INSIDER

INSIDER : Motion Control
Actuated Smartwatch Moves in Five Directions

In an effort to make digital smartwatches more convenient for users, researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Waterloo have produced a prototype watch face named Cito that moves in five different directions. With the ability to rotate, hinge, translate, rise, and orbit, the model...

INSIDER : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanical Actuators Bend as They “Breathe”

Extreme temperatures can severely strain a mechanical component because its material may have trouble enduring the heat without degrading. To address the problem, researchers at MIT developed a new material that expands and contracts as it lets oxygen in and out. The result is a new way to make...

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Coming to a Lab Bench Near You: Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy

The ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a reaction important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes have been captured and, for the first time, directly characterized using ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National...

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Engineers Invent Method to Control Light Propagation in Waveguides

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers, led by Applied Physics Assistant Professor Nanfang Yu, has invented a method to control light propagating in confined pathways, or waveguides, with high efficiency by using nano-antennas. To demonstrate this technique, they built...

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Need Glass? Push Print.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and academic collaborators from the University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University have demonstrated the synthesis of transparent glass through 3D printing, a development that could ultimately lead to altering the design and structure of lasers and other devices...

INSIDER : Test & Measurement
Infrared 3D Scanner Measures Like Human Vision

A 3D scanner, with a resolution of one million pixels and real-time data processing, operates using measuring technology that works in a similar way to human vision. To detect an object, periodic patterns are projected onto the surface using a specially developed near-infrared projector. A sequence...

INSIDER : Energy
High-Efficiency Power Converter for the Internet of Things

Internet of Things sensors will have to operate at very low powers to extend battery life for months, or make do with energy harvested from the environment. But that means that they’ll need to draw a wide range of electrical currents. Researchers from MIT developed a new step-down...

INSIDER : Energy
Self-Charging Battery Could Make Chargers Obsolete

New technology developed by Hydro-Québec and McGill University is capable of harvesting and storing energy using light – a self-charging battery. To create the light-charged batteries, a standard cathode from a lithium-ion battery can be “sensitized” to light by incorporating...

INSIDER : Energy
New Device Harnesses Heat to Power Computers
New Device Harnesses Heat to Power Computers

One of the biggest problems with computers is keeping them cool so they don’t overheat. University of Nebraska–Lincoln engineers developed an alternative energy source that would allow...

New Device Harnesses Heat to Power Computers
INSIDER : Motion Control
Interface Simplifies Remote Robot Operation

The traditional interface for remotely operating robots employs a computer screen and mouse to independently control six degrees of freedom, turning three virtual rings and adjusting arrows to get the robot into position to grab items or perform a specific task. But for someone who isn’t an expert,...

INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
Origami-Inspired Robot Can Ride with a Rover

The Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot (PUFFER) that’s in development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, was inspired by origami. It travels with a rover, and its lightweight design can flatten itself, tucking in its wheels and crawling into places rovers can’t fit.

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Corrective 'Eyeglasses' Created For X-Ray Research Facilities

Even when an X-ray beam is steered and focused with advanced mirrors and other optics, abnormalities can creep in. These problems have names familiar to those with imperfect vision, such as “astigmatism” or “coma” and “spherical” errors. And just like our eyes, an X-ray...

INSIDER : Lighting
Researchers Craft New Material That Could Improve LED Screens
Researchers Craft New Material That Could Improve LED Screens

Researchers working at the Ultrafast Laser Lab at the University of Kansas successfully created a new bilayer material, with each layer measuring less than one nanometer in...

Researchers Craft New Material That Could Improve LED Screens
INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Optical Generation of Ultrasound Via Photoacoustic Effect

Limitations of the piezoelectric array technologies conventionally used for ultrasonics inspired a group of University College London researchers to explore an alternative mechanism for generating ultrasound via light, also known as the photoacoustic effect. Coupling this with 3-D...

INSIDER : Imaging
Advanced Sensor Enables Ultrafast Camera for Self-Driving Vehicles and Drones

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore developed an ultrafast high-contrast camera that could help self-driving cars and drones see better in extreme road conditions and in bad weather. Unlike typical optical cameras, which can be blinded by...

INSIDER : Test & Measurement
Low-Cost Device uses Light to Detect Oil Spills

Researchers have developed a simple device that can detect an oil spill in water and then pinpoint the type of oil present on the surface. The device is designed to float on the water, where it could remotely monitor a small area susceptible to pollution or track the evolution of contamination at...

