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Testing the reins in a smoke filled area Courtesy of Sheffield Hallam University

Robot Guide Dogs could be Firefighters’ Eyes

March 26, 2015 10:59 am | by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) | News | Comments

Firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital seconds and find it easier to identify objects and obstacles, thanks to revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs. The small mobile robot — equipped with tactile sensors — would lead the way, with the firefighter following a meter or so behind holding a rein. The robot would help the firefighter move swiftly in ‘blind’ conditions.

Expedition 43 Soyuz Rolls Out for Launch

March 26, 2015 9:12 am | by NASA | News | Comments

The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome...

Lights in Over 7,000 Cities will go out for Earth Hour this Saturday

March 25, 2015 5:26 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

The World Wildlife Fund’s ninth annual Earth Hour is set to roll across the globe at 8:30 pm...

Kepler Wins National Air and Space Museum Trophy

March 25, 2015 11:55 am | by NASA | News | Comments

The team in charge of NASA's Kepler mission, responsible for history's first detection of Earth-...

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President Barack Obama tries out a wheelchair with a design modification by Kaitlin Reed, 16, of Dover, MA, next to Mohammed Sayed, 16, of Cambridge, MA, who is originally from Afghanistan, during a tour of the White House Science Fair at the White House

Obama, Wowed by Young Scientists, Announces New STEM Pledges

March 24, 2015 2:43 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

The small Lego machine inside the White House whirred, and in a moment it was turning the pages of a story book. One page flipped, then another, ever faster as President Barack Obama marveled at its efficiency. The contraption's eventual aim would be to allow paralyzed or arthritic patients to read books despite their disabilities. "How did you figure this out?" Obama, impressed, asked its inventors.

Kuebler and his students used direct laser writing, a kind of nanoscale 3-D printing, to create the miniature lattices. The team then ran light beams through the lattices and confirmed that they could flow light without loss through turns that are twice a

New Light-bending Record Critical for Next-gen Supercomputing

March 24, 2015 1:32 pm | by University of Central Florida | News | Comments

A device resembling a plastic honeycomb yet much smaller than a bee’s stinger can steer light beams around tighter curves than ever before possible, while keeping the integrity and intensity of the beam intact. The work introduces a more effective way to transmit data rapidly on electronic circuit boards by using light.

The winning teams from those tournaments join the global competition at FIRST Championship, bringing skills, enthusiasm, infectious good will and, of course, hundreds of amazing robots of all sizes to engage in friendly competition.

FIRST Championship: The Ultimate Sport for the Mind

March 20, 2015 2:43 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

FIRST Championship is an annual three-and-a-half-day robotics competition that is the culmination of several FIRST programs. The high-tech spectator event brings together three separate robotics competitions. The winning teams from those tournaments join the global competition at FIRST Championship, bringing skills, enthusiasm, infectious good will and, of course, hundreds of amazing robots.

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Giant beetles present a potential alternative to remote-controlled drones

Remote-controlled Cyborg Beetle Flies, Turns and Hovers

March 19, 2015 2:40 pm | by Nanyang Technological University | News | Comments

Breaking new grounds in the future of remote-controlled drone technology, researchers have developed a living machine whose flight can be wirelessly controlled with minimal human intervention. Mounted on top of a giant flower beetle, a tiny, electronic backpack with a built-in wireless receiver and transmitter converts radio signals received remotely into a variety of actions in the beetle.

CoSMIC (Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC) Lab full-duplex transceiver IC that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio. Courtesy of Jin Zhou and Harish Krishnaswamy,

New Technology May Double Radio Frequency Data Capacity

March 16, 2015 12:33 pm | by Columbia University | News | Comments

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers has invented a technology — full-duplex radio integrated circuits (ICs) — that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio. Up to now, this has been thought to be impossible: transmitters and receivers either work at different times, or at the same time but at different frequencies.

Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) observatories are processed for launch in a clean room at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, FL. The spacecraft were launched into an oblong orbit stretching thousands of miles into the magnetosphere. (A

NASA Launches Four Spacecraft to Solve Magnetic Mystery

March 13, 2015 10:50 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

NASA launched four identical spacecraft March 12, 2015, on a billion-dollar mission to study the explosive give-and-take of the Earth and sun's magnetic fields. The unmanned Atlas rocket — and NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft — soared into a clear late-night sky, right on time. Within two hours, all four observatories were flying free.

ANSYS 16.0's structural mechanics suite supports Xeon Phi with shared-memory and distributed-memory parallelism for both the Linux and Windows platforms.

