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Category: Mechanical Engineering

Lighting a path to smarter homes, roads and bridges

If you’re worried about carbon monoxide poisoning, you might purchase a detector for your home. But what if your house itself could sense carbon monoxide and other potentially harmful gases – nitrogen oxides, natural gas, formaldehyde – without the need for a separate device for each chemical? And what if all these sensors spoke to each other through a single interface, a sort of super-thermostat? This vision could be realized one day using sensor technology currently being developed at…

Drones in disaster zones could prove a lifesaver

Credit: University of South Australia Pioneering research from the University of South Australia has shown for the first time that drones can be used to detect human vital signs in war zones and natural disasters. Under a collaborative agreement with the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, UniSA researchers have successfully trialled unmanned aerial vehicles to measure heart and respiratory rates using remote-sensing imaging systems, while hovering three metres from humans. Video footage from the drones can detect changes…

NASA tests first 3-D printed rocket engine part made with two different alloys

An image from a microscope reveals how the two metals, copper alloy and Inconel, mix and interlock to form a strong bond created by the innovative 3-D printing process during manufacturing of the igniter prototype. Credit: NASA/UAH/Judy Schneider Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, tested NASA’s first 3-D printed rocket engine prototype part made of two different metal alloys through an innovative advanced manufacturing process. NASA has been making and evaluating durable 3-D printed rocket parts…

Carmakers face billions in European CO2 fines from 2021: study

Bigger cars could mean bigger fines as automakers fail to meet new emissions standards Big-name carmakers including Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler face fines running into the billions for failure to meet tough new European carbon dioxide emissions limits slated for 2021, a study has found. “Only four out of 11 carmakers are forecast to meet the EU 2021 CO2 emission target, with the rest facing significant fines,” researchers from British firm PA Consulting said in a statement Friday. European…

SLAM: Bringing art to life through technology | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code

“To many, technology seems unapproachable. But through art, technology becomes more human and even an artistic medium in its own right.” These are the words San Francisco artist Heather Day wrote in a proposal letter to Facebook, where she hoped to combine her art with Facebook’s Augmented Reality (AR) technology. She never sent the letter, but in a serendipitous twist, Facebook contacted her weeks later with a proposal of their own: an AR art project for our Menlo Park headquarters.…

Researchers working on ways to power the next generation of prosthetic limbs

Dr Robert Kerr and a team from BatTRI-Hub are working on ways to power a unique robotic hand. Credit: Deakin University Scientists from Deakin University’s and CSIRO’s Battery Technology Research and Innovation Hub (BatTRI-Hub) are aiming to develop safe and reliable batteries for a unique robotic hand created by researchers from the University of Wollongong as part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES). Unveiled in February this year, the soft robotic hand prototype combines new, intelligent…

Sensing with a twist: A new kind of optical nanosensor uses torque for signal processing

As electronic devices get smaller, their ability to provide precise, chip-based sensing of dynamic physical properties such as motion become challenging to develop. An international group of researchers have put a literal twist on this challenge, demonstrating a new nanoscale optomechanical resonator that can detect torsional motion at near state-of-the-art sensitivity. Their resonator, into which they couple light, also demonstrates torsional frequency mixing, a novel ability to impact optical energies using mechanical motions. Source link…

Screaming Circuits: Mistakes Were Made

I recently ran a batch of my Neo Pixel clock boards through the factory here. It’s an Arduino UNO-based design that I made for myself not long ago. It sports an Atmega328P, with bootloader, an FT231X USB chip, and a DS3231 real time clock (RTC) chip. Pretty standard stuff. It doesn’t even use small parts. All the passives are 0805 size. There’s nothing exotic here. So, where did I go wrong? I also used my 3D printer to make a…

Tales from the Early Internet

Paul Mockapetris, Inventor, DNS, and David Conrad, CTO, ICANN Moderator: Matthew Prince, Co-Founder & CEO, Cloudflare Photo by Cloudflare Staff MP: You guys wrote all this stuff; why is the internet so broken? PM: People complain about security flaws, but there is no security in original design of dns. I think of it that we haven’t had the right investment in rebuilding the infrastructure. Original stuff was only good for 10 years, but we’ve been using it for 30. DC:…