Fast, non-destructive test for two-dimensional materials

April 29th, 2017 Engineering

A fast, nondestructive optical method for analyzing defects in two-dimensional materials has been developed, with applications in electronics, sensing, early cancer diagnosis and water desalination.

New material inspired by a sea worm changes according to the environment

April 28th, 2017 Engineering

The gelatinous jaw of a sea worm, which becomes hard or flexible depending on the environment around it, has inspired researchers to develop a new material that can be applied to soft robotics. Despite having the texture of a gel, this compound is endowed with great mechanical resistance and consistency, and is able to adapt to changing environments.

How state-of-the-art camera that behaves like the human eye could benefit robots and smart devices

April 27th, 2017 Engineering

Experts will explore how an artificial vision system inspired by the human eye could be used by robots of the future — opening up new possibilities for securing footage from deep forests, war zones and even distant planets.

System can 3-D print an entire building

April 27th, 2017 Engineering

Researchers have developed a system that can 3-D print the basic structure of an entire building.

Stabilizing molecule could pave way for lithium-air fuel cell

April 27th, 2017 Engineering

Lithium-oxygen fuel cells boast energy density levels comparable to fossil fuels and are thus seen as a promising candidate for future transportation-related energy needs. Several roadblocks stand in the way of realizing that vision. An engineering lab has focused on one of those roadblocks — the loss of battery power, also known as capacity fade.

New interface allows more efficient, faster technique to remotely operate robots

April 25th, 2017 Engineering

A new interface allows users to simply point and click on an item, then choose a grasp, to control a robot remotely.

Growth under pressure: New metamaterial designed with counterintuitive property

April 24th, 2017 Engineering

Inspired by 3-D printing, researchers explored development of one mechanical property called effective static compressibility. As they now report, by using a single cartridge it’s possible to print a metamaterial which expands in size under hydrostatic pressure, even though it’s made up of material which behaves normally under hydrostatic pressure — that is, it shrinks. In principle, there is no limit to the negative value this material’s effective compressibility can take.

First-ever direct observation of chiral currents in quantum Hall atomic simulation

April 24th, 2017 Engineering

Using an atomic quantum simulator, scientists have achieved the first-ever direct observation of chiral currents in the model topological insulator, the 2-D integer quantum Hall system.

3D-printing of glass now possible

April 24th, 2017 Engineering

Three-dimensional printing allows extremely small and complex structures to be made even in small series. A new method now allows glass to be used for this technique. As a consequence of the properties of glass, such as transparency, thermal stability and resistance to acids, the use of this material in 3D-printing opens up manifold new applications in production and research, such as optics, data transmission, and biotechnology.

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

April 21st, 2017 Engineering

Research has demonstrated a scalable and reliable fabrication process of a large scale hyperlens device based on direct pattern transfer techniques. The research team’s new cost-effective fabrication method can be used to proliferate practical far-field and real-time super-resolution imaging devices that can be widely used in optics, biology, medical science, nanotechnology, and other related interdisciplinary fields.

Scientist’s new approach may accelerate design of high-power batteries

April 21st, 2017 Engineering

A model for designing novel materials used in electrical storage devices, such as car batteries and capacitors, has now been designed by researchers. This approach may dramatically accelerate discovery of new materials that provide cheap and efficient ways to store energy.

Making batteries from waste glass bottles

April 21st, 2017 Engineering

Researchers have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The batteries will extend the range of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and provide more power with fewer charges to personal electronics like cell phones and laptops.

Engineering technique is damaging materials research reveals

April 20th, 2017 Engineering

A technique that revolutionized scientists’ ability to manipulate and study minuscule materials, may have dramatic unintended consequences — altering their structural identity, new research reveals.

Robotic cheetah created

April 19th, 2017 Engineering

Engineers have developed a prototype cheetah robot. They have constructed a scaled-down robotic version of the fastest land animal in the world, with a view to replicating its movements. Relatively speaking, the robot moves using only about fifteen percent more energy than a real cheetah.

Taking the sting out of bone repair

April 18th, 2017 Engineering

Spherical biodegradable carriers support scalable and cost-effective stem cell expansion and bone formation for tissue engineering.

Rapid screening machine can read and separate protein sequences

April 18th, 2017 Engineering

The structural properties of proteins that could eventually become important materials for manufacturing and medicine are revealed by a novel optical technique that works rapidly to sort through amino acid sequences even inside living bacteria, according to a team of engineers.

Harnessing heat to power computers

April 18th, 2017 Engineering

Heat is commonly regarded as computing’s mortal enemy. Two researchers, however, flipped the question of how to keep computers cool to how to use heat as an alternative energy source.

Motor neurons adjust to control tasks, new brain research reveals

April 18th, 2017 Engineering

Motor cortical neurons optimally adjust how they encode movements in a task-specific manner, new research reveals. The findings enhance our understanding of how the brain controls movement and have the potential to improve the performance and reliability of brain-machine interfaces, or neural prosthetics, that assist paralyzed patients and amputees.

Speeding up the 3D printing process

April 15th, 2017 Engineering

Researchers have identified some bottlenecks in 3D printers, that, if improved, could speed up the entire process.

Drones collect measurements from a volcanic plume at Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala

April 15th, 2017 Engineering

A team of volcanologists and engineers have collected measurements from directly within volcanic clouds, together with visual and thermal images of inaccessible volcano peaks.