Week in Review: 12/7/14 – 12/13/14

December 11, 2014

Penn Research Outlines Basic Rules for Construction With a Type of Origami
A team of University of Pennsylvania researchers is turning kirigami, a related art form that allows the paper to be cut, into a technique that can be applied equally to structures on those vastly divergent length scales. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation through its ODISSEI program, the American Philosophical Society and the Simons Foundation.

December 10, 2014

Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene
Researchers at Rice University have created flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled laser. The process works in air at room temperature and eliminates the need for hot furnaces and controlled environments, and it makes graphene that may be suitable for electronics or energy storage.

December 9, 2014

Local Scrabble player places second in world
A competitive Scrabble player who works at the Rome Air Force Research Laboratory, Lipe last month achieved what he called an “amazing experience,” finishing second at the world Scrabble Champions Tournament in London.

Contact lens merges plastics and active electronics via 3-D printing
As part of a project demonstrating new 3-D printing techniques, Princeton researchers have embedded tiny light-emitting diodes into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of colored light.

A Week in Review: 8/3/14 – 8/9/14

Aug. 8, 2014

Low-cost printable photonic integrated devices
By directly printing devices onto a functional resist with a high refractive index, optical components can be created without the use of any etching steps. This new low-cost fabrication technique can produce printable integrated circuits, as reported by researchers at aBeam Technologies, the Molecular Foundry and NanoOptic Devices. Presenting in Nanotechnology, several optical components are demonstrated, including ridge waveguides, light splitters and digital planar holograms that operate in the visible wavelength range. The approach could revolutionize the development of integrated photonic devices.

Aug. 7, 2014

Origami Robot Can Self-Assemble and Walk Without Human Help
A research team at Harvard and MIT announced today that they’ve created a self-assembling robot. The machine, which begins as a flat sheet of material, exploits principles of origami to fold itself into a 3-D robot capable of walking without any human assistance.

A Week in Review: 6/29/14 – 7/5/14

July 2, 2014

Researchers Invent ‘Meta Mirror’ to Help Advance Nonlinear Optical Systems Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have created a new nonlinear metasurface, or meta mirror, that could one day enable the miniaturization of laser systems. The invention, called a “nonlinear mirror” by the researchers, could help advance nonlinear laser systems that are used for chemical sensing, explosives detection, biomedical research and potentially many other applications.

Video: Origami Artists Don’t Fold Under Pressure
The four-day OrigamiUSA convention, held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, drew 650 people from a dozen countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The largest contingent was from the U.S., followed by Japan. And the convention is serious business — each attendee received a “survival kit,” which included a packet of origami paper and a giant schedule of the 215 classes offered.

FSU engineer uses light to change makeup of plastics
A FAMU-FSU College of Engineering professor is using rays of light to control the shape of a special type of plastic, a project that could have long-term implications for manufacturing, solar energy harvesting, aerospace flow control and robotic actuators. Mechanical engineering Associate Professor William Oates is in the midst of a four-year project supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to test the possibilities of how light can change the shape of plastics and how those changes could help robots perform different tasks, like grip materials through adhesion. It is a collaborative project with a colleague in chemical engineering, Associate Professor Anant Paravastu. http://news.fsu.edu/More-FSU-News/FSU-engineer-uses-light-to-change-makeup-of-plastics

July 1, 2014

Air Force engineer developed unique method to track space debris
Richard Rast, a senior engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory, created an innovative way to track this space debris to help reduce the risk of potential collisions—a system that could become a cost-effective supplement to the current processes used by the Air Force and NASA that rely on expensive telescopes, radar systems and considerable manpower for analysis.

Behind a Marine Creature’s Bright Green Fluorescent Glow In a study published in Scientific Reports, an open-access journal of the Nature Publishing Group, Dimitri Deheyn and his colleagues at Scripps Oceanography, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have conducted the most detailed examination of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in lancelets, marine invertebrates also known as “amphioxus.” The fish-shaped animals, which spend much of their time in shallow coastal regions burrowed in sand except for their heads, offer unique insights on natural fluorescence since individual specimens can emit both very bright and much dimmer versions of the light, a rare capability in the animal kingdom. https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/behind-marine-creatures-bright-green-fluorescent-glow

A Week in Review: 11/24/13 – 11/30/13

November 26, 2013

Nanotech Innovation Keeps Surfaces Clean and Transparent
A spin-off company from Penn has found a way to solve the problem of keeping surfaces clean, while also keeping them transparent.

Nelum Sciences, created under an UPstart program in Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer, has developed a superhydrophobic coating that can be sprayed onto any surface. The water-based solution contains nanoscopic particles that add a nearly invisible layer of roughness to a surface. This increases the contact angle of the material to which these particles are applied.

November 27, 2013

BYU engineers turn to origami to solve astronomical space problem
Partnership with NASA could send origami to final frontier

BYU engineers have teamed up with a world-renowned origami expert to solve one of space exploration’s greatest (and most ironic) problems: lack of space.
Working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a team of mechanical engineering students and faculty have designed a solar array that can be tightly compacted for launch and then deployed in space to generate power for space stations or satellites.