Transforming last night’s leftovers into green energy

June 20th, 2017 Engineering

In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a study.

new technology for autonomous ship navigation systems

June 19th, 2017 Engineering

A safe steering for the remote-monitored and controlled autonomous ships of the future is currently under development. The new technology has been developed for navigation systems and ship autopilots, which steer ships automatically.

The future of our cities: Engineers test resilient, intelligent infrastructure

June 14th, 2017 Engineering

Engineers tested several advanced sensors that can collectively measure strain, temperature, movement and leakage – installed along a 40-foot section of a hazard-resilient pipeline being tested for earthquake fault-rupture performance. The results could have huge consequences for urban planners and municipal leaders.

Energy-efficient cleaning robot

June 14th, 2017 Engineering

State-of-the-art solar cells are efficient — but are even more so when they are kept clean. A cleaning robot enables solar panels to deliver at full capacity.

3-D printed tensegrity objects capable of dramatic shape change

June 14th, 2017 Engineering

A team of researchers has developed a way to use 3-D printers to create objects capable of expanding dramatically that could someday be used in applications ranging from space missions to biomedical devices.

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy

June 14th, 2017 Engineering

New technology will enable properties to share solar energy and will mean low energy bills for consumers.

3D printing breakthrough heralds ‘new era’ for advanced skin models

June 12th, 2017 Engineering

A new method for 3D printing human skin has now been created, which both shortens the process and reduces the cost.

Robotic device developed to help stroke survivors recover

June 12th, 2017 Engineering

A new robotic tool has been developed for assessments of muscle overactivity and movement dysfunction in stroke survivors.

Scientists make biodegradable microbeads from cellulose

June 9th, 2017 Engineering

On World Ocean Day, researchers announce they have developed biodegradable cellulose microbeads from a sustainable source that could potentially replace harmful plastic ones that contribute to ocean pollution.

Smiling during victory could hurt future chances of cooperation

June 9th, 2017 Engineering

Researchers have studied how reacting with a smile affects game outcomes, hoping one day to empower virtual humans with this knowledge.

Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures

June 9th, 2017 Engineering

Heterogeneous nanostructured materials are widely used in various optoelectronic devices, including solar cells. However, the nano-interfaces contain structural defects that can affect performance. Calculations have helped researchers ID the root cause of the defects in two materials and provide design rules to avoid them.

Combatting weeds with lasers

June 8th, 2017 Engineering

A robot automatically identifies weeds in a field and combats them with a short laser pulse. Sustainable agriculture, which avoids the use of herbicides as far as possible, could benefit from this smart idea.

Turning car plastics into foams with coconut oil

June 8th, 2017 Engineering

End-of-life vehicles, with their plastic, metal and rubber components, are responsible for millions of tons of waste around the world each year. Now, a team reports that the plastic components in these vehicles can be recycled with coconut oil and re-used as foams for the construction, packaging and automotive industries.

Oyster shells inspire new method to make superstrong, flexible polymers

June 7th, 2017 Engineering

Engineers have developed a method inspired by the nacre of oyster shells, a composite material with extraordinary mechanical properties, including great strength and resilience. By changing the crystallization speed of a polymer well-mixed with nanoparticles, the team controlled how the nanoparticles self-assemble into structures at three different length scales. This multiscale ordering makes the base material almost an order of magnitude stiffer while still retaining the desired deformability and lightweight behavior of the polymeric materials.

Scientists discover a 2-D magnet

June 7th, 2017 Engineering

For the first time, scientists have discovered magnetism in the 2-D world of monolayers, or materials that are formed by a single atomic layer. The findings demonstrate that magnetic properties can exist even in the 2-D realm — opening a world of potential applications.

Guts to glory? Newly discovered enzyme complexes in herbivore digestive tracts show promise for sustainable fuels, medicines

June 7th, 2017 Engineering

A newly discovered enzyme complexes in herbivore digestive tracts show promise for sustainable fuels and medicines, report scientists.

Explained: The Five Most Common Automotive Suspensions

June 6th, 2017 Automotive, Engineering

From the June 2017 issue How, you may wonder, do dynamics engineers determine what kind of hardware to use in a suspension? Here’s the short version: Other people tell them. Engineers must work within the constraints of the basic suspension arrangement dictated by packaging requirements, budget, and the vehicle architecture. But there’s plenty of tweaking […]

Variable speed limits could reduce crashes, ease congestion in highway work zones

June 6th, 2017 Engineering

As the summer months approach, most people turn to thoughts of sunshine, outdoor barbecues and destination trips. Yet travelers often are greeted by detours, lane closures and delays for road repairs that generally are reserved for warmer weather. Researchers have studied systems to alleviate inevitable backups and delays. Researchers found that using variable speed limits in construction zones may ease congestion, reduce crashes and make work zones safer for both workers and travelers nationally.

Engineer unveils new spin on future of transistors with novel design

June 5th, 2017 Engineering

An engineer has designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon that might one day replace the silicon transistors that power today’s electronic devices.

Wearable system helps visually impaired users navigate

May 31st, 2017 Engineering

A new system has been developed that uses a 3-D camera, a belt with separately controllable vibrational motors distributed around it, and an electronically reconfigurable Braille interface to give visually impaired users more information about their environments.