Mechatronics Zone Blog

Ultra-Light Aluminum Eyed for Applications in Electronics, Medicine, Spaceflight

By Elizabeth Montalbano | September 28, 2017

While people don’t think of aluminum as particularly heavy metal, it’s denser than one thinks in its conventional form—heavier even than water.

Now researchers in the United States and Russia have developed a theoretical model for creating aluminum that’s even lighter than water, which could give this type of metal unprecedented applications for use in electronics, medicine, and spaceflight.


iPhone 8 / 8 Plus Teardowns: As Tough as Glass

By Chris Wiltz | September 27, 2017

Apple's iPhone 8 and 8 Plus announcement was overshadowed in a matter of minutes by the same-day reveal of the much more leading-edge (and expensive) iPhone X. But the iPhone 8 should not be overlooked.

Siemens, HP Introduce New Software Suite for Multi Jet Fusion Printers

By Tracey Schelmetic | September 27, 2017

HP and Siemens have been partners for many years, but the companies continue to build on the relationship with an eye toward pushing out innovation in additive manufacturing (AM), transforming it from a prototyping technology to a cost-effective production technology. AM, according to HP and Siemens, can help companies “escape the limits of conventional manufacturing.” One of the ways to accomplish this, they say, is to improve industrial 3D printing to increase speed to market, differentiate on product performance, and simplify production and supply chain operations.

Nest Is Applying IoT Know-How to Home Security

By Chris Wiltz | September 26, 2017

A year ago we wondered if Nest might become the first high-profile failure in the consumer Internet of Things (IoT) market. But now the company is aiming for a comeback with the release of a suite of new products aimed at applying Nest's IoT know-how to home security.

3D-Printed, High-Performance Polymer Could Be Used in Space

By Elizabeth Montalbano | September 26, 2017

Researchers have developed a novel way to 3D print the type of high-performance polymer materials that can withstand high temperatures for use in aerospace and numerous other applications.

10 Cutting-Edge Disaster Relief Technologies

By Chris Wiltz | September 25, 2017
The Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) is back in Silicon Valley and it’s bigge

Solar-Cell Material Defects Can Be Healed by Light, Humidity

By Elizabeth Montalbano | September 25, 2017

An international research team has discovered that defects in the crystalline structure of perovskite—which is used to make solar cells—can be healed permanently by exposing them to light, improving the material in its generation of solar energy.

UMD and U.S. Army Research Lab Engineers Develop 4.0 Aqueous Lithium-Ion Battery

By Tracey Schelmetic | September 22, 2017

The lithium-ion batteries that power most of our devices today are little powerhouses of energy. It’s estimated that they’re contained in about nine billion portable electronic devices globally.

The batteries are relatively simple, consisting of two electrodes (anode and cathode) separated by electrolyte. Unfortunately, they’re also flammable, toxic and sensitive to ambient atmosphere, which has made them unsuitable for large-scale applications or extreme environments.

New Material Cuts Weight of Vehicle Window and Door Seals

By Charles Murray | September 22, 2017

A new elastomer shows promise as a lighter, more durable sealing material for vehicle doors and windows.

Five Ways to Rethink Enclosures for the IoT

By Steve Sullivan | September 21, 2017

The industrial Internet of Things (IoT) impacts the ability of companies to manage data and function efficiently. With more than 300 end-to-end IoT solutions in the marketplace, it can be overwhelming for industrial engineers trying to understand IT implementation and workflows.

With all of the challenges that the IoT brings, it is important to consider that the workhorse of infrastructure remains the enclosure. Whether production equipment and controls are communicating locally or pushing data to the cloud, the enclosure is crucial to success.