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A year of Curiosity on Mars

August 7, 2013 3:06 pm | Videos | Comments

Curiosity Rover team members re-live the dramatic Aug. 6, 2012 landing and the mission's achievements to date in a recent event aired on NASA Television and the agency's website. In the year since inspiring millions of people worldwide with its one-of-a-kind landing in a crater on the Red Planet, Curiosity has achieved its primary scientific objective; finding evidence that ancient Mars could have sustained microbial life.

Using Logic Analyzers to Reveal Digital System Problems

August 5, 2013 1:52 pm | by Brad Frieden, Product Planner, Agilent Technologies Inc., Santa Clara, Calif. | Agilent Technologies Inc. | Articles | Comments

Today’s digital designs are evolving in a variety of ways, prompting new approaches to design, simulation, measurement and debug. One change is the use of more serial buses. Another is the use of system-on-a-chip (SOC) integrated circuits or advanced field-programmable gate arrays with SOC capability. Despite this evolution, there's still a role for classic parallel buses in many designs and the need to measure those buses.

What Will the Next Generation of R&D Instruments Look Like?

August 5, 2013 1:39 pm | by Jonathan Tucker, Senior Marketer and Product Manager, Keithley Instruments Inc., Cleveland | Articles | Comments

Over the past decade, significant changes have been underway among users of electronic test and measurement instrumentation. For example, electronics companies’ R&D staffs have shrunk, and engineers report they are under pressure to do more with fewer resources than in the past. At the same time, there are fewer engineers dedicated to test with in-depth test and measurement training and background.


Get ‘Moore’ from Your Data Logger

August 5, 2013 1:27 pm | by Todd Dobberstein, Senior Group Manager for Data Acquisition, National Instruments, Austin, Texas | Articles | Comments

The space program in the mid-20th century accelerated the switch from analog to digital systems for high-speed data acquisition and monitoring. But systems recording today’s physical and electrical phenomena must meet a new set of data acquisition and logging challenges, making them unrecognizable to those early computer pioneers.

Smartphone cradle, app detect toxins, bacteria

August 1, 2013 12:33 pm | News | Comments

Afraid there may be peanuts or other allergens hiding in that cookie? Thanks to a cradle and app that turn your smartphone into a handheld biosensor, you may soon be able to run on-the-spot tests for food safety, environmental toxins, medical diagnostics and more.

In with antennas, out with cables

August 1, 2013 12:28 pm | News | Comments

Cable clutter is an eyesore and a tripping hazard in one. Researchers have developed a new kind of antenna hidden in tables that can wirelessly supply electronic devices with power. The power extends throughout the tabletop without the need for a large, impractical coil. The “tables” can transmit data, too.

Engineers identify key factors for wireless power transfer

July 31, 2013 10:00 pm | News | Comments

What happens to a resonant wireless power transfer system in the presence of complex electromagnetic environments, such as metal plates? A team of researchers has explored the influences at play in this type of situation, and they describe how efficient wireless power transfer can be achieved in the presence of metal plates.

Micro-optical method thwarts counterfeiting

July 31, 2013 9:55 pm | News | Comments

In an effort to thwart forgeries, researchers in Switzerland have proposed a new miniaturized authentication system. By combining moiré patterns and microlithography techniques, authorities can be easily recognize counterfeits with the naked eye and counterfeiters will find it impossible to reproduce items through currently existing printer or scanner technology.


Navy turns to UAVs for help with radar, communications

July 31, 2013 5:12 pm | by Eric Beidel, Office of Naval Research | News | Comments

Fluxes and turbulence caused by the interaction between the air and sea can significantly alter the path of electromagnetic waves in radar and communications systems. In effort to boost the U.S. navy’s communications performance at sea, researchers deployed Office of Naval Research unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in an effort to determine the ocean and atmospheric weather variations that can change the angle that radar and radio waves bend.

Researchers discover new material for cooling electronic devices

July 29, 2013 2:24 pm | News | Comments

A team of theoretical physicists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Boston College has identified cubic boron arsenide as a material with an extraordinarily high thermal conductivity and the potential to transfer heat more effectively from electronic devices than diamond, the best-known thermal conductor to date.

Teledyne LeCroy demonstrates world’s first 100 GHz real-time oscilloscope

July 26, 2013 12:04 pm | News | Comments

High speed oscilloscopes are vital tools in the development of high-speed digital networks. Teledyne LeCroy, a subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc., this week demonstrated the world's first 100 GHz real-time oscilloscope by successfully acquiring and displaying live signals at 100 GHz bandwidth

Researchers demonstrate internal tagging for 3-D printed objects

July 23, 2013 11:50 am | News | Comments

According to scientists at Carnegie Mellon Univ. and Microsoft Research, the same 3-D printing process used to produce an object can simultaneously generate an internal, invisible tag. These internal tags, which the have been dubbed InfraStructs, can be read with an imaging system using terahertz radiation. As terahertz technology develops, these tags could have many applications.

