Mechatronics Zone Blog

Is All Engineering Mechatronics Now?

By Rob Spiegel | September 21, 2017

The term mechatronics is getting wide use, but there is confusion about what it means exactly. The discipline is widely associated with robotics, as the design, build and deployment of robots requires the cross disciplines of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.

The Top 15 Engineering Schools by Salary

By Rob Spiegel | September 20, 2017



3D-Printed ‘Smart’ Biomaterials Respond to Stimuli, Can Degrade on Demand

By Elizabeth Montalbano | September 20, 2017

Researchers at Brown University have demonstrated a 3D-printing technique for fabricating “smart” biomaterials that can respond to stimuli, self-heal, and degrade on demand, paving the way for a number of next-generation medical and other applications.

Last Days to Nominate Your Product for Innovation Recognition

By Naomi Price | September 20, 2017

Friday is the deadline to enter your stand-out artificial-intelligence, virtual-reality, computer vision, education, wearable, IoT, or open-source product for the Arm TechCon 2017 Innovation Awards. These awards are open to all exhibitors at ARM TechCon 2017 (October 24-26, 2017, in the Santa Clara Convention Center).  

Imagine Feeling What Your Autonomous Car Feels

By Chris Wiltz | September 19, 2017

Talk to someone who loves their car and you'll often hear them talk about having a feeling of oneness with their vehicle and how their car feels like an extension of themselves. It's a sensation that may go away if autonomous cars become ubiquitous and transform cars from less of an individualized experience and more into a travel utility akin to trains, buses, and airplanes.

Nano-Sized Actuator Lifts 165 Times Its Own Weight

By Elizabeth Montalbano | September 19, 2017

Ants, though tiny, are known for their ability to lift things many times their own weight. Researchers have created a nano-sized device that acts similarly as a small muscle; while it weighs only 1.6 milligrams—or about the same as five poppy seeds—it can lift 265 milligrams, 165 times its own weight.

From Advanced Robotics to Rapid Prototyping: 10 of the Varied Faces of Smart Manufacturing

By Rob Spiegel | September 18, 2017

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.


Advanced Materials Cut Weight of New Chrysler Minivan

By Charles Murray | September 18, 2017

Using a blend of advanced materials, Fiat Chrysler engineers have created a stiff minivan body that’s 168 lbs lighter than predecessors.

Consumers Are Right About Autonomous Cars

By Charles Murray | September 15, 2017

It would be easy to look at the results of Gartner Inc.'s recent survey about consumer attitudes toward autonomous cars, and conclude that the respondents are a quaint, technically-unsophisticated bunch. The truth, however, might be a little more complex than that.

Solving the OT/IT Battle by Certifying the Middle

By Rob Spiegel | September 15, 2017

For plant control operations, the immutable first priority is uptime. For the IT department in the plant’s office, the intractable mission is security. In today’s connected plant, the two groups have to find a compromise in order to move the overall goals of the plant forward. Yet both groups find it difficult to give up their number-one priority. Opto 22 has developed a certification program for its integrators that is designed to solve this thorny problem.