginia 7th grader Alex Mather.
University of Washington engineer James Koch observed patterns in a promising, but often-unpredictable rocket part: The rotating detonation engine.
How does testing a metal 3D-printed part compare to testing a casted one? That's the elephant in the room, says industry pro Kevin Brigden.
An energy breakthrough from the City University of Hong Kong finds power in a single drop of water – up to 140 volts, in fact.
See what the SuperCam will do when it arrives on Mars in 2021.
“We’re analyzing rocks from space, atom by atom,” says researcher Jennika Greer.
Editor Bruce A. Bennett shares his observations from SPIE Photonics West, including the emergence of LiDAR.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
SPIE Photonics West 2020 – Sights from Day 1
See what caught Bruce A. Bennett's eye during Day 1 of Photonics West 2020 in San Francisco.
Researchers from the University of Illinois are looking at all the different ways to create a non-pneumatic automotive tire.
Cornell researcher T.J. Wallin explains what's so cool about a robot that sweats.
When astronauts arrive on the Moon, their habitat may be one made out of fungi.
"View it as an infrared privacy shield," says Professor Mikhail Kats.
To improve the aqueous lithium-ion battery, RPI researchers tried out niobium tungsten oxide.
NASA is using the International Space Station as a testbed for 3D printing.
NASA came to CES with a message: We're going back to the Moon, and we'll need help from industry to do it.
Stuck in traffic? The Pegasus flying car can get you out of there.
Here are five technologies that aim to add intelligence to the most surprising household objects.
A fun way to show the robustness of a soft robot? Swat it.
As additive manufacturing supports the creation of critical metal parts, designers need to know that the parts are high-quality.
Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Fix Satellites — With Satellites
If a satellite breaks in orbit, there's not much that can be done. A professor envisions a new idea for refueling and repair.
Blog: Electronics & Computers
Countdown: The Top Stories of 2019

Tech Briefs in 2019 celebrated historic NASA anniversaries, new ways to power electronics, and innovative hacks of our “smartest” technologies.

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Machine Vision for Industrial Inspection

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Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

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Vehicle Electrification

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The Evolution of SOSA

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Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

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Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

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Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping

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