Question of the Week: Energy
Will Indoor Light Someday Power Our Smart Devices?

Our lead INSIDER story today looks at “perovskite-inspired” materials that can absorb indoor light at higher efficiencies than ever before.

Natural motion in plants occurs because of cellulose fibers absorbing and releasing water. Scientists developed a simple method to produce self-folding origami structures based on this concept....

INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic “Snake” Grips and Picks Up Objects

An invention similar to an elephant’s trunk has potential benefits for many industries where handling delicate objects is essential. UNSW Sydney developed a soft fabric robotic gripper...

The model analyzes three factors that drive infection risk: where people go in the course of a day; how long they linger; and how many other people are visiting the same place at the same time.
A new material is especially effective at absorbing indoor light and converting it into usable energy.
Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Use 'Tsugite' Software for Woodworking?

A recent INSIDER story highlighted a new tool for architects, furniture-makers, and woodworking beginners. The interactive software from the University of Tokyo, known as "Tsugite," provides milling machine instructions and on-screen design guidance so that users can piece an object together...

Researchers in the Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center at Penn State University are searching for a reliable, quick-charging, cold-weather battery for automobiles. They...

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have used new techniques to create a composite that increases the electrical current capacity of copper wires, providing a...

A new lithium-based electrolyte invented by Stanford University scientists could pave the way for the next generation of battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs). Their electrolyte...

The RepelWrap inventors explain why their product is especially valuable as the world confronts a pandemic like COVID-19.
Question of the Week: Electronics & Computers
Will Paper-Based Keypads Catch On?

The “5 Ws” feature of our November issue of Tech Briefs highlights a paper-based keypad being developed at Purdue University.

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory researchers evaluated commercial ultraviolet (UV) sources for viral disinfection to combat COVID-19 on land and at sea and established a...

Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich succeeded in developing a material that works like a luminescent solar concentrator and can even be applied to textiles. This opens up numerous possibilities...

The great tasks of retrieving samples and flying a helicopter on Mars requires a number of small parts — specifically motors and drives.
The soil microbial fuel cells produce energy to filter enough water for a person’s daily needs, with potential to increase scale.
Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Will Mobile Docking Stations Become an Essential Part of Underwater Exploration?

An INSIDER story this month highlighted an innovative way of supporting underwater robots: mobile docking stations.

Purdue University innovators are taking cues from the spider to develop 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging.
Blog: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Woodworking, Simplified: New Software Aids in Design
An interactive software being developed at the University of Tokyo allows architects and furniture makers with little experience in woodworking to to design and build structurally sound wood joints.
INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Transforming Rover Explores the Toughest Terrain

NASA’s DuAxel, a pair of two-wheeled rovers each called Axel, can split in half with each half connected only by a tether that unspools as the lead axle approaches a hazard.

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Would You Use a ‘SwingBot?’

A “SwingBot” robotic arm from MIT can learn the physical features of a handheld object through tactile exploration. Instead of using cameras or vision methods, the robot’s grippers use GelSight tactile sensors that measure the pose and force distribution of the object. Watch the demo on Tech Briefs TV.

A reader asks, "For AV testing, what are the respective role of simulation, closed course, and public road testing?"

Engineering students at the University of Cincinnati are building tiny custom CubeSat satellites to test the radiation shielding properties of carbon fiber material and take high-resolution photos of the...

Blog: Unmanned Systems
A Squid-Like Robot Swims, Untethered
A robot being tested at the University of California San Diego takes after an aquatic invertebrate that has a jet-like way moving through the water: The Squid.

Students at Rochester Institute of Technology created a wireless testbed that future research teams can use to investigate secure V2V communications.

Question of the Week: Electronics & Computers
Will Self-Erasing Chips Catch On?

University of Michigan engineers reported that their new self-erasing chips could help stop counterfeit electronics or provide alerts if sensitive shipments are tampered with. The chips use a new material that temporarily stores energy, changing the color of the light it emits. The self-erase period takes seven...

Blog: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
With Water Jets, Machines 'Breathe' to Cool Down

University of Central Florida researchers are developing a human-like way for large machines to cool off and keep from overheating: Letting the machines "breathe."

Researcher Nina Mahmoudian is finding a new way for underwater robots to recharge and upload their data, and then go back out to continue exploring, without the need for human intervention.
Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Will We Someday 'Draw' Sensors On Our Skin?

A Tech Brief featured in our October issue showcases how University of Missouri researchers are creating pencil-drawn sensors. The engineers demonstrated that the simple combination of pencils and paper could be used to create personal, health-monitoring devices.

A reader asks, "Will the public feel safe enough in an autonomous vehicle?"

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

Machine Vision for Industrial Inspection

Upcoming Webinars: Electronics & Computers

Protecting Power Electronics from EM and RF Interference

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Vehicle Electrification

Upcoming Webinars: Sensors/Data Acquisition

The Evolution of SOSA

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Next-Gen Vehicle Architectures and the Role of HPCs

Tech Talks: Medical

Testing Home Healthcare Medical Devices

Trending Stories

Podcasts: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Here's an Idea: A Bug-Inspired Building Material for Mars

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping

PLC-Based Robotic Controls Versus OEM Robotic Controls

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Mechatronic System Integration and Design

Briefs: Aerospace

Nanocardboard Aircraft with No Moving Parts

Briefs: Materials

Developing Ceramic-Like Bulk Metallic Glass Gears

Briefs: Materials

Aerofoam

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