Engineering articlesA proven tool for losing weight: reading food labels
Diet and exercise have long been the top two elements of effective weight loss. Now add a third: reading the labels on packaged foods.
New supercomputer sees well enough to drive a car someday
Navigating our way down the street is something most of us take for granted; we seem to recognize cars, other people, trees and lampposts instantaneously and without much thought. In fact, visually interpreting our environment as quickly as we do is an astonishing feat requiring an enormous number of computations-which is just one reason that coming up with a computer-driven system that can mimic the human brain in visually recognizing objects has proven so difficult.
Home's electrical wiring acts as antenna to receive low-power sensor data
If these walls had ears, they might tell a homeowner some interesting things. Like when water is dripping into an attic crawl space, or where an open window is letting hot air escape during winter.
Engineers make artificial skin out of nanowires
Engineers at UC Berkeley have developed a pressure-sensitive electronic material from semiconductor nanowires that could one day give new meaning to the term "thin-skinned."
UA engineers build lunar vegetable garden
Researchers are demonstrating that plants from Earth could be grown without soil on the moon or Mars, setting the table for astronauts who would find potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables awaiting their arrival.
Researchers give robots the capability for deceptive behavior
A robot deceives an enemy soldier by creating a false trail and hiding so that it will not be caught. While this sounds like a scene from one of the Terminator movies, it's actually the scenario of an experiment conducted by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology as part of what is believed to be the first detailed examination of robot deception.
Electricity collected from the air could become the newest alternative energy source
Imagine devices that capture electricity from the air - much like solar cells capture sunlight - and using them to light a house or recharge an electric car. Imagine using similar panels on the rooftops of buildings to prevent lightning before it forms. Strange as it may sound, scientists already are in the early stages of developing such devices, according to a report at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Human-powered ornithopter becomes first ever to achieve sustained flight
Aviation history was made when the University of Toronto's human-powered aircraft with flapping wings became the first of its kind to fly continuously.
How heating our homes could help reduce climate change
A radical new heating system where homes would be heated by district centres rather than in individual households could dramatically cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.
Nuclear-fuel report challenges key assumptions
Uranium supplies will not limit the expansion of nuclear power in the U.S. or around the world for the foreseeable future, according to a major new interdisciplinary study produced under the auspices of the MIT Energy Initiative.
Research lays foundation for building on the Moon or anywhere else
The key to the stability of any building is its foundation, but it is difficult to test some building sites in advance - such as those on the moon. New research from North Carolina State University is helping resolve the problem by using computer models that can utilize a small sample of soil to answer fundamental questions about how soil at a building site will interact with foundations.
The world can be powered by alternative energy, using today's technology, in 20-40 years
If someone told you there was a way you could save 2.5 million to 3 million lives a year and simultaneously halt global warming, reduce air and water pollution and develop secure, reliable energy sources - nearly all with existing technology and at costs comparable with what we spend on energy today - why wouldn't you do it?
3-d tv? How about holographic tv?
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2010 was abuzz about a slew of prototype 3-D TVs, but if new research from the MIT Media Lab is any indication, holographic TVs could be close behind. At the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers' (SPIE) Practical Holography conference in San Francisco the weekend of Jan. 23, members of Michael Bove's Object-Based Media Group presented a new system that can capture visual information using off-the-shelf electronics, send it over the Internet to a holographic display, and update the image at rates approaching those of feature films.
Internet addresses: An inevitable shortage, but an uneven one
As Internet authorities prepare to announce that they have handed over all of the available addresses, a USC research group that monitors address usage has completed the latest in its series of Internet censuses.
Laser welding in the right light
Laser welding is on the advance, but it also has its limits: it has been impossible to fuse two transparent plastic components together - up until now. Researchers have now succeeded in circumventing this hurdle - by choosing the right wavelength. The new welding process is revolutionizing bioanalytics.
DNA: Building block for smaller, smarter electronics?
Using a concept called DNA origami, Arizona State University researchers are trying to pave the way to produce the next generations of electronics products.
UMD advance lights possible new path to creating next gen computer chips
University of Maryland researchers have made a breakthrough in the use of visible light for making tiny integrated circuits. Though their advance is probably at least a decade from commercial use, they say it could one day make it possible for companies like Intel to continue their decades long tread of making ever smaller, faster, and cheaper computer chips.
Normal air could halve fuel consumption
Every time a car brakes, energy is generated. At present this energy is not used, but new research shows that it is perfectly possible to save it for later use in the form of compressed air. It can then provide extra power to the engine when the car is started and save fuel by avoiding idle operation when the car is at a standstill.
Liquids scanner for airport security
Air passengers one day may be able to carry their soaps, shampoo and bottled water onto the plane again, thanks to technology originally developed at UC Davis to check the quality of wine.
Scientists engineer a surface to trap a rainbow
A group of electrical engineers and chemists at Lehigh has experimentally verified the "rainbow" trapping effect, demonstrating that plasmonic structures can slow down light waves over a broad range of wavelengths.