Author archive for thelitpipe

  • No Antenna Could Survive Europa’s Brutal, Radioactive Environment—Until Now

    Marek Denko/Noemotion There’s no planned mission to send a lander to Europa, but this artist’s rendition gives a sense of…

    by thelitpipe
  • Stratospheric Balloons Take Monitoring and Surveillance to New Heights

    StoryTK Alphabet’s enthusiasm for ­balloons deflated earlier this year, when it announced that its high-altitude Internet company, Loon, could not…

    by thelitpipe
  • This Huge DIY Workbench Gives You a Hand

    James Provost Finally, a bench that helps you build. As an avid experimenter and builder of random contraptions—and who isn’t…

    by thelitpipe
  • We Don’t Need a Jetsons Future, Just a Sustainable One

    Alvaro Dominguez For decades, our vision of the future has been stuck in a 1960s-era dream of science fiction embodied…

    by thelitpipe
  • How the IBM PC Won, Then Lost, the Personal Computer Market

    Mark Richards/Computer History Museum The IBM PC, introduced in August 1981, helped reassure corporate customers that personal computing was serious.…

    by thelitpipe
  • U.S. Mint Honors Game Developer Ralph Baer

    UNITED STATES MINT THE INSTITUTE Gamers and coin collectors alike can now celebrate Ralph Baer’s contributions with an American Innovation…

    by thelitpipe
  • Nothing Can Keep This Drone Down

    When life knocks you down, you’ve got to get back up. Ladybugs take this advice seriously in the most literal…

    by thelitpipe
  • Cuba Jamming Ham Radio? Listen For Yourself

    As anti-government protests spilled onto the streets in Cuba on July 11, something strange was happening on the airwaves. Amateur…

    by thelitpipe
  • From Spacecraft to Sensor Fusion

    Randy Fields It’s easy to set up multiple video feeds in all kinds of locations. Merging those feeds together, combining…

    by thelitpipe
  • New AI-Based Augmented Innovation Tool Promises to Transform Engineer Problem Solving

    You’re an engineer trying to work out a solution to a complicated problem.  You have been at this problem for…

    by thelitpipe
  • GPUs Can Now Analyze a Billion Complex Vectors in Record Time

    The complexity of a digital photo cannot be understated. Each pixel comprises many data points, and there can be millions…

    by thelitpipe
  • Cybersecurity Training Program Teaches How to Fend Off Attacks

    iStockphoto THE INSTITUTE During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many organizations to transition from office work to…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Fluidic Fingers

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • The Battery Revolution Is Just Getting Started

    Harry Campbell How I loved the Macintosh Portable, Apple’s first laptop, which I bought shortly after it was introduced in…

    by thelitpipe
  • Standards Take Online Gaming to the Next Level

    iStockphoto THE INSTITUTE It’s no surprise that with people staying home more because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global online…

    by thelitpipe
  • Dextrous Robotics Wants To Move Boxes With Chopsticks

    Hype aside, there aren’t necessarily all that many areas where robots have the potential to step into an existing workflow and…

    by thelitpipe
  • The Mini-LED Is the Future of Big Displays

    Dan Saelinger/Trunk Archive Asus’s ROG Swift PG32UQX is an unexpected revelation. This beefy 32-inch monitor, clad in gaudy plastic and…

    by thelitpipe
  • Adobe Cofounder Charles Geschke Dies at 81

    Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis/Getty Images Honorary IEEE Member Charles Greschke, cofounder of Adobe, presenting a drawing from the company’s computer software in…

    by thelitpipe
  • This Laser Scans Skies for Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases

    In a world gravely threatened by greenhouse gas emissions, actually measuring those greenhouse gases can be surprisingly tricky. You might…

    by thelitpipe
  • For the First Time, Scientists Detect a Moving Photon Multiple Times Without Destroying It

    The act of detecting a photon typically destroys it. Now scientists have for the first time nondestructively detected a single…

    by thelitpipe
  • Bellingcat Crowdsources Spycraft, Scales Up Sleuthing

    Spies, gumshoes and hard-driving investigative reporters—no matter how amazing they may be at their jobs—all suffer one inescapable drawback: They don’t scale. …

    by thelitpipe
  • A Passionate Proponent of Professional Ethics for Engineers

    Walter Elden THE INSTITUTE Since the 1970s, Walter Elden has been one of the staunchest supporters of providing professional ethics…

    by thelitpipe
  • A New Laser For More Efficient Communications

    Novel devices known as topological lasers can prove more efficient at shining light than conventional lasers. Now scientists have created…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Spot Meets BTS

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • New AR System Alters Sight, Sound and Touch

    There’s the typical pitter-patter sound that comes from a person drumming their fingers along a tabletop. But what if this…

    by thelitpipe
  • 2022 U.S. Budget Funds New ICBMs—A Reckless Diversion?

