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In technology we trust

August 12, 2014 3:19 pm | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

Within twenty years, hands-free driving will be a reality. The prediction (at least for freeway driving), from Jim Toal, senior manager of product marketing, Vishay Optoelectronics has me in a state of skeptical excitement. While I’m ready for the day when I can hit “Home” ...

Career advice from the ECN engineers

August 12, 2014 10:23 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A few months ago, we asked our engineers (that’s you guys) a few questions about how you felt about retirement, engineering, and the future of the industry. (Check out the infographic or the Whiteboard in our August issue.) While we learned a lot from our experienced engineers (turns out most are happy with their careers), we also asked for some advice for engineers in the future.

Satisfying our power hunger

August 11, 2014 10:27 am | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

Design engineers continue to push the low-power envelope, particularly in mobile devices. Low power was a common theme at Sensors Expo 2014, held for the final time at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL from June 24th to the 26th....

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Self-assembling robot walks in minutes

August 11, 2014 9:49 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There have been major advances in robotics in the past couple years as far as personification and an expansion of applications. Some robots are even being designed to carry gear in active warzones (and look creepy as hell doing it.) This tiny robot from Harvard microrobotics engineers Sam Felton and Robot Wood brings something else entirely to the table....

Infographic: Battery drain and how to stop it

August 11, 2014 8:53 am | News | Comments

In this Infographic, "Infographic: Battery drain and how to stop it": Despite huge advances in technology, battery drain is an ongoing problem. Is it ever going to be solved? And, more importantly, what can we do to extend the life of our batteries in the meantime?

Why Russia’s anti-blogger law should terrify you

August 11, 2014 7:26 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

In case you missed it, Russia isn’t exactly copasetic with the whole “democracy” thing. Case in point: Vladimir Putin recently turned bloggers into vassals of the state. The law destroys online anonymity and makes bloggers responsible for third-party users on their sites....

Engineering Newswire: Robo-shipbuilder suit gives workers superhuman strength

August 8, 2014 1:25 pm | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering is participating in a pilot program, outfitting employees with robot exoskeletons to help them do their jobs, with superhuman strength. The Robo-Shipbuilder prototype suit is made of carbon....

How stadiums ensure Internet access with high-density Wi-Fi networks

August 8, 2014 10:07 am | by Dennis Burrell, Product Innovation Technologist, Ventev Wireless Infrastructure | Articles | Comments

For most people, visiting a major league stadium to watch a favorite team is a noteworthy event. In fact, with the enormous growth of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, it’s one of the most frequently shared experiences online....

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Don’t let ‘selfies’ define your self-worth

August 8, 2014 9:49 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Don’t get me wrong:  I like taking an occasional selfie every once in a while. Everyone likes to use their front camera when there isn’t a nearby mirror, just to check themselves out a little bit from time to time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a selfie, but people are getting a little carried away with these DIY pictures....

Is technology making our youth dumber?

August 8, 2014 8:09 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

I have little 2-3 year-old cousins that have the ability to use and comfortably navigate their way around a smart phone or a tablet. It is incredible to see how technology that takes older adults a longtime to figure out comes so natural to them. Just witnessing how much things have changed since I was younger is mind-blowing....

Engineering Update Episode 70: Japan’s military space force

August 7, 2014 1:27 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Following Japan’s approval of the Basic Space Law in 2008, allowing for the use of space for security purposes, the country recently announced the formation of a space-based military force by 2019. Most of us are probably familiar with Japan’s constitution — established by Allied Forces in 1947....

Cell power

August 7, 2014 12:16 pm | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

At the advent of the Integrated-Circuit Age, portable electric-powered devices were few. Correspondingly, less than a handful of battery chemistries and form factors served most applications. Truck and auto engines depended on lead-acid batteries....

Fiber-optic interconnects are a prime choice for military applications

August 7, 2014 11:32 am | by Mark Matus, Molex Global Product Manager for Rugged Interconnects | Articles | Comments

Downtime and poor performance in military systems are unacceptable. But finding fiber optic components that not only hold up under harsh conditions yet also consistently deliver superior throughput has proved challenging in the past — especially in recent years....

