Watch: Electronic Skin, Drones Open Olympics, NASA Submarine

16 February 2018

Welcome back to this week's Enigeering360 News Brief.

New Electronic Skin Can Self-Heal

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have made a new type of self-healing, flexible and fully recyclable electronic skin. Electronic skin, or e-skin, is a thin, translucent material that is designed to mimic the function and properties of human skin.

This skin has sensors embedded to measure pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow. What is unique is that the chemical bonding of polyimine they use allows the e-skin to be both self-healing and fully recyclable at room temperature.

Those researching e-skin believe it could one day be used for robotics or better, more lifelike prosthetics or even usher in a new age of biomedical devices.

Intel Sets New Record at the Winter Olympics

Intel Corporation put on a spectacular light show during the Opening Ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics, featuring 1,218 Shooting Star drones — a new Guinness World Record for the most unmanned aerial vehicles to be put in the air simultaneously.

The flight of more than 1,200 drones during the Opening Ceremony light show broke Intel’s previous record of 500 drones flown simultaneously in Germany in 2016. During the light show, the drones animated different sports taking place at the Games as well as various Olympic-related logos including the iconic Olympic rings.

NASA Space Sub to 'Swim' in Titan's Oceans

NASA is in need of an ocean-going vessel. Not just any vessel — the agency requires a submarine to ply an ocean composed of methane and ethane. The sub must operate at temperatures approaching -300 degrees Fahrenheit. Where is this frigid, gassy expanse? It’s on Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons. The proposed submarine being considered by NASA would autonomously carry out detailed scientific investigations under the surface of Titan’s northern ocean. To better understand design requirements and parameters, these unearthly conditions were simulated in a cryogenics laboratory at