    With the Biden administration’s 2022 defense budget coming in at US $753 billion, it’s easy to get diverted by the megaton-sized sum that…

    by thelitpipe
  • Physicists Teach AI to Simulate Atomic Clusters

    Physicists love recreating the world in software. A simulation lets you explore many versions of reality to find patterns or…

    by thelitpipe
  • Zebra Technologies To Acquire Fetch Robotics for $305 Million

    A company called Zebra Technologies announced this morning that it intends to acquire Fetch Robotics for an impressive $305 million.…

    by thelitpipe
  • A Better Platform for Testing Circuit Boards

    inspectAR uses a smartphone or a webcam. No AR glasses required. inspectAR is an electronics productivity tool uniquely adapted to…

    by thelitpipe
  • A Deep Dive Into IEEE’s Recent History

    IEEE A plaque was placed in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia during the IEEE-Franklin Institute Centennial Technical Convocation in October…

    by thelitpipe
  • Legged Robots Do Surprisingly Well in Low Gravity

    Here on Earth, we’re getting good enough at legged robots that we’re starting to see a transition from wheels to…

    by thelitpipe
  • Why Robots Can’t Be Counted On to Find Survivors in the Florida Building Collapse

    On Thursday, a portion of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside, Florida (just outside of Miami) suffered…

    by thelitpipe
  • Raj Reddy Bets on Babel Fish, Gordon Bell Says No Way

    Some three decades ago, a group of pioneering computer scientists—Gordon Bell, John Hennessy, Ed Lazowska, Raj Reddy, Andy Van Dam,…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Household Skills

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • Cryptocurrency Blockchains Don’t Need To Be Energy Intensive

    Anders Wenngren Blockchain is a generic term for the way most cryptocurrencies record and share their transactions. It’s a type…

    by thelitpipe
  • Why Does the World Harbor So Many Different Voltages, Plugs, and Sockets?

      Winston Struye/StoryTK Standardization makes life easier, but it is often impossible to introduce it to systems that have a…

    by thelitpipe
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Topological Materials

    Emily Cooper The topological material tantalum arsenide generates tremendous current (small arrows) upon illumination. Ever since a new class of ­materials…

    by thelitpipe
  • The Triumph of the Electric Motor

    Harry Campbell Nearly 50 years ago, my dad bought an electric Black & Decker lawn mower to trim our quarter-acre…

    by thelitpipe
  • Pride in Tech: How Lotus Championed Gay Rights During the AIDS Crisis

    COLLECTION OF THE COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM, 102792233 The Lotus Development Corp. sponsored the first Boston AIDS Walk, in 1986. How…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Telexistence

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • The Inventor of the Black Box Was Told to Drop the Idea and “Get On With Blowing Up Fuel Tanks”

    Marinco Kojdanovski/Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Gift of W Vinten Limited, 1992. This “red egg” flight recorder, built by…

    by thelitpipe
  • It’s (Still) Really Hard for Robots to Autonomously Do Household Chores

    Every time we think that we’re getting a little bit closer to a household robot, new research comes out showing…

    by thelitpipe
  • Harnessing the Wild Power of AI Image Generation

    AI has already shown off the capability to create photorealistic images of cats, dogs, and people’s faces that never existed…

    by thelitpipe
  • Introducing the New IEEE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Website

    Shutterstock THE INSTITUTE To further promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the IEEE and the engineering profession, the organization has…

    by thelitpipe
  • The Mac Is Selling Like Never Before Thanks to the M1 Chip

    Harry Campbell The Mac is enjoying a year that any PC maker would envy. It kicked off 2021 by doubling…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Drone Refueling

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • Three Chips in One: The History of the BCD Integrated Circuit

    STMicroelectronics THE INSTITUTE Integrated circuits have become the backbone of consumer electronics. They are used in medical equipment, household appliances,…

    by thelitpipe
  • The iPhone 12 Mini Makes Me Sick (Literally)

    I’m a small phone person. I have narrow hands and jeans with tiny pockets. That’s mostly why I hung onto…

    by thelitpipe
  • Mars-bound Astronauts Might Raid This Zero-G Fridge

    How do you pack food for a trip to Mars? This is not a trick question. As astronauts and space…

    by thelitpipe
  • Unitree’s Go1 Robot Dog Looks Pretty Great, Costs Just USD $2700

    In 2017, we first wrote about the Chinese startup Unitree Robotics, which had the goal of “making legged robots as…

    by thelitpipe
  • Here’s What 6G Will Be, According to the Creator of Massive MIMO