Elastic electronics: Stretchable gold conductor grows its own wires

July 18, 2013 4:57 pm | News | Comments

Flexible electronics have a wide variety of possibilities, from bendable displays and batteries to medical implants that move with the body. Networks of spherical nanoparticles embedded in elastic materials may make the best stretchy conductors yet, engineering researchers at the Univ. of Michigan have discovered.


ASU center produces largest flexible color organic light emitting display

July 18, 2013 4:28 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at Arizona State Univ. have successfully manufactured the world’s largest flexible color organic light emitting display prototype using advanced mixed oxide thin film transistors. Measuring 7.4 diagonal inches, the device was developed at ASU’s Flexible Display Center in conjunction with Army Research Labs scientists.

Using RFID for fiber composites

July 18, 2013 1:48 pm | News | Comments

Antennas that are capable of transmitting radio waves turn components into intelligent objects. Researchers in Germany have now found a way to embed these antennas in fiber composites. As a result, the technology also works with carbon and glass fibers.

"Intelligent knife" tells surgeon which tissue is cancerous

July 17, 2013 3:39 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have developed an "intelligent knife" that can tell surgeons immediately whether the tissue they are cutting is cancerous or not. In the first study to test the invention in the operating theatre, the "iKnife" diagnosed tissue samples from 91 patients with 100% accuracy, instantly providing information that normally takes up to half an hour to reveal using laboratory tests.

Team develops MEMS pico-projector screen technology for smartphones

July 17, 2013 9:01 am | News | Comments

A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics in Singapore and OPUS Microsystems Corp., a Taiwan-based company specializing in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) scanning mirror devices, have signed an agreement to refine and develop a MEMS scanning mirror for smartphones applications. The goal is to shrink the MEMS micromirror to allow a pico-projector level of operation.

Eye-tracking could outshine passwords if made user-friendly

July 17, 2013 8:20 am | by Michelle Ma, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of Washington say one of the reasons face- and eye-recognition systems haven’t taken off is because the user’s experience often isn’t factored into the design. Their recent study, one of the first in the field to look at user preferences, found that speed, accuracy and choice of error messages were all important for the success of an eye-tracking system.

Engineers create broadband photodetector for polarized light

July 16, 2013 2:23 pm | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Using carpets of aligned carbon nanotubes, researchers from Rice University and Sandia National Laboratories have created a solid-state electronic device that is hardwired to detect polarized light across a broad swath of the visible and infrared spectrum.

Researchers develop 3-D display with no ghosting for viewers without glasses

July 16, 2013 2:12 pm | by Tim Stephens, UC Santa Cruz | News | Comments

With existing 3-D television displays, viewers must wear stereo glasses to get the effect of seeing images on the screen in three dimensions, while viewers without the glasses see a blurry image. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have developed a prototype for 3-D+2-D television that allows viewers with stereo glasses to see 3-D images, while viewers without the glasses see a normal 2-D image.

Illinois researchers build “vanishing” tech gear

July 16, 2013 2:01 pm | News | Comments

Imagine this: There's no need to throw out your old cellphone, because it will self-destruct. That's the idea behind a project at the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where researchers are investigating how to build electronics that vanish in water. A new video from the university explains their efforts.

DARPA unveils ATLAS robot

July 15, 2013 9:12 am | News | Comments

In DARPA’s Virtual Robotics Challenge, 28 competing teams applied software of their own design to a simulated robot in an attempt to complete a series of tasks that are prerequisites for more complex activities. Just seven teams advanced to the next round, which was unveiled last week at Boston Dynamics: ATLAS, one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built.

ITRI wins three 2013 R&D 100 Awards

July 12, 2013 2:31 pm | News | Comments

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has announced that it won three 2013 R&D 100 Award. ITRI has earned 16 awards for consecutive six years. ITRI's iAT technology, ButyFix and FluxMerge were awarded the three awards.

Miniature backup for when your GPS fails

July 11, 2013 8:10 am | News | Comments

In an apple seed-sized pellet of glass, Univ. of Michigan engineering researchers have packed seven devices that together could potentially provide navigation in the absence of the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS.) Space-based GPS is far from fail-proof. It doesn't work indoors, near tall buildings or in heavy cloud cover; and it's relatively easy to jam, researchers say.

Invention transforms plain surfaces into low-cost touchscreens

July 10, 2013 9:26 am | News | Comments

A low-cost system developed in Singapore, based on the principles of vibration and imaging, can turn a whiteboard, glass window or even a wooden tabletop into a responsive, touch-sensitive surface. According to its developers, retrofitting the system onto existing flat-panel TVs will transform them into new, touch-sensitive display screens.

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