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
Tech Needs of the Week

An organization wants to reduce magnetron sputtering deposition times from 17 hours to 2-3 hours. They are seeking novel ways to reduce deposition and run times while meeting the same coating performance requirements as it currently does. Approaches would be to develop a novel coating design by using alternative materials,...

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NASA News

Following severe heat and drought in the West and Southeast this summer, NASA and the U.S. Forest Service are testing technologies developed by NASA and the military to improve wildfire imaging and mapping capabilities. Through September, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center is conducting flights of a remotely piloted unmanned aircraft...

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Event Alert

Bart Riley, founder of A123Systems (Watertown, MA), will be a keynote speaker at the National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC) on November 14 in Boston, MA. A123Systems produces high-power lithium ion batteries based on a novel nanoscale material developed at MIT. The batteries enable "previously unattainable levels of power,...

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NASA Briefs

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has devised a compact, portable, less-expensive alternative to fMRI machines used to study brain function. Whereas typical fMRI systems fill a large room, this infrared imaging system would fit inside a modified bicycle helmet. Get more info here.

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Techs of the Week

Researchers have developed a thin-film alloy of magnesium and titanium that, when applied to glass, may be easily switched between a reflective and transparent state. When exposed to a hydrogen atmosphere (about 1%) that is devoid of oxygen, the film forms a reflecting mirror. In an oxygen atmosphere of about 20% absent...

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The Amazing Spider Material

Peter Parker, watch out. You have competition from scientists at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), who are seeking to create super-materials based on the dragline silk of the black widow spider. The widow's dragline is much stronger than other spider silks and can absorb enormous amounts of energy. UCR's...

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Converting Pollution into Products

A new research center set to open in October at the University of Nottingham will investigate ways to trap and store carbon dioxide permanently, converting it into safe commercial products. One promising technology binds CO2 extracted from burning coal to silicate-based rocks such as serpentine,...

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Create the Future Contest

Have you entered the sixth annual Create the Future Design Contest? You could win $20,000 and gain worldwide publicity for your idea. Presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NTB, the contest recognizes outstanding innovations in product design. Co-sponsors include COMSOL, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Hewlett-...

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Stereolithography Guide

Among rapid prototyping technologies, stereolithography (SL) - in which a laser is used to produce plastic parts layer by layer from CAD data - is the oldest and most prevalent, representing about 75% of what is known as the additive fabrication market. A new book by the co-founder of

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Patents for Sale/License

Physical Presence Digital Authentication System

The interactive authentication system allows a consumer to interact with a base station, such as broadcast media (e.g., television and radio) or PC, to receive coupons, special sales offers, and other information with an electronic card.

Control of Toys and...

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Fill 'Er Up With Hydrogen?

Widespread use of hydrogen fuel to run auto engines has remained a dream in part because of the high production cost - four times that of gasoline. That could change with a new production process developed at Ohio University and licensed to American Hydrogen Corp., a subsidiary of American Security Resources (Houston,...

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Create the Future

Your unique invention could win you $20,000 or other great prizes in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs. Innovative design ideas are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and Security;...

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Metals and Diseases

A team of multi-institutional researchers led by Emory University has defined for the first time how metal ions bind to amyloid fibrils in the brain in a way that appears toxic to neurons. Amyloid fibrils are linked to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and...

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Tech Needs of the Week

A transparent thin coating or film to be applied on cross-linked polystyrene blocks would be in contact with an aqueous couple gel to improve scratch resistance and surface hardness. The coating must be optically transparent or opaque but not colored, and the thickness of the coating must be on the order of 1 micron. Click...

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3D Imaging of Cells

A new imaging technique developed at MIT has allowed scientists to create the first 3D images of a living cell using a method similar to an X-ray CT (computed tomography) scan. The technique could be used to produce the most detailed images yet of what goes on inside a living cell without the use of fluorescent markers or...

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Create the Future

Your unique invention could win you $20,000 or other great prizes in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs. Innovative design ideas are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and Security;...

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Hot CAD/CAE Products
Autodesk (San Rafael, CA) has announced an update to Project Freewheel, a free Web service that enables users to share designs via a built-in messaging tool. Using Project Freewheel, users can share 3D and 2D designs in real-time collaboration sessions. Participants can pan, zoom, and orbit, and everyone sees the same...
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Digital Design Center

NASA Tech Briefs has launched the Digital Design Center, sponsored by Autodesk, that provides a one-stop source for the latest information on digital prototyping, simulation, and analysis tools to help designers and engineers design better products faster.

Featured on the site are white papers highlighting design...

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Got Milk Images?

A computer graphics model created at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) capable of generating realistic milk images based on the fat and protein content could impact the areas of diagnostic medicine, food safety, and atmospheric science. When the graphics model is told how much fat and protein you want in your milk,...

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Nano CAD

Duke University engineers have adapted a computer-aided design (CAD) method and manufacturing process to reproduce nanosized structures with features on the order of a single molecule. The process used the computing language of macroscale milling machines to guide an atomic force microscope (AFM).

The process produced 3D silicon...

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Innovate and Win!

The 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs, is open for entries in these categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and Security; Transportation; and Sustainable Technologies.

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Digital Design Center

NASA Tech Briefs has launched the Digital Design Center, sponsored by Autodesk, that provides a one-stop source for the latest information on digital prototyping, simulation, and analysis tools to help designers and engineers design better products faster.

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Chip-Cooling

Purdue University researchers, in a project funded by Intel, have demonstrated a new technology using tiny "ionic wind engines" that could dramatically improve computer chip cooling. The new technology could help engineers design thinner laptop computers that run cooler than today's machines.

The researchers showed that the...

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Techs of the Week

METTEX is a new electroplating solution for coating consumable metals that can be used to replace chrome as an industrial and decorative coating. The finished product will have superior coating of industrial-strength hardness, thus achieving a high quality of plating luster and beauty, better wear resistance, lubricity, and...

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Beyond Batteries

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed a new energy storage device that resembles a sheet of black paper. The nanoengineered battery is lightweight, ultra-thin, flexible, and geared toward meeting the design and energy requirements of tomorrowís gadgets, implantable medical equipment, and transportation...

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Innovate and Win!

Your unique invention could win you $20,000 or other great prizes. Enter your design idea in the 2007 Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corp. and NASA Tech Briefs. Entries are being accepted in six categories: Machinery, Equipment, and Component Technology; Consumer Products; Medical; Safety and...

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Technology Business Briefs
Equipment Anti-Theft Technology

This technology provides a module for preventing unauthorized initiation and operation of equipment. Once the equipment is operating, the key can be removed and the equipment will continue to operate. Click here for more info.

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Lab on a Chip

A Florida State University researcher has designed a smart "traffic system" that is small enough to fit on a microchip. The lab-on-a-chip device, when exposed to very low magnetic fields, can be used as a portable tool for diagnosing human illnesses. With the system, doctors would not have to wait days for lab results. It would be...

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NASA Tech Briefs Free Webinar
Specialty Lubrication in New Product Design Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 2:00 PM EST

Lubricants are often the forgotten components in the design of moving elements. Last-minute redesign and changes can be avoided by considering lubricant performance needs during the design phase. High-performance equipment...

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Accelerating Pre-Silicon Software Development with Next-Gen...

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Balancing Vehicle Comfort and Performance with Simulation-Driven...

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