Question of the Week

Question of the Week : Energy
Will Carbon Fibers Find a New Place in Vehicles?

In a Tech Briefs article last week, Virginia Tech professor Greg Liu spoke about his team’s newly developed porous carbon fibers, and how the material may someday change how vehicles are built and powered.

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
Will ‘Structural Batteries’ Replace Conventional Ones?

Structural batteries are built into the actual configuration of battery-powered products – think the wing of a drone or the bumper of an electric vehicle. These batteries could reduce weight and extend range of a vehicle, but they're usually heavy, unsafe, or short-lived.

Question of the Week : Test & Measurement
Will ‘Developable Mechanisms’ Solve Complex Tasks?

Brigham Young University engineers have created "developable mechanisms" that they hope to use in components like surgical instruments, adjustable airplane wings, robotic arms, or vehicle cylinders. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV, to see how the flat shapes can be converted into 3D...

Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would You Use Wearables to Monitor Your UV Exposure?

Our February issue of Tech Briefs highlights a technology called My Skin Track UV. The 12 x 6 mm wearable sensor can be attached to clothing or accessories to detect sunburn and overexposure to ultraviolet light.

Question of the Week : Materials
Where Do You See Self-Healing Rubber Being Used?

In our lead INSIDER story today, USC Professor Qiming Wang said he hopes to see his team’s self-repairing rubber supporting everything from shoes to battle armor and airplane wings.

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Have You Conducted an FMEA?

With design, it pays to anticipate problems — and solve them — during product development.

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
Will ‘Embodied Logic’ Support New Monitoring Applications?

In today’s lead INSIDER story, Professor Jordan Raney said that the most interesting feature of his embodied-logic system is its ability to monitor an environment for a very long period of time, without needing a continued input of energy.

Question of the Week : Automotive
Do You Feel Safe Behind the Wheel of a Connected Car?

Our Here's an Idea podcast episode led the INSIDER today, and explored how today's auto manufacturers are working to protect connected cars from a range of threats, including ransomware and a remote takeover of the vehicle's controls.

Question of the Week : Green Design & Manufacturing
Can AI Prevent Famine?

Today's INSIDER story demonstrated how artificial intelligence models are being used to mark areas most in need of famine relief and funding. Ed Hsu from the World Bank spoke at CES last week about his collaboration with AI heavyweights Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Question of the Week : Communications
Do You Expect Successful Cyberattacks on Today’s Connected Cars?

In today’s lead story, Stacy Janes showed optimism regarding the security of connected cars.

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Will Urban Air Mobility ‘Take Off?'

A Tech Briefs TV video demonstrates NASA’s rotary-wing “air taxi” concept. The vehicles, in theory, have the capacity for vertical take-off and landing, eliminating the need for long runways.

Question of the Week : Aerospace
How Strong is the ‘Ionic Wind?’

MIT has built the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of turbine blades, propellers, and fans, the aircraft relies on an “ionic wind” — a silent but strong flow of ions, produced onboard, which generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight.

Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Can ‘The Ocean Cleanup’ Clean Up the Ocean?

The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit effort begun by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, wants to clean up 50% of “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in five years, with the aim of a 90% reduction by 2040.

Using a 600-meter long floater, or collection platform, called System 001, the Cleanup technology...

Question of the Week : Energy
Will Stretchable, Printable Solar Cells Catch On?

A Rice University lab is making solar cells that are stretchable, printable, and paintable. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

This week's Question: Will Stretchable, Printable Solar Cells Catch On?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Question of the Week : Automotive
Will AR and VR Help Automotive Manufacturers?

A reader recently asked our automotive expert: “How will the use of augmented reality and virtual parts impact the role of automotive parts manufacturers, such as PCB manufacturers, in prototyping and production?”

Question of the Week : Green Design & Manufacturing
Would You Use Carl Yee’s ‘Disappearing Ink?’

Our second INSIDER story today features a purposefully “lousy ink” – one that slowly fades after being printed. The gradual disappearance of the ink allows the paper to be used again and again.