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Shrinking connectors uphold MIL-style requirements

August 7, 2014 11:01 am | by Klaus Montoya, Senior Cable Design Engineer, Elma Electronic | Articles | Comments

Physical characteristics, such as size and weight, aren’t the only real problem with using traditional MIL connectors in the growing number of small form factor (SFF) and unmanned applications. There is a significant technology challenge designers are facing, as well....

August 2014: Motion Control

August 6, 2014 2:56 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

In this day and age, anywhere you have a large crowd of people, you will have a large crowd of people using their phones. Technologically, this is a challenge when it comes to designing wireless networks capable of handling the load. In the August issue, we explore the problems and solutions for today's wireless companies and also discuss how motion control is changing the engineering landscape.

System efficiency as applied to motor-driven rotating equipment

August 6, 2014 2:15 pm | by William Livoti, Power Generation Business Development Manager, WEG Electric Corporation | Articles | Comments

Energy efficiency has become a major focus for our government, municipalities as well as power utilities and the industrial sector. Each entity has a specific area where they focus their attention.  In every case attention was directed to components, i.e. motors, pumps....

Applying COTS principles to motion control

August 6, 2014 12:21 pm | by Nate Holmes, Product Manager, Motion Control at National Instruments | Articles | Comments

When building a motion drive or controller, manufacturers traditionally implement advanced control techniques and package them in a black box with a few gain settings, a slider, or an autotuning feature, and the machine builder or end user may never know or care how the control is implemented....

Creating an automated art installation that runs like clockwork

August 6, 2014 12:01 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Imagine being a prospective student interested in attending East Carolina University arriving at the sprawling Greenville, North Carolina campus with your parents in tow and eager to take a look around. Suddenly, two doors on the library’s giant clock tower open up....

What board-level technologies will be game-changers in the near future?

August 6, 2014 11:02 am | Articles | Comments

In the case of long-term infrastructure planning, it is essential to consider how network function virtualization (NFV), will impact and enable data centers in the next five to 10 years. NFV is an ideal alternative to traditional networking solutions, as it allows organizations to upgrade infrastructure....

Is our own government turning privacy into a myth?

August 6, 2014 10:57 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Even though I am in my early 20’s, I can still remember a time where there was a distinct separation between private and public information. Sadly, privacy seems to be a thing of the past in today’s technologically innovative culture. CNN reports that, “even if you power off your cell phone, the U.S. government can turn it back on....

Listen to the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone

August 6, 2014 7:26 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It’s official. We can now 3D-print anything. At this point, we’ve had 3D-printed skulls, some candy, and a few odds and ends, but Olaf Diegel has created the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone. Instruments are particularly difficult to print because so much of the sound requires the perfect usage of air....

What engineers think about retirement

August 5, 2014 8:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

Retirement, that Golden Age of relaxation and hard-earned rest where you get to prop up your feet on the porch and yell at the neighborhood kids to get off your lawn. ECN wanted to know what our engineers had planned for their golden years, but as it turns out most of you are pretty happy to be working.

Significance of assertions for bus-interconnect verification

August 5, 2014 7:04 am | by Debjit Roy Choudhury, Anish Mon, Srinivasa Kothamasu, and Nagaraj Mahadevaiah, LSI | Articles | Comments

In any modern day multi-processor based system, bus interconnects are one of the most complex IP blocks. All these system bus-interconnects are the backbone of the whole system for end to end communication, carrying substantial transaction bandwidth across the chip....

Engineering Newswire: The Army’s new glow-in-the-dark bullets

August 4, 2014 3:15 pm | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Dubbed, One-Way Luminescence, or OWL, a new tracer round is being developed by engineers at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. The engineers are experimenting with a variety of potential solutions, but final design ...

PV connector meets the three highest certification standards on the market

August 4, 2014 2:33 pm | Amphenol | Product Releases | Comments

Amphenol Industrial Products Group (Sidney, NY) now offers a PV connector that meets all three of the highest certification standards on the market, allowing this one connector to be used globally.  The new H4 UTX meets IEC50521 TUV 1500V- Class A (All Access)....

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