News : Electronics & Computers
World’s Most Powerful Electrical Testing System Unveiled

Florida State University’s Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS) has unveiled a new 24,000-volt direct current power test system, the most powerful of its kind available at a university research center throughout the world. The new system will give CAPS the unparalleled ability to...

News : Photonics/Optics
Optic Fiber Records Temperature in Extreme Environments

Optic fiber is normally used in the field of telecommunications to transmit information using light, but researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid developed a technique that makes it possible to use optic fiber as a thermometer in extreme industrial environments.

News : Aerospace
NASA Teams with Microsoft to Let Scientists “Work” on Mars

NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens. OnSight will give scientists a means to plan and, along with the Mars Curiosity rover,...

Question of the Week
Will autonomous car trends lead to lost jobs?

This week’s Question: As an increasing number of automakers develop autonomous or semi-autonomous cars, some critics are concerned that the number of vehicles on the road will be reduced and jobs will be lost, especially those in motor vehicle parts manufacturing and professional driving sectors....

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Microcapsule Method Captures Carbon

Researchers has developed a novel class of materials that enable a safer, cheaper, and more energy-efficient process for removing greenhouse gas from power-plant emissions.

The team, led by scientists from Harvard University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, employed a microfluidic assembly...

Question of the Week
The Human Eye Can See ‘Invisible’ Infrared Light

Any science textbook will tell you that human beings can’t see infrared light. Like X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are outside the visual spectrum. But an international team of researchers co-led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found...

Scientists Slow the Speed of Light Travelling Through Air

Scientists have long known that the speed of light can be slowed slightly as it travels through materials such as water or glass. However, it has generally been thought impossible for particles of light, known as photons, to be slowed as they travel through free space, unimpeded by...

Question of the Week
Will virtual traffic lights improve traffic?

This week's Question: Carnegie Mellon University researchers have claimed that they can reduce commute times by placing virtual traffic lights on drivers' windshield. Through connected vehicle technology, the Carnegie Mellon system replaces conventional traffic lights with stop and go signals...

Scientists Unlock Secret of Ultrafast Imaging of Complex Systems in 3-D at Near Atomic Resolution

It is becoming possible to image complex systems in 3-D with near-atomic resolution on ultrafast timescales using extremely intense X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses. One important step toward ultrafast imaging of samples with a single X-ray...

Laser-Generated Surface Structures Create Extremely Water-Repellent Metals

Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings. Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust...

David Blake, Senior Research Scientist, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

David Blake developed the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument that is currently deployed on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. The powder-handling device inside CheMin won Blake the 2010 NASA Commercial Government Invention of the...

'Hedgehog' Process Sprouts Spikes on Most Particles

A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the "hedgehog particles" are named for their bushy appearance under the...

NASA Launches Radiometer to Measure Earth's Soil Moisture

NASA’s newest, more technologically advanced radiometer instrument detects microwave energy from space, allowing scientists to study how much water is in the Earth's soil.

Soil moisture is an important measurement for weather forecasting, drought and flood predictions, and...

News : Medical
Implantable Neurostimulator Alleviates Dry Eye

Stanford Biodesign fellows are testing two tiny devices that stimulate natural tear production. The technologies deliver micro-electrical pulses to the lacrimal gland.

New Actuators and Motors Key to Improved Robot Responders

Sandia National Laboratories is developing technology that will dramatically improve the endurance of legged robots, helping them operate for long periods while performing the types of locomotion most relevant to disaster response scenarios. One area of focus is battery life – an...

Launch System Engine Gets a New “Brain”

The engine controller unit on the RS-25 – formerly known as the space shuttle main engine – helped propel all of the space shuttle missions to space. It allows communication between the vehicle and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the vehicle. The controller...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Detecting Extraterrestrial Life Through Motion

Looking for life on other planets is not straightforward. It usually relies on chemical detection, which might be limited or even completely irrelevant to alien biology. On the other hand, motion is a trait of all life, and can be used to identify microorganisms without any need of chemical...

Robotic Handoff Aids Space Station Installation

On Jan. 22, 2015, robotic flight controllers successfully installed NASA’s Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS) aboard the International Space Station through a robotic handoff — the first time one robotic arm on station has worked in concert with a second robotic arm.

CATS will collect...

Software Algorithm Finds Risks

At the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) this month, MIT researchers will present algorithms that represent significant steps toward “a better Siri” — the user-assistance application found in Apple products.

One aspect of the software that distinguishes...

Question of the Week
Will we really wear wearables?

This week's Question: New smartwatches were showcased at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, including devices that run on operating systems and feature pedometers, sleep trackers, and audio players. Research firm Canalys forecasts that worldwide annual smartwatch shipments will grow from 8...

Metamaterial 'Bends' Acoustic and Elastic Waves

Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered “elastic” waves. These waves travel at the surface or through a material without causing any permanent changes to the substance’s makeup. Now,...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wearable Nanowire Sensors Monitor Electrophysiological Signals

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new, wearable sensor that uses silver nanowires to monitor electrophysiological signals, such as electrocardiography (EKG) or electromyography (EMG). The new sensor is as accurate as the “wet electrode” sensors...

News : Motion Control
Aircraft with Hybrid Engine Can Recharge in Flight

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested the first aircraft to be powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, where an electric motor and gas engine work together to drive the propeller. The demonstrator aircraft uses up to...

News : Energy
Energy Harvesting Could Help Power Spacecraft of the Future

A consortium is working on a project to maximize energy harvesting on a spacecraft of the future. The initiative seeks to find energy-saving and -maximizing solutions to enable eco-friendly aircraft to stay in space for long periods of time without the need to return to Earth to...

News : Data Acquisition
Mini Solar Observatory Can Be Used on Manned Spacecraft

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) developed a miniature portable solar observatory for use onboard a commercial, manned, suborbital spacecraft. The SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform (SSIPP) uses a classic, two-stage pointing system similar to larger spacecraft, but in this case, the...

Question of the Week
Will we deliver electricity from space?

This Week's Question: Scientists are exploring the possibility of utilizing space solar power for Earth-bound purposes. The United States, China, India and Japan all have projects at various stages of development that would see robots assemble solar arrays that could provide the Earth with clean, renewable...

News : Software
New Navigation Software Cuts Self-Driving Car Costs

A new software system developed at the University of Michigan uses video game technology to help solve one of the most daunting hurdles facing self-driving and automated cars: the high cost of the laser scanners they use to determine their location.

Ryan Wolcott, a U-M doctoral candidate in...

News : Test & Measurement
NASA Robot Explores Volcanoes

Carolyn Parcheta, a NASA postdoctoral fellow based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and JPL robotics researcher Aaron Parness are developing robots that
can explore volcanic fissures.

"We don't know exactly how volcanoes erupt. We have models but they are all very, very...

New Vision Algorithm Enables Household Robots

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory believe that household robots should take advantage of their mobility and their relatively static environments to make object recognition easier, by imaging objects from multiple perspectives before making judgments about...

Question of the Week
Are you optimistic about artificial intelligence?

This week's Question: In a BBC interview last year, renowned physicist, cosmologist, and author Stephen Hawking warned of the dangers of artificial intelligence. Hawking said AI "would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate," passing the limited abilities of humans. A...