Read the article, and let us know what you think.

This week's Question: Would...

Question of the Week : Materials
Will Paint-On coatings Become a Popular Way to Cool Down Buildings?

Our lead INSIDER story today featured a paint-on polymer that cools down buildings, through a process known as passive daytime radiative cooling.

Read the article, and let us know what you think.

This week’s Question: Will Paint-On coatings Become a Popular Way...

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
What NASA Spin-Off Stands Out to You?

NASA technologies have led to many of the commercial products and innovative solutions we use every day, from memory foam and freeze-dried foods to exercise equipment and water purifiers. The October issue of Tech Briefs showcased a number of these NASA spinoffs.

Read the Tech Briefs feature article,...

Question of the Week : Medical
Can Digital-Health Apps Reliably Change Patient Behavior?

Last week on TechBriefs.com, a reader had the following question for our medical-device expert:

Question of the Week : Materials
Are You Currently Using Mechanical Test Equipment to Measure Strain?

One way to measure strain and deformation in a material is through digital image correlation and non-contact sensors. Next week, in a live webinar presentation, speakers from Trilion Quality Systems and MTS Systems Corp. will review how customers have used their imaging and...

Question of the Week : Materials
Are the Possibilities for Squid Proteins 'Potentially Endless?'

Our second INSIDER story today featured a new switching effect for thermal conductivity.

Professor Patrick Hopkins and his colleagues discovered that a responsive protein from squid ring teeth contained properties supporting an on-and-off kind of thermal regulation. When the...

Question of the Week : Materials
Have You Used Light-Curable Materials?

Manufacturers have turned to light-cure formulations to protect and improve a variety of components in the aerospace and defense industry, including image sensors, proximity systems, and printed circuit boards.

In a live webinar at 2 pm ET tomorrow, experts will discuss the advantages and benefits...

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
Are You Dealing with Power Failures?

Energy demands are increasing as consumer, industrial, and data communications markets require greater power distribution.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Social Robots Enter the Consumer Market?

In today's lead story, neuroscientist Dr. Philipp Kellmeyer told Tech Briefs:

Question of the Week : Motion Control
Can Popcorn Power Robots?

In last week's INSIDER, we featured a Q&A with Cornell University researcher Steven Ceron, who is experimenting with a new way — and delicious — way of powering robots: Popcorn.

Question of the Week : Materials
A New ‘Moore's Law' for Smart Fabrics?

Instead of attaching semiconductors to fabric, an MIT team has found a way to add the technology right into the clothing fiber itself.

Question of the Week : Transportation
Are Robo-Fleets 'Very Economically Viable?'

Robo-taxi fleets are on the way, according to Chris Heiser, co-founder and CEO of Renovo, a California-based manufacturer of automotive operating systems.

Question of the Week : Transportation
Will Cities be Ready for Autonomous Vehicle Fleets?

Autonomous vehicle fleets are on the way, according to Chris Heiser, co-founder and CEO of Renovo, a California-based manufacturer of automotive operating systems.

Question of the Week : Robotics, Automation & Control
A Role for Cell-Sized Robots?

Today's lead INSIDER story highlighted cell-sized robots developed by a team at MIT. The researchers say the nanobots could someday support oil-pipeline inspection or medical diagnostics.

Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Which Superpower Do You Want Most?

Our latest episode of “Here’s an Idea” showcased a variety of technologies designed to give the human user a kind of “superpower”: a Spider-Man-like adhesive; an Iron Man suit; a Jet Pack; and (thermal) invisibility.

Technology Leaders

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

CNC Machining: How to Reduce Costs and Accelerate Production

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Testing and Inspecting 3D-Printed Parts

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Aerospace

Advanced Quality Planning and Production Part Approval Process...

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

How to Avoid PCB Re-spins when IC’s Change or are Obsoleted

On-Demand Webinars: Automotive

Non-Contact Strain and Displacements Measurements in the Automotive Industry