    Tom Marzetta is the director of NYU Wireless, New York University’s research center for cutting-edge wireless technologies. Prior to joining…

    by thelitpipe
  • SeKVM Makes Cloud Computing Provably Secure

    Complex hypervisor software helps run cloud computers, but verifying its security is often thought to be nigh impossible. Now computer…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: NASA Sending Robots to Venus

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. It’s ICRA this week, but…

    by thelitpipe
  • This Autonomous Drone is the First to Make Nighttime Offshore Deliveries

    F-drones F-drones cofounders Nicolas Ang and Yeshwanth Reddy display their half-scale prototype, which is expected to start commercial deliveries later…

    by thelitpipe
  • Somehow This Robot Sticks to Ceilings by Vibrating a Flexible Disc

    Just when I think I’ve seen every possible iteration of climbing robot, someone comes up with a new way of…

    by thelitpipe
  • Until We Get Rid of Fossil Fuels, Can Data Make Them More Efficient?

    Steven Cherry Hi, this is Steven Cherry, for Radio Spectrum. A few months ago, we had on the show an…

    by thelitpipe
  • As Cars Become Mobility Services, Fujitsu and AWS Develop Automotive Cloud Computing Toolkit

    As automakers explore a future as “mobility service providers,” new challenges in computing for these transportation services emerge as well. So Fujitsu and Amazon…

    by thelitpipe
  • IEEE President’s Note: New STEM Portal Offers a Chance to Give Back

    Susan K. Land THE INSTITUTE Think back to what inspired you to become an engineer or technology professional. Perhaps it…

    by thelitpipe
  • MOXIE Might Be the Most Exciting Thing Perseverance Has Brought to Mars

    Look, I know that the Perseverance rover has brought some flashy stuff to Mars. It’s got lasers, it’s got a…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Digger Finger

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

    University of Florida Tiny mechanical resonators produced the same way microchips are made can serve to authenticate various goods.…

    by thelitpipe
  • Mars Helicopter Lands Safely After Serious In-Flight Anomaly

    Ingenuity’s sixth flight on Mars took place this week, and we’ve just heard details from JPL on an “in-flight anomaly.”…

    by thelitpipe
  • Can a Robot Be Arrested? Hold a Patent? Pay Income Taxes?

    Steven Cherry When horses were replaced by engines, for work and transportation, we didn’t need to rethink our legal frameworks.…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Competition Seeks Sustainable Development Solutions

    Tiregrid Tiregrid proposes using discarded tires as containment structures, such as this one in Medellín, Colombia, to reinforce embankments. THE…

    by thelitpipe
  • Build a RISC-V CPU From Scratch

    James Provost The Pineapple One is a complete computer with input/output, memory, and a homebrew 32-bit RISC-V CPU. It’s a…

    by thelitpipe
  • 3 Courses Take a Deeper Dive into 5G

    iStockphoto THE INSTITUTE The rollout of 5G technology continues globally. As access increases, 5G is expected to impact health care,…

    by thelitpipe
  • This Fitbit for Your Water Meter Started as a DIY Project

    I brush some dead leaves from the top of the slab of cement that covers my curbside water meter and…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Intelligent Drone Swarms

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • What You Need to Know About Charging Before You Buy an EV

    Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance/Getty Images One of the first questions people ask about electric cars is usually, “Where can I charge…

    by thelitpipe
  • Agility Robotics’ Cassie Is Now Astonishingly Good at Stairs

    Bipedal robots are a huge hassle. They’re expensive, complicated, fragile, and they spend most of their time almost but not…

    by thelitpipe
  • Here’s How Google’s TPU v4 AI Chip Stacked Up in Training Tests

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the company’s latest AI chip the TPU V4 (Tensor Processing Unit version 4) is capable of…

    by thelitpipe
  • The 2021 Hackaday Game is Afoot!

    Today the folks at Hackaday announced the 2021 Hackaday Prize, a hardware design challenge for DIYers, which this year goes by…

    by thelitpipe
  • Do You Believe in Science? Then Take This Pledge

    Getty Images THE INSTITUTE Crises such as the coronavirus pandemic demonstrate the importance of scientific research and remind us how…

    by thelitpipe
  • Lasers Could Clear Space Junk From Orbit

    Ever since humans started launching rockets into space, the amount of junk flying around Earth has been growing, to the…

    by thelitpipe
  • Pioneer of Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Electronics Dies at 80

    Photo: UCLA Samueli Tatsuo Itoh Microwave and millimeter-wave electronics pioneer Life Fellow, 80; died 4 March Itoh led breakthroughs…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Virtual Cat Petting

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • Nanoscale Plasma Switch Goes From Zero to Kilowatts in Picoseconds

    Strictly speaking, plasma shouldn’t form in an electrified air gap smaller than about 5 micrometers. But it does. Nanoscale science…

    by thelitpipe
  • In Mahle’s Contact-Free Electric Motor, Power Reaches the Rotor Wirelessly

    Automakers outside China are scrambling to develop electric motor designs that use no permanent magnets, partly because the magnets require rare…

    by thelitpipe
  • High-Efficiency Solar Cells Power Satellites—Can They Come Down to Earth?

