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This Self-Poofing Fabric Transforms from T-Shirt to Parka

This Self-Poofing Fabric Transforms from T-Shirt to Parka

Otherlab’s self-fluffing fabric changes its insulation in response to temperature Evan Ackerman A small team at Otherlab, which does all kinds of weird things, has been using ARPA-E funding to develop what they’re calling “thermally adaptive materials.” We’ll call it self-poofing fabric, for its ability to dynamically change its insulation in response to temperature. The idea is that the fabric(…)

5 Things You Missed This Week at IEEE Spectrum: A Bio-Inspired Drone, ARPA-E’s Energy-Saving Innovations, and More

5 Things You Missed This Week at IEEE Spectrum: A Bio-Inspired Drone, ARPA-E’s Energy-Saving Innovations, and More

Highlights from the week of 6 March 2017 Image: EPFL 1. This Hard-to-Destroy Drone Goes From Rigid to Flexible When It Crashes Image: EPFL Drone operators don’t wonder whether they’re going to crash their aircraft; it’s a matter of when, not if. With that in mind, designers are looking to nature for cues regarding how(…)

Is This Twilight for the Golden Age of Earth Observation?

Is This Twilight for the Golden Age of Earth Observation?

NASA’s new geosensing satellites may be on the chopping block. The timing could hardly be worse Illustration: Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA When leaders of the Congressional committees that approve NASA’s missions and budgets put forth their priorities in February, only space science and deep space exploration made the cut. Conspicuously absent was Earth science—a US(…)

5 Things You Missed This Week at IEEE Spectrum: Clean Coal Conundrum, Boosting Females in STEM, and more

5 Things You Missed This Week at IEEE Spectrum: Clean Coal Conundrum, Boosting Females in STEM, and more

Your highlights for the week of 27 February 2017 1. Kemper County and the Perils of Clean Coal Technology Photo: Mississippi Power For those who think the term “clean coal” is an oxymoron, here’s another data point in support of that assertion. The formation of system-fouling clinkers (chunks of ash fused to the gasifier mechanism)(…)

5 Things You Missed This Week: the start of a self-driving car IP war, 1-step brain hacking, and more

5 Things You Missed This Week: the start of a self-driving car IP war, 1-step brain hacking, and more

Highlights from the week of 20 February 2017 Photo: Waymo 1. Is Waymo’s $ 500-million fight with Uber the first shot in a self-driving car intellectual property war? Photo: Eic Risberg/AP Photo Knowing only Waymo’s side of the story, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski looks like he’s been caught using his former employer’s trade secrets to(…)

5 Things You Missed This Week at IEEE Spectrum: Nanorods Could Lead to Li-Fi Displays, Mobile Health Apps Could Make People Sicker, and More

5 Things You Missed This Week at IEEE Spectrum: Nanorods Could Lead to Li-Fi Displays, Mobile Health Apps Could Make People Sicker, and More

for the week of 6 February 2017 Moonsub Shim/University of Illinois 1. Nanorods Emit and Detect Light, Could Lead to Displays That Communicate via Li-Fi Moonsub Shim/University of Illinois In recent years, the hot application for quantum dots has been as a replacement for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a backlight source for liquid crystal displays. But(…)