INSIDER: Robotics, Automation & Control
Shape-Shifting Robots Built from “Smarticles”

Researchers built robots entirely from smaller robots known as smarticles, unlocking the principles of a potentially new locomotion technique. The smarticles (smart active particles) can...

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.

NASA’s crawler-transporter 2 will carry the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B for the launch of Artemis 1. One of the few women to...

INSIDER: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Optical Lace Gives Robots a Soft Touch

A synthetic optical lace developed by a Cornell Ph.D. student creates a linked sensory network similar to a biological nervous system. The flexible, porous lattice structure is manufactured from...

A team of undergrad engineers discovered a method that could make materials more resilient against massive shocks such as earthquakes or explosions. The students tested whether...

NASA is set to return to the Moon in 2024. But why the lunar south pole?

It took over 3,000 pouches of spaceflight food, but Timothy Goulette and Hang Xiao ultimately created a mathematical model that NASA will soon use to ensure that its...

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.

Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact,...

Along with flying and invisibility, high on the list of every child’s aspirational superpowers is the ability to see through or around walls or other visual obstacles. That...

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have devised a new process for using nano-particles to build powerful lasers that are more efficient and safer for...

Diffraction-Limited Aspheric Lenses

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Surrey, UK) is an international supplier of diffraction-limited aspheric lenses for nuclear research laser...

The days and weeks following a natural disaster are a critical time for residents, emergency response teams, and government entities to recover and rebuild infrastructure....

A novel system developed by MIT researchers automatically “learns” how to schedule data-processing operations across thousands of servers — a task...

From the charging unit for a smartphone to the power supply of a laptop or washing machine to LED lights or the charging station for an electric car...

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 — liquefied gas electrolytes — could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable...

Two industry experts respond to a Tech Briefs reader question.
Stanford Professor Eric Pop learned a valuable electronics lesson from his early days as a radio DJ.
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.

A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.

A novel imaging technique that uses a synthesized form of scorpion venom to light up brain tumors has shown promise in a clinical trial. The imaging system enables...

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.

A reader asks an industry expert why adhesives are a better option for battery assembly in electric vehicles.
Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
How to Make a Transistor – From Thread

Tufts University engineers are making transistors from a material you’re more likely to see in a fabric store than in the field of electronics.

INSIDER: Nanotechnology
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.

INSIDER: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Wearable Motion Sensors Could Save Unborn Babies

A technique was developed that could allow expectant parents to hear their baby’s heartbeat continuously at home with a non-invasive and safe device that is potentially more accurate...

INSIDER: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mini Stretchable Pump for Soft Robots

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines’ moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes, these robots have limited autonomy...

"Actually it was not something we really planned!" Dr. Andrew Salmon told Tech Briefs.

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