Question of the Week

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will Self-Assembling 'M-Blocks' Catch On?

A team at MIT created self-assembling robotic cubes that can climb and roll over each other into set formations.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will the Ability to Manipulate Virtual Objects in Real-World Scenes Help Your Design and Manufacturing Efforts?

A Tech Briefs TV video this week demonstrated a Brown University system called Portal-ble. The augmented-reality technology allows you to place virtual objects within real-world backgrounds on smartphone screens. Users can then...

Question of the Week : Automotive
Will We Develop Trust in Autonomous Drones and Vehicles?

For developers of A.I.-guided drones and autonomous technologies, failure is not an option.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Own a Robot Pet?

At the CES Unveiled kickoff event last week, Sony demonstrated Aibo, a social robotic pet. The technology, which will make the trip to CES 2020 in Las Vegas, makes dog noises, responds to commands, and uses cameras to recognize specific owners and their patterns. Take a look at Aibo on our Tech Briefs Instagram.

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Will Entire Planes Be Built By 'Assembler Robots?'

Commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations, and then flown to a central plant for final assembly. Researchers at MIT are hoping to change that.

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
Will ‘Print-in-Place’ Electronics Become a Mainstream Medical Tool?

The Duke University team says its “print-in-place” advancement could lead to embedded electronic tattoos and custom bandages with patient-specific biosensors.

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Will NASA’s New Wing Bring Greater Flexibility to Aircraft Design?

Researchers at NASA Ames Research Center and MIT have a radically new idea for an aircraft wing: hundreds of tiny subassemblied bolted together to form a constantly deformable lattice.

Question of the Week : Energy
Will Wave-Powered Desalination Catch On?

Today's lead INSIDER story demonstrated how ocean waves can be used to turn seawater into freshwater.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Are You Encouraged by the Increasingly Sophisticated Capabilities of Today’s Robots?

Researchers from Boston Dynamics have stuck the landing and created a robot that can perform a full gymnastics routine. Watch the performance on Tech Briefs TV.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Customize a Product with PhotoChromeleon?

An MIT team came up with a new way of producing a multicolor part: “PhotoChromeleon.” The system’s reprogrammable photochromic ink enables objects to change colors when exposed to ultraviolet and visible light. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

Question of the Week : Materials
Are You Lightweighting with Plastics and Composites?

A Tech Briefs webinar this month focused on the idea of lightweighting – or replacing traditionally metal parts, like engine components, with plastics and composites.

Question of the Week : Energy
Does Snow Have Power Potential?

A 2019 Tech Briefs story demonstrated a plastic-like, flexible nanongenerator that creates electricity from falling snow.

Question of the Week : Transportation
Have You Considered Using Collaborative Robots?

Collaborative robots are part of Ford Motor Company’s assembly line. One cobot performs the greasing of the camshaft followers, another fills the engine oil, and a third uses a camera and UV light to check for leaks.

Question of the Week : Test & Measurement
Beyond Camouflage, Do You See Other Applications for Artificial ‘Chameleon Skin?’

A Cambridge University team developed an artificial "chameleon skin" that changes color when exposed to light. The material supports a range of applications, including active camouflage, large-scale dynamic displays, and maybe even medical diagnostics.

Question of the Week : Materials
Will Comfort-Adjusting Clothing Catch On?

Researchers from the University of Maryland have created a fabric that automatically regulates the amount of heat passing through. The engineered yarn expands and collapses based on temperature and humidity, cooling and warming a wearer as needed. What do you think?

Question of the Week : Energy
Do You See Potential with Electrokinetic Power?

Scientists from Caltech and Northwestern University have found a way to generate electricity by combining saltwater with one of life's more undesirable compounds: rust.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Used Machine Learning in Your Design Efforts?

A team from the University of Pittsburgh recently used machine-learning to create a butterfly-inspired, self-healing glass. Models from the San Francisco-based software company SigOpt helped engineers determine ideal characteristics for the material.

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Did You Watch the Moon Landing?

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first humans ever to land on the Moon. Fifty years later, we celebrate their achievement, and we want to hear from you.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Will ‘4D Knitting’ Lead to Better Robots and Wearables?

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have demonstrated "4D knitting. The computationally-controlled machines are being used to make a variety of soft textile objects.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Microbots Like HAMR-E Improve Search and Rescue?

Researchers from Harvard University's Wyss Institute created a 1.5-gram microbot called HAMR-E.

Question of the Week : Materials
Would You Use a Device That Bonds Metal and Plastic in Seconds?

The connection of plastics and metals poses a challenge due to the different physical properties of the two materials. A joining gun from Fraunhofer Institute bonds metal and plastic in seconds.

Question of the Week : Test & Measurement
Will 5G Impact How You Test and Design?

We see a huge ‘Fear of Missing Out’ as companies, or even nations, become the first to release new 5G technologies and products,” said National Instruments’ Charles Schroeder during last month’s NIWeek event.

Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would You Use a Wearable That Detects Hand Activity?

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University turned a standard smartwatch into a detector of specific hand activities, from playing the piano to scrolling through the phone. Read the Tech Briefs Q&A.

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Can a Spray-On Coating ‘Ice-Proof’ Airplanes?

University of Michigan researchers have developed a coating that they believe could lead to the achievement of a long-time goal: Ice-proofing airplanes.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Hummingbird Robots Help with Search-and-Rescue?

Purdue University researchers have created small flying robots that act like hummingbirds. Artificial intelligence, combined with flexible flapping wings, allows the robo-bird to teach itself new tricks.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Use a Robot to Help with Household Tasks?

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have built Blue, a low-cost robot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and deep reinforcement learning to master human tasks like folding laundry or making coffee.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
For Prototyping, Do You Prefer 3D Printing or CNC Machining?

During a live presentation this month, a Tech Briefs reader had a question for Proto Labs machining pro Gus Breiland:

“When can 3D printing be a viable alternative to CNC machining?”

Question of the Week : Transportation
Will Flying Cars Support 'Sustainable Mobility?'

This week on Tech Briefs TV: A study published in Nature Communications found that flying cars could play a role in sustainable mobility for longer trips. See what the University of Michigan authors had to say. See what the University of Michigan authors had to say.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Want to Work Alongside a 'Handle' Robot?

Another video featured on Tech Briefs TV this week demonstrated a robot from Boston Dynamics called "Handle." The bipedal wheeled robot takes on material handling tasks like pallet building and truck unloading for warehouse logistics. Take a look for yourself.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Have You Used Collaborative Robots?

Last week, a Tech Briefs reader asked our expert: "Can collaborative robots help manufacturers looking to scale their business?"

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robot Applications in the Automotive Industry

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Update on Civil Certification of Multicore Processing Systems in...

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal 3D Printing

On-Demand Webinars: Materials

Enhance Product Design and Dependability with Advanced Coating Technologies

On-Demand Webinars: Green Design & Manufacturing

Rapid, Selective Volatile Emissions Testing for Vehicles and Components

Tech Talks: Medical

New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2