    Following the arrival of a fresh fleet of robot explorers, the eyes of the space-watching world may be fixed on…

    by thelitpipe
  • Two Engineers, 60 Years Apart, Explore Aging Together

    Photo: Kyle Hunt THE INSTITUTE The friendship between 88-year-old Pierre Thollot and 28-year-old Grace Hunt (née Watt) might…

    by thelitpipe
  • IEEE’s Natural Disaster Relief Program Expanding to India, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico

    Photo: IEEE MOVE The IEEE MOVE truck used to provide U.S. communities with power, phone service, and Internet access in…

    by thelitpipe
  • IEEE’s Natural Disaster Relief Program Expanding to India, Jamaica, Pakistan, Turkey, and Puerto Rico

    Photo: IEEE MOVE The IEEE MOVE truck used to provide U.S. communities with power, phone service, and Internet access in…

    by thelitpipe
  • Reconfigurable Optical Networks Will Move Supercomputer Data 100X Faster

    Imagine being able to read an entire book in a single second, but only receiving the pages individually over the…

    by thelitpipe
  • IBM Introduces the World’s First 2-nm Node Chip

    IBM has become the first in the world to introduce a 2-nanometer (nm) node chip. IBM claims this new chip…

    by thelitpipe
  • The Next Frontier for Gesture Control is Teeth

    Is totally unobtrusive control of my devices really too much to ask? Apparently, it is, because every device that I…

    by thelitpipe
  • Too Perilous For AI? EU Proposes Risk-Based Rules

    As part of its emerging role as a global regulatory watchdog, the European Commission published a proposal on 21 April for regulations to…

    by thelitpipe
  • NASA Extends Mars Helicopter Mission, Will Scout for Perseverance Rover

    The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has been doing an amazing job flying on Mars. Over the last several weeks it has…

    by thelitpipe
  • Wearable Sensor Tracks How Much You Scratch

    How much does it itch? That’s a question doctors often ask people with eczema and other itch-inducing ailments, but the…

    by thelitpipe
  • Getting Inked Up? Thank Thomas Edison

    Photo: Science Museum Group Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+P. Copy, Paste, Print. Or maybe skip that last step and don’t print at…

    by thelitpipe
  • Building an AI That Feels

    Illustration: Eddie Guy In the past year, have you found yourself under stress? Have you ever wished for help coping?…

    by thelitpipe
  • Underwater Manta Kites for Tidal Power Harvesting

    It’s been a challenge to find sources of renewable energy that are as reliable as the grid would like them…

    by thelitpipe
  • For The First Time, Electronics Printed On Paper Can Be Fully Recycled

    With a cocktail of carbon-based inks, engineers have made the first fully printable and recyclable electronic circuits on paper. The…

    by thelitpipe
  • IEEE Spectrum, Reimagined

    If you’re a reader of the print IEEE Spectrum, perhaps you’ve noticed something different about the May edition. It has…

    by thelitpipe
  • Hack an Analog TV Into a Geek TV

    Illustration: James Provost Old consumer electronics often have enough room for major upgrades. Like vinyl and cassette tapes, cathode ray…

    by thelitpipe
  • IEEE Women in Engineering Leads a Pledge to Make Speaker Panels More Gender Balanced

    Illustration: iStockphoto THE INSTITUTE How many times have you been to an IEEE conference and didn’t see someone like you…

    by thelitpipe
  • Video Friday: Ingenuity on Mars

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a…

    by thelitpipe
  • The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

    Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images We’ve all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But…

    by thelitpipe
  • 9 Standards for a More Sustainable Future in Honor of Earth Day

    Photo-illustration: iStockphoto THE INSTITUTE From climate change and pollution to the depletion of energy resources, the global community is faced…

    by thelitpipe
  • Lasers To Lunar Arks: Cryopreservation Heats Up

    When scientists in the 1950s tried to cool hamsters to 0 °C and rewarm them, it didn’t go great. In…

    by thelitpipe
  • Get Ready for the Next Front in the Net Neutrality Fight

    Photo-illustration: Edmon de Haro You’re about to hear a lot about network neutrality again, now that the Biden administration is…

    by thelitpipe