A comprehensive library of technical briefs from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories covering all aspects of innovations in electronics, software, photonics, imaging, motion control, automation, sensors, test, materials, manufacturing, mechanical, and mechatronics.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Electronics Cooling Using Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing creates cooling solutions with sizes and shapes not previously possible.
This method provides a key step toward quantum computers, sensors, and distributed quantum information.
This system encodes information in twisting beams of light.
Self-powering, color-changing humidity sensors are applicable to various fields including smart windows, health care, and safety management.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Acoustic Monitoring of Laser Welds
Empa researchers were able to demonstrate real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams.
A remote forest fire detection and alarm system is powered by nothing but the movement of trees in the wind.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Engineers 3D-Print Sensors Onto Moving Organs
Designed to assist in robotic surgeries, biomedical devices can be printed in and on the human body.
A new type of motion capture technology accurately tracks an athlete during the push start phase of performance.
Researchers tackled the problem using a geophysical measurement called seismic anisotropy.
One unexpected application for spider silk is its use in the creation of biocompatible lenses.
University of Colorado researchers have described a new silicon chip that improves the resolution and scanning speed needed for a lidar system.
Real-time terahertz imaging with a single-pixel detector.
This approach could be used to cost-effectively make soft robots and wearable technologies.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Gripper Handles Freely Moving Cables
The gripper’s soft, sensitive fingers could enable robots to help with tying knots, wire shaping, or surgical suturing.
Briefs: Motion Control
Wireless Aquatic Robot Cleans Water
Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic mini robot moves by magnetism and light.
Complex locomotion techniques enable the rover to climb hills covered with soft granular material.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Flexible Feet Help Robots Walk Faster
This technology can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips.
Applications include absorbers, tuned mass dampers, harmonic absorbers, and seismic dampers.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
4D Printing of Morphing Structures
A new method manufactures complex shapeshifters for soft robots and biomedical implants.
The device brings lithium metal batteries one step closer to commercial viability.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Spreadable Way to Stabilize Solid-State Batteries
A “butter-like” interlayer material boosts current density and increases safety.
Drop-in replacements for lithium ion batteries would not pose a fire danger.
The battery design increases the number of possible cycles from tens to more than 100 with little degradation.
Briefs: Automotive
Semi-Liquid Metal Anode
Lithium batteries made using this electrode type could be much safer than typical lithium metal-based batteries.
Using ceramic material and graphene, the toughness of solid-state lithium-ion batteries can be doubled.
Tiny, metal-rich particles can be excited with a low-power laser for deep-tissue imaging.
The technique could easily be translated into existing medical device manufacturing processes for use in orthopedic implants.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Organic Lithium-Powered Batteries
These batteries are more environmentally friendly while retaining performance, stability, and storage capacity.
This highly porous sponge absorbs more than 30 times its weight in oil and can be reused up to several dozen times.

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