Mechanical/​Mechatronics

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Stay updated on advancements in mechanical components and mechatronics systems. New technologies in MEMs, fluid systems, and propulsion are driving breakthroughs in transportation, electrification, autonomous driving, and manufacturing.

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Researchers have developed an innovative design for a wheelchair that can more easily navigate on soft and uneven outdoor terrain such as grass and gravel. The chair uses three wheels — two wheels in the front...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Auto-Zero Differential Amplifier

Engineers in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Instrument Electronics Development Branch have developed a chopper-stabilized auto-zero amplifier capable of amplifying signals with extremely small amplitude originating from a thermopile-based infrared (IR) sensor. The instrument is self-adjusting in that it...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition

A major challenge to assault prevention is that during an assault, victims often do not have an easily accessible way to call for help. Whether calling 911 or using an emergency alert...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

With very little fanfare, a special class of alloys has been finding its way into our daily lives. From indestructible eyewear, to smartphone cameras, to coronary stents, this material is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Walls often make up more than half of indoor surface area, especially in residential and office buildings. In addition to delimiting spaces, both for functional and...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs: Automotive

Technology was developed that not only allows wheels to “know” when and how to rotate, but also enables them to work together in interactive teams. The new technology can be used wherever there is a need for...

Briefs: Automotive

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

Briefs: Communications

Vanadium dioxide’s unique properties make it ideally suited for outperforming silicon and giving rise to a new generation of low-power electronic devices. This compound can...

Application Briefs: Imaging

Vision-guided robotics commonly used in today's automotive plants enables robots to “see” the object they are working on so they can perform the required activity accurately on/to an object that is...

Briefs: Motion Control

NASA Langley Research Center has developed Greased Lightning, the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that combines vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability with...

Blog: Sensors/Data Acquisition
A researcher tells Tech Briefs how his team's "symmetrical" sensor approach will support the growing "Internet of Things."
Blog: Transportation
Can metal 3D printing help automakers with more than just prototyping? It can, and it has, says our engineering expert.
News: Sensors/Data Acquisition

An inability to handle misty driving conditions has been one of the chief obstacles to the development of autonomous vehicular navigation systems that use visible light. These systems are...

Question of the Week: Green Design & Manufacturing
Can a 'Cool' Strategy Improve Water-Purification Efforts?

Researchers from the University of Buffalo found a counter-intuitive way of improving the water-purification process: keeping things cool.

Blog: Automotive
A “MapLite” framework from MIT allows self-driving cars to navigate roads – with just GPS and sensors as a guide.
Blog: Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found a counter-intuitive way of improving the water-purification process: keeping things cool.
News: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Researchers have developed a novel strategy to control the shapes of polymeric materials by utilizing photoresponsive molecular switches. This could aid the development of an...

Blog: Transportation
Does less nitrogen oxide mean more particulate emissions? A reader asks our expert.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Polymer-Based 2D-to-3D Transformable Surfaces

Technologies using stretchable materials are increasingly important. Yet, in general, it is not possible to control how they stretch with much more sophistication than inflating balloons. A method was developed that allows the calculated transformation of 2D stretchable surfaces into targeted 3D...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Large-scale liquid rocket engines with regeneratively cooled nozzles will enable reliable and reduced-cost access to space. The coolant that circulates through the internal...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Correlation spectroscopy is an attractive technique for sensing and analysis applications because it combines the attributes of mechanical and optical simplicity, high selectivity, and good sensitivity. In...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Mobile Instrument Detects and Samples Aerosol Particles

Hazardous airborne particles pose a risk for health and safety in a variety of environments; thus, detection of these small particles is essential. Current particle magnification systems are bulky and require a lot of power for operation, making them unsuitable to easily detect and analyze...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Soft robots inspired by nature can crawl, swim, grasp delicate objects, and even assist a beating heart, but none of them has been able to sense and respond to the...

Products: Electronics & Computers
Assembly Pins

JW Winco, New Berlin, WI, offers GN 2342 RoHS-compliant stainless steel assembly pins with three washer types available that place the bolt in an axial position in its insertion direction. The...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

In recent years, cable management has come into the limelight because machine reliability has increased dramatically, even though robots have grown more complex. Unfortunately, the...

Technology Leaders: Communications

Powered by smart machines, the new industrial revolution is changing how machine builders design, and how manufacturers operate today and in the future. To remain competitive and...

Briefs: Test & Measurement

Piezoelectric materials, which generate an electric current when compressed or stretched, are familiar and widely used; for example, lighters that spark when a switch is...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Water heaters and other thermal energy storage devices increase the temperature of a medium above an ambient or normal temperature, and store the warmer medium. Water heaters, in particular, must store...

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