ANSYS, Intel Collaborate to Spur Innovation

March 13, 2015 9:10 am | by ANSYS | News | Comments

Ansys has announced that engineers using ANSYS 16.0 in combination with Intel Xeon technology can realize a 300 percent decrease in solution time. The ANSYS and Intel partnership ensures that simulation engineers performing structural analysis can expect seamless high-performance computing (HPC) operations with multi-core Xeon E5 v3 processors and many-core Xeon Phi coprocessors.

A prototype urinal is the result of a partnership between researchers at UWE Bristol and Oxfam. Courtesy of University of the West of England

Urine Power to Light Disaster Zone Camps

March 9, 2015 4:59 pm | by UWE Bristol | News | Comments

A toilet, conveniently situated near the Student Union Bar at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), is proving pee can generate electricity. It is hoped the pee-power technology will light cubicles in refugee camps, which are often dark and dangerous places, particularly for women.

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Magnetic spin-waves in a solid. Illustration courtesy of Christoph Hohmann / NIM

Taming Magnetic Vortices: A Unified Theory for Skyrmion-materials

March 4, 2015 11:49 am | by University of Cologne | News | Comments

In the future, magnetic vortex structures — so-called skyrmions — have the potential to store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, physicists have succeeded in characterizing the electromagnetic properties of insulating, semiconducting and conducting skyrmion-materials and have developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior.

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet.  The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or

NASA Spacecraft Making First Visit to Dwarf Planet Ceres

March 3, 2015 10:26 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet. The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or other orbit captures, the arrival won't be a nail-biter. Still, Dawn had to travel some three billion miles to reach the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Future applications of the optical lattice clock: Measuring the different time delays produced by varied driving routes for a motor vehicle carrying an optical lattice clock allows gravitational potential to be mapped. Anomalies in gravitational potential

Cryogenically Cooled Clocks Keep Time for 16 Billion Years

March 2, 2015 11:01 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

We all like to know our watches keep the time well, but researchers are taking precision to an entirely new dimension. The group demonstrated two cryogenically cooled optical lattice clocks that can be synchronized to a tremendous one part in 2.0 x 10-18 — meaning that they would only go out of synch by a second in 16 billion years. This is nearly 1,000 times more precise than the current international standard cesium atomic clock.

In this April 26, 2009 file photo, actor Leonard Nimoy poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, CA. Nimoy, famous for playing officer Mr. Spock in “Star Trek” died Friday, February 27, 2015, in Los Angeles of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Live Long and Prosper, Mr. #Spock! Leonard Nimoy dies at 83

February 27, 2015 2:31 pm | by Lynn Elber, AP Television Writer | News | Comments

Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of Star Trek fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, has died. Nimoy died Friday of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home, with family at his side, said his son, Adam Nimoy. He was 83.

A 3-D model of the new class of auxetic metamaterials that defy logic and can be used to create better skin grafts and new smart materials. Courtesy of University of Malta

Logic-defying Mathematical Model could lead to Better Skin Grafts, New Smart Materials

February 26, 2015 2:00 pm | by Cassi Camilleri, University of Malta | News | Comments

Pull on a piece of plastic at separate ends; it becomes thinner. So does a rubber band. One might assume tha,t when a force is applied along an axis, materials will always stretch and become thinner. Wrong. Thanks to their peculiar internal geometry, auxetic materials grow wider. After confounding scientists for decades, researchers are now developing mathematical models to explain the unusual behavior of these logic-defying materials

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As a flying laboratory, ESA's OPS-SAT will test and validate new techniques in mission control and on-board systems. It will be operated by ESA's European Space Operations Centre as a test and validation resource for over 100 European industrial partners

Flying Software Lab to Test Radically New Experimental Control Systems

February 26, 2015 8:35 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

ESA is developing a mini-satellite to test out radically new control systems and techniques and to demonstrate drastically improved mission control capabilities that will arise when satellites can fly more powerful on-board computers. Known as Ops-Sat, it is made up of three CubeSat units with deployable solar panels. Although only 30 cm high, it contains an experimental computer 10 times more powerful than any current spacecraft.

NWChem molecular modeling software takes full advantage of a wide range of parallel computing systems, including Cascade. Courtesy of PNNL

PNNL Shifts Computational Chemistry into Overdrive

February 25, 2015 8:29 am | by Karol Kowalski, Ph.D., and Edoardo Apra, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

We computational chemists are an impatient lot. Despite the fact that we routinely deal with highly complicated chemical processes running on our laboratory’s equally complex HPC clusters, we want answers in minutes or hours, not days, months or even years. In many instances, that’s just not feasible; in fact, there are times when the magnitude of the problem simply exceeds the capabilities of the HPC resources available to us.