INSIDER : Motion Control
Mechanical Metamaterials Can Block Symmetry of Motion

Engineers and scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented mechanical metamaterials that transfer motion in one direction while blocking it in the other. The material can be thought of as a mechanical one-way shield that blocks...

INSIDER : Aerospace
Exo-Brake “Parachute” to Enable Safe Return for Small Spacecraft

Engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA have been testing its Exo-Brake technology as a simple design that promises to help bring small payloads back through Earth’s atmosphere unharmed. An Exo-Brake is a tension-based, flexible braking device...

INSIDER : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Unified Approach Improves the Accuracy of Five-Axis Machine Tools

Five-axis machine tools are computer-numerically controlled (CNC) machines that can move, cut, or mill a part on five different axes at the same time. Because of inherent geometric errors, manufacturers must make adjustments when calibrating these machines. Several different...

INSIDER : Robotics, Automation & Control
Six-Legged Robots Move Faster with Bipod Gate

Researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland have determined that a bipod gait is the fastest and most efficient way for six-legged robots to move on flat ground, provided they don’t have the adhesive pads used by insects to climb walls and ceilings. This suggests designers of insect-inspired robots should...

INSIDER : Energy
Electricity Generator Mimics Trees
Electricity Generator Mimics Trees

Iowa State University scientists have built a device that mimics the branches and leaves of a cottonwood tree and generates electricity when its artificial leaves sway in the wind. The device is derived...

Electricity Generator Mimics Trees
INSIDER : Energy
Energy Management System Cuts Hybrid Fuel Consumption by One-Third

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have taken inspiration from biological evolution and the energy savings garnered by birds flying in formation to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by more than 30 percent.

INSIDER : Test & Measurement
Data Logger Aids in Development of New Vehicles

A new data logger developed by Fraunhofer researchers simultaneously collects data from vehicles with combustion engines, electric drives, external sensors, and location data, and permits the development of new hybrid and electric vehicles. Once installed in a car, it records all the relevant...

INSIDER : Test & Measurement
High-Altitude Radiation Tests Will Protect Airline Travelers

Imagine you’re sitting on an airplane cruising at 36,000 feet. Just above you, high-energy particles, called cosmic rays, are zooming in from outer space. While we are largely protected from this radiation on the ground, up in the thin atmosphere of the stratosphere, these particles...

INSIDER : Materials
Physics, Photosynthesis and Solar Cells

A University of California, Riverside assistant professor has combined photosynthesis and physics to make a key discovery that could help make solar cells more efficient. Nathan Gabor is focused on experimental condensed matter physics, and uses light to probe the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics....

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
New Crystal Structure Holds Promise for Optoelectronic Devices

A Florida State University research team has discovered a new crystal structure of organic-inorganic hybrid materials that could open the door to new applications for optoelectronic devices like light-emitting diodes and lasers.

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
Light Can Switch on Topological Materials

Theoretical physicists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used computer simulations to show how special light pulses could create robust channels where electricity flows without resistance in an atomically thin semiconductor. If this approach is confirmed by experiments,...

INSIDER : Energy
New Fabrication Technique Creates More Efficient Plastic Solar Cells

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new strategy for fabricating more efficient plastic solar cells. The work has implications for developing solar cells with a wider absorption range and increased efficiency.

INSIDER : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Technique Could Lower Costs of Making Bioplastics and Biofuel

While abundant in nature, cellulose is difficult and expensive to find in pure or high-quality form. A Swedish research team has developed an efficient, accurate, and non-destructive way to detect the occurrence and purity of cellulose. The technique can be applied in mixtures of...

INSIDER : Motion Control
Prototype Capture System Simulates Asteroid Mission

A robotic capture module system prototype was built to help NASA engineers understand the operations required to collect a multi-ton boulder from an asteroid’s surface. The hardware includes three space frame legs with foot pads, and two seven-degrees-of-freedom arms with microspine gripper...

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Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

A Deep Dive into Metal 3D Printing

Upcoming Webinars: Test & Measurement

Solving Complex Measurement Problems with PXI

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

NASA Discusses Advances in Photonics for Space and Commercial...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Using Portable Scenarios and Coverage Metrics to Ensure...

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Impact of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles in New Product...

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Autonomous Vehicles Sensors: How to Ensure They Work Well and...