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
Spanwise Adaptive Wing

NASA's Glenn Research Center developed a novel means of articulating the outboard portion of an aircraft wing to create the optimal geometry for given flight conditions. The Spanwise Adaptive Wing (SAW) concept employs...

Soft, 3D-printed structures have been created whose movements can be controlled with a wave of a magnet, much like marionettes without the strings. The structures that can be magnetically manipulated...

Check valves are traditionally designed as a simple poppet/spring system where the spring is designed to equal the force created from the sealing area of the valve seat multiplied by...

Lamina emergent compliant mechanisms (including origami-adapted compliant mechanisms) are mechanical devices that can be fabricated from a planar material (a lamina) and have motion...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Large-Scale Robotic Inkjet Printing System

Painting of surfaces having numerous facets and/or curved surfaces is a time-consuming process that requires the application of several coats (layers) of paint. Such surfaces are often found on...

Researchers have developed a customizable soft robot that fits around a heart and helps it beat, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart...

Products: Sensors/Data Acquisition
New on the Market: January 2019
Laptop Computers

Eurocom, Nepean, ON, Canada offers Sky “C” Series laptop computers based on the Z370 Intel chipset and using CPU-upgrade-able, LGA1151 socket-based processors. They support up to...

Pulsed laser vaporization (PLV) production of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) on traditional Co/Ni catalyst was explored with...

Briefs: Nanotechnology
Materials Move in Response to Light

In biology, there are many examples where light induces movement or change — think of flowers and leaves turning toward sunlight. Magnetic elastomeric composites were developed that move in different...

A technique was developed that uses a specially adapted 3D printer to build therapeutic biomaterials from multiple materials. The advance could be a step toward on-demand printing of complex...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Composite Material Cools Itself Down Under Extreme Temperatures

A material, inspired by nature, can regulate its own temperature and could be used to treat burns and help space capsules withstand atmospheric forces. The research used a network of multiple microchannels with active flowing fluids (fluidics) as a method and proof-of-concept to...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
3D Inks Can Be Erased Selectively

3D printing allows for the efficient manufacture of complex geometries. A very promising method is direct laser writing in which a computer-controlled focused laser beam acts as a pen and produces the...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Products of Tomorrow: January 2019

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...

Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machines can be susceptible to tow-tape defects such as gaps and overlaps. These can reduce strength between 7% and 32%....

NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) has been a leader in human space exploration for more than half a century. Established in 1961 in Houston, TX as the Manned Spacecraft Center, the center...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Optically Transparent Polyimide Aerogels

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have expanded their growing portfolio of aerogels to include a new optically transparent polyimide aerogel. Aerogels — low-density, highly porous,...

Application Briefs: Software
Vehicle Design with System-Level Modeling
Maplesoft
Waterloo, ON, Canada
www.maplesoft.com

The demand for innovation is universal across industries, as new products are required to meet higher performance standards without...

Lasers play roles in many manufacturing processes, from welding car parts to crafting engine components with 3D printers. To control these tasks, manufacturers must ensure that their lasers fire at...

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle concept for long-range, distributed aerial presence and delivery applications. This aircraft concept is capable...

Irdeto's Stacy Janes tells Tech Briefs if he feels safe driving today's connected cars.
In 2015, Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller demonstrated a hack of the Jeep Cherokee. Valasek tells Tech Briefs what has changed since then.

Fuel cells generate electricity directly from hydrogen and oxygen and produce only water vapor as emissions. But most fuel cells are too expensive,...

Application Briefs: Motion Control
Multi-Axis Motion Controller Accelerates Gear Testing

Materials testing and characterization is often a lengthy process. It can take more than a year and billions of testing cycles for a manufacturer to characterize the properties of a new...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Optical Gyroscope-on-a-Chip

Gyroscopes are devices that help vehicles, drones, and wearable and handheld electronic devices know their orientation in three-dimensional space. Originally, gyroscopes were sets of nested wheels, each spinning...

There are few industries where the demands for material testing and quality assurance are more challenging than in the aerospace industry. Ensuring the safety of all...

Products: Semiconductors & ICs
New Products: December 2018, Motion Design
Motor/Drive/Controller

Advanced Micro Controls (Terryville, CT) offers a size 17 PLC-based SMD Series integrated stepper motor/drive/controller system. The integrated solutions are suited...

The global bearings market is expected to grow significantly due to increasing commercial and industrial machinery and manufacturing activity. Bearings are used in virtually...

As Industry 4.0 initiatives bring more and more industrial axes of motion into the realm of automation, the need for cost-effective control across them grows as well. Advances in...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitters (SMARS)

Glenn's revolutionary Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitters (SMARS) device is fabricated from nickel-titanium-halfnium (NiTiHf), nickel-titanium-zirconium compositions, or a combination. These compositions contain a secondary, nanometer-sized precipitate phase that is produced through processes of...

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