Mechanical & Fluid Systems

MEMs

Access the latest news and technical briefs covering micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMs) technologies and applications.

An ingestible pill was developed that, upon reaching the stomach, quickly swells to the size of a soft, squishy ping-pong ball big enough to stay in the stomach for an...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Infrared Light-Focusing Platform

Researchers have integrated two technologies widely used in applications such as optical communications, bio-imaging, and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems to create a new infrared light-focusing...

Facility Focus: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Facility Focus: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Founded on July 1, 1960, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is one of NASA’s largest field centers. Marshall engineers designed, built, tested, and helped launch the Saturn V...

Briefs: Imaging
Transparent, Self-Healing Electronic Skin

Scientists have taken inspiration from underwater invertebrates like jellyfish to create an electronic skin with similar functionality. Like a jellyfish, the electronic skin is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and self-healing in aquatic environments.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Transforming Flat Elastomers into 3D Shapes

Mechanical systems such as engines and motors rely on two principal types of motions of stiff components: linear motion, which involves an object moving from one point to another in a straight...

Smarter, better, faster, less expensive — those words are the mantra of today’s global economy. As organizations seek to streamline operations and do more with less, they...

Fast-response, stiffness-tunable (FRST) soft actuators — or movable machine elements — were developed that could be used in soft robots.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Smart Microrobots Adapt to Surroundings

Researchers, drawing inspiration from bacteria, have designed smart, bio-compatible microrobots that are highly flexible. Because these devices are able to swim through fluids and modify their shape...

Briefs: Aerospace
System Enables Direct Data Transmission Between Underwater and Airborne Devices

Today, underwater sensors cannot share data with those on land, as both use different wireless signals that only work in their respective mediums. Radio signals that travel through air die very rapidly in water. Acoustic signals, or sonar, sent by underwater devices...

Along with intensity and color, polarization is a property of light that can provide useful information for scene analysis; however, the human eye and most cameras cannot detect...

Optical range measurements, already used in manufacturing and other fields, may help overcome practical challenges posed by structural fires, which are too hot to measure with conventional...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: March 2019 Sensor Technology
Torque Measurement System

To address the demand for a more accurate, reliable, customizable, and easy-to-use force measurement device, Interface Force Measurement Systems (Scottsdale, AZ)...

Researchers have, for the first time, integrated two technologies widely used in applications such as optical communications, bio-imaging, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems. In the...

Inspired by the human eye, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed an adaptive metalens that is essentially a flat,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
X-Ray Study of Low-Density Materials

It's hard to get an X-ray image of low-density material like tissue between bones because X-rays just pass right through like sunlight through a window. Sandia studies myriads of low-density materials,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
High-Power Thermoelectric Generator

Objects in our daily lives, such as speakers, refrigerators, and even cars, are becoming “smarter” day by day as they connect to the Internet and exchange data, creating the Internet of Things (IoT)....

Briefs: Communications
MEMS Switch Extends Life of Cellphones

A new type of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) was developed that uses electrostatic levitation to provide a more robust system. All cellphones use MEMS switches for wireless communication, but traditionally there are just two electrodes. The switches open and close numerous times during just one hour,...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Nanoscale Pillars Act as Memory Foam

A customizable nanomaterial was developed that combines metallic strength with a foam-like ability to compress and spring back. The material can store and release mechanical energy on the nanoscale, and...

Briefs: Software
Optimal Computational Vision Pipeline (OCVP)

Optimal Computational Vision Pipeline (OCVP) software uses a novel algorithm that allows overlapping point clouds obtained from sensors with displaced position and orientation to be fused together in a common coordinate system with a rigorously linear solution for position and orientation parameters;...

Facility Focus: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Facility Focus: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Since 1967, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) has been the United States’ premier particle physics laboratory, working on the world's most advanced particle accelerators...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Computer-Controlled Exercise Equipment

While a wide variety of computer-controlled exercise machines for training and rehabilitation exist — some of which can be automatically adjusted to vary resistance or incline — such systems provide for preprogrammed changes in load or resistance. What is needed is a system that overcomes the...

Question of the Week: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Would You Use Wearables to Monitor Your UV Exposure?

Our February issue of Tech Briefs highlights a technology called My Skin Track UV. The 12 x 6 mm wearable sensor can be attached to clothing or accessories to detect sunburn and overexposure to ultraviolet light.

Even a shape-morphing plane is possible, says Harvard's Ehsan Hajiesmaili.

Existing nanosensor technologies depend on an external power source (typically a battery) to operate. Chemical and biological sensors based on nanowire or nanotube technologies exhibit...

Briefs: Energy
Plasma Generator Using Spiral Conductors

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a patented SansEC sensor technology for use in many different areas, including tall structures and wind turbines. The SansEC technology is a proven wireless sensing platform capable of measuring the electrical impedance of physical matter in proximity to the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Foot Pedal Controller

A novel foot-pedal-operated system and device were developed to control translational and rotational movement of an object in three-dimensional (3D) space. The Foot Pedal Controller system enables operators to control...

Products: Semiconductors & ICs
New Products: February 2019 Motion Design
Motor Control Integrated Circuit

Microsemi Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology (Aliso Viejo, CA), announced the LX7720 radiation-tolerant motor control integrated...

Integrating lead screws with stepper motors is a simple and cost-effective method for getting precise linear motion. But achieving that precision requires...

Professor Jordan Raney spoke with Tech Briefs about what’s possible when you can embody 3D-printed objects with logic.

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