Special Coverage

Soft Robot “Walks” on Any Terrain
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Using Microwaves to Produce High-Quality Graphene
Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines

Will the smart grid become a reality?

Today’s lead INSIDER story featured a new building block for the smart grid: a solid-state transformer."

The SST is a fundamental building block in the smart-grid concept," said NC State Distinguished Professor Iqbal Husain. "It can scale down voltage for use in homes and businesses, but it can also scale up voltage from solar panels or other residential-scale renewable sources in order to feed that power back into the grid."

What do you think? Will the smart grid become a reality?

Posted in: Question of the Week
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Could lenses and thick cameras become obsolete?

A team at the California Institute of Technology designed a lens-less camera. "Once scaled up, this technology can make lenses and thick cameras obsolete," said graduate student and camera researcher Behrooz Abiri. What do you think? Could lenses and thick cameras become obsolete?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Cameras, Imaging
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Will solar paint catch on?

In today's lead INSIDER story, researcher Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh said of his "solar paint": "It will be widespread. It is a technology that can shift the energy economy to a hydrogen economy. This disruptive concept has the potential to change many of the current technologies as we know them." What do you think? Will solar paint catch on?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Energy Harvesting
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Will the "ifbattery" catch on?

A new story on TechBriefs.com this week featured an interview with Purdue University's John Cushman. The professor's "ifbattery" system may someday allow drivers to recharge their cars as quickly and easily as filling up a gas tank. What do you think? Will the "ifbattery" catch on?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automotive, Alternative Fuels
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Can the Desolenator provide a solution for the global water crisis?

A new Tech Briefs Q&A highlighted an innovative water-purification system called the "Desolenator." Using only solar energy, the device provides clean water from any source. What do you think? Can the Desolenator provide a solution for the global water crisis?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
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Will Soft Robots Improve Search-and-Rescue Operations?

University of California, San Diego researchers have demonstrated a soft robot that lifts its legs over obstacles and operates on a variety of terrains. What do you think? Will the 3D-printed quadrupedal technologies someday support search-and-rescue missions?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automation, Robotics
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Will fog displays improve design processes?

Today’s lead INSIDER story addressed a new kind of 3D visualization: a shape-shifting fog display. Researcher and co-creator Diego Martinez said the technology enables new ways to collaborate, but the display will ultimately need to be “brought into the light, one step at a time, over years.” What do you think? Will fog displays improve design processes?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Displays/Monitors/HMIs
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Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

This week’s Question: Today’s lead INSIDER story described a potentially new way of building Mars habitats. What do you think? Will Mars habitats be built from Martian soil?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials
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Are you concerned about potential asteroid impacts on Earth?

This week’s Question: Our lead INSIDER story addressed NASA’s efforts to track and characterize asteroids. What do you think? Are you concerned about potential asteroid impacts on Earth?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Aerospace
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Will UAVs improve how we monitor the environment?

This week's Question: Last week's TechBriefs.com story from the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2017 conference in Anaheim revealed new ways of detecting leaks in natural gas pipelines. Panelists from industry, academia, and government demonstrated how miniaturized sensing platforms, and the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) hosting them, can improve the detection of hazardous gas leakage. What do you think? Will UAVs improve how we monitor the environment?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Aerospace, Aviation, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Data Acquisition, Sensors
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