Hydraulic connections of the Fast Cycle Magnet cable to allow the cooling of the magnet’s conductor (cable in conduit type) with supercritical helium. Courtesy of Maximilien Brice

What to Expect Next from the World’s Largest Particle Accelerator

February 24, 2015 2:37 pm | by Kate Greene, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory | News | Comments

In March, when researchers flip the switch to the world’s largest, most powerful particle accelerator, scientists from all over the world will be watching. Physicists expect the refurbished, higher-energy Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will build on the 2012 discovery of the Higgs particle and crack open even more mysteries of the universe

Rube did not build the machines he drew, but his cartoons have become an inspiration to aspiring engineers and scientists across the world. Courtesy of Jeff Kubina

A Comically Involved, Complicated Invention, Laboriously Contrived to Perform a Simple Operation

February 24, 2015 10:34 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Of course, I’m talking about the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest! This annual international competition challenges teams of students from middle school to college-age to build the most elaborate and hilarious contraption that successfully achieves the task at hand. This year’s contest is already off and running. The 2015 Task: Erase a Chalkboard.

Another myth is that scientists look like this. U.S. Army RDECOM/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Seven Myths about Scientists Debunked

February 19, 2015 2:07 pm | by Jeffrey Craig and Marguerite Evans-Galea, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Articles | Comments

As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally regarding scientific researchers.

What would a submarine to explore the liquid methane seas of Saturn's Moon Titan look like? This design concept was developed for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, by NASA Glenn's COMPASS Team, and technologists and scientists from the

Exploring the Depths of Kraken Mare — by Space Submarine!

February 18, 2015 3:23 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Named after a legendary sea monster, Kraken Mare is believed to be the largest body of liquid on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. It extends nearly 150,000 square miles across the moon's north-polar region and is made of liquified hydrocarbons. According to a conference presentation given at the 2015 NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Symposium, NASA hopes to send a submarine to explore the frigid methane sea by 2040.

The latest version of the telescopic contact lens, with a quarter for scale. Courtesy of Eric Tremblay and Joe Ford, EPFL

Telescopic Contact Lens Prototype Unveiled

February 18, 2015 12:33 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

An estimated 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Age-related macular degeneration alone is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the Western world. Optics specialist Eric Tremblay from EPFL has unveiled a new prototype telescopic contact lens — the first of its kind — giving hope for better, stronger vision. The optics specialist also debuted complementary smart glasses that recognize winks and ignore blinks

Not the Red Planet but Utah, one of the more Mars-like areas on Earth.

Mars is the Next Step for Humanity – We Must Take It

February 18, 2015 9:40 am | by Ashley Dove-Jay, University of Bristol | Articles | Comments

Elon Musk has built a US$12 billion company in an endeavour to pave the way to Mars for humanity. He insists that Mars is a “long-term insurance policy” for “the light of consciousness” in the face of climate change, extinction events, and our recklessness with technology. On the other hand, astronaut Chris Hadfield is sceptical: “Humanity is not going extinct,” he told me.

Val Fitch and his Princeton colleague James Cronin received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1980 for high-energy experiments conducted in 1964 that overturned fundamental assumptions about symmetries and invariances that are characteristic of the laws of ph

Nobel Laureate and Physicist Val Fitch dies at 91

February 13, 2015 3:06 pm | by Princeton University | News | Comments

A towering figure in physics who helped shape our understanding of the universe, Nobel laureate Val Logsdon Fitch died peacefully February 5, 2015. He was 91. Known for foundational contributions to the standard model of particle physics, Fitch is remembered for his modesty and his kindness as well as for his experiments and insight into the fundamental nature of matter.

Researchers found most of the sound produced from the violin and its ancestors flows through a sound hole's perimeter, not its interior. Courtesy of the researchers

Acoustic Dynamics: Modeling Power Efficiency in the Violin

February 13, 2015 11:16 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

Some of the most prized violins in the world were crafted in the Italian workshops of Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri — master violinmaking families from the 17th and 18th centuries who produced increasingly powerful instruments in the renaissance and baroque musical eras. These violins, worth millions of dollars today, represent the Cremonese period — what is now considered the golden age of violinmaking.

A first-of-its-kind National Academy of Sciences report said that injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat should be studied and perhaps tested outdoors in small projects. Courtesy of Robert Simmon and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, bas

Time to Examine Purposely Cooling the Planet?

February 12, 2015 2:37 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

It's time to study and maybe even test the idea of cooling the Earth by injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat, a first-of-its-kind federal science report said on February 10, 2015. The idea was once considered fringe — to purposely re-engineer the planet's climate as a last ditch effort to battle global warming with an artificial cloud. No longer.

Researchers are reporting a fascinating discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers.Courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

Bringing Texture to Touchscreens: How the Brain Makes Sense of Data from Fingers

February 12, 2015 2:31 pm | by Megan Fellman, Northwestern University | News | Comments

What if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? What if touch was as integrated into our ubiquitous technology as sight and sound? Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University researchers now report a fascinating discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers.

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