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
A ‘Green’ Concrete Calls for Less Cement, More Ash
Researchers from Rice University are finding ways to use greater amounts of fly ash in an effort to build a “greener” kind of concrete.
Blog : Software
Answering Your Questions: What is Virtual Prototyping (for Optics)?
Just because it's computer simulation doesn't mean it's virtual prototyping. Our expert explains.
News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
To Communicate, Researchers Test the Power of Touch

Could touch be the new avenue for communications? Researchers from MIT and Purdue University think so and are working on a “general-purpose” tactile system that delivers information...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Following Up: What is the Future of Flexible Solar Cells?
Researcher Jaana Vapaavuori answered an additional question regarding the future of flexible solar cells.
Blog : Materials
With a Conductive Thin Film, Researchers Test a Silver Screen
PhD student Jes Linnet hopes that a silver-based, transparent conductive electrode film offers a longer-lasting alternative for flexible screens and electronics.
Blog : Software
Answering Your Questions: Can CFD Software Simulate 'Wear and Tear' on an Engine?
Simulation tools offer insight into the physical processes of heavy-duty engines. But what about natural wear and tear?
Blog : Electronics & Computers
Will Flexible Solar Cells Soon Power Our Devices?
Professor Jaana Vapaavuori spoke with Tech Briefs about the manufacturing methods that could someday decrease the cost and increase the lifetime of flexible solar cells.
Blog : Medical
Studying the Secrets Behind Spider Glue
How does a spider's glue maintain its stickiness, even in high humidity? Researchers in Akron investigated the question.
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
FLAM! Researchers Test Cellulose as Sustainable 3D-Printing Material

Researchers from Singapore University of Technology and Design have demonstrated 3D printing with one of the Earth’s most abundant organic compounds: cellulose.

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Who Will Integrate 3D Metal Printing — Tiers or OEMs?
A reader asks: Will it be the OEMs or the Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers who will be purchasing 3D metal printing machines?
Blog : Electronics & Computers
How to Harness Humidity: Hydrogel Keeps Rooms Cool, Powers Small Devices

There is plenty of moisture in the air — Professor Swee Ching Tan wants to harvest the humidity and put it to good use.

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Why Are Companies Holding Back on 'Digital' Product Development?
If digital transformation is a boardroom priority, why are companies so slow to transform product development? A reader asks our experts.
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A ‘Symmetrical’ Approach Improves Wireless Microsensors
A researcher tells Tech Briefs how his team's "symmetrical" sensor approach will support the growing "Internet of Things."
Blog : Materials
Answering Your Questions: Beyond Prototyping, How is 3D Metal Printing Being Used in the Automotive Industry?
Can metal 3D printing help automakers with more than just prototyping? It can, and it has, says our engineering expert.
Blog : Materials
Wanted: Uses for a Beetle-Inspired 'Spider-Man' Adhesive
Professor Paul Steen helped to create a beetle-inspired adhesive. Now it's about finding applications for it.
Blog : Energy
A 'Solid' Idea for Powering Spacecraft: Thermoacoustics
Researchers from Purdue University demonstrated that thermoacoustics properties could theoretically occur in solids as well as liquids.
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
‘FingerPing’ Recognizes Micro Motions, Soundly

A new system from the Georgia Institute of Technology has a sound approach to recognizing tiny gestures of the hand.

Blog : Electronics & Computers
‘Invisibility’ Material Offers Thermal Camouflage
A stretchy material, modeled after squid skin, achieves thermal invisibility by reflecting heat.
Blog : Semiconductors & ICs
When the Battery Runs Out, the ‘BATLESS’ Microchip Keeps Going
A new microchip allows sensor nodes to run uninterruptedly, even when the battery runs out.
Blog : Automotive
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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
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 : Transportation
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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
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.

Blog : 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 : Transportation
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 : Aerospace
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.

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