Question of the Week

Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Is Anonymization the Best Way to Protect Personal Data?

A Tech Briefs reader recently asked our industry expert:

Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would You Use the Pedestrian Audio Wearable System (PAWS)?

Our “5Ws” article in the March issue of Tech Briefs highlights a wearable developed at Columbia University called “PAWS.” The Pedestrian Audio Wearable System detects and locates approaching cars. PAWS then warns the pedestrian in real-time by providing audio/visual feedback via...

Question of the Week : Test & Measurement
Would You Use a CurveBoard?

MIT researchers have invented a way to integrate “breadboards” — flat platforms widely used for electronics prototyping — directly onto physical products.

Question of the Week : Aerospace
What Name Would You Give the Next Mars Rover?

In a live event from Lake Braddock Secondary School (LBSS) in Burke, Virginia on Thursday, NASA professionals announced that the Mars 2020 rover will be called “Perseverance.”

Question of the Week : Energy
Will We Ever Recharge Electric Batteries As Quickly As We Get Gas?

Stanford University researchers have developed a machine learning-based method that cuts battery testing times by 98 percent. The team says that their A.I. technique could lead to a future where an electric battery is recharged in the time it takes to stop at a gas station. Watch...

Question of the Week : Energy
Will Rain Become a Viable Energy Source?

Our lead INSIDER story today demonstrated the power of a droplet energy generator – specifically the system’s ability to light up 100 LEDs with just a small amount of water.

Question of the Week : Energy
Will Cooling Coatings Catch On?

This month’s Tech Briefs featured a potential alternative to the air conditioner: A painted-on polymer coating that can cool down a building.

Question of the Week : Communications
Do the 5G Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

A feature article in this month’s Tech Briefs explored how the fifth-generation mobile network known as 5G will support the creation of increasingly “smart” factories – ones that allow manufacturers to further improve factory automation, human/machine interfaces, and mobility.

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
In the Near Future, Will Computers Use Light Instead of Electricity?

This month in Tech Briefs: Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed an optical switch that routes light from one computer chip to another in just 20 billionths of a second — faster than any other similar device.

Question of the Week : Green Design & Manufacturing
Do you Like the Idea of Fungi-Inspired Design?

Our lead INSIDER story today demonstrated the potential of fungi as a building material. Aside from supporting theoretical space habitats, fungal mycelia have been used to create actual chairs and 2x4 structures. What do you think? Do you Like the Idea of Fungi-Inspired Design?

Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Would You Cook with ‘Julia?’

Last week, we highlighted five CES 2020 technologies that are adding intelligence to everyday aspects of the home. One featured “Smart Home” technology included “Julia,” an all-in-one cooker that performs a variety of kitchen tasks: chopping, whisking, steaming, weighing ingredients, and even kneading...

Question of the Week : Aerospace
Would You Ride in a Flying Car?

A flying car, also known as a rotable aircraft, is something that inventors have been dreaming about for a very long time. Stuck in traffic? Just take-off and get out of there.

Question of the Week : Imaging
Will We Use Satellites to Fix Satellites?

A recent INSIDER described one researcher’s idea to fix a broken satellite: Send up a repair satellite! Read the Tech Briefs Q&A for details.

Question of the Week : Materials
Can Gels Stop Wildfires?

A preventive treatment developed by Stanford researchers could greatly reduce the incidence and severity of wildfires. The cellulose-based, gel-like fluid protects against fires and stays on target vegetation through rain, wind, and other environmental exposure. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

Question of the Week : Electronics & Computers
Will ‘Unbreakable Batteries’ Find a Place in Electronics and Vehicles?

Increasingly, lithium-ion batteries are supporting portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid storage.

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 : Imaging
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 : Transportation
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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.

INSIDER : Imaging
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?

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

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Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...

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Advantages of Smart Servo Steppers vs. Smart Brushless Servos

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Large Cable, Large Problems: Considerations for Innovation

Upcoming Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robots: Are They as Safe as They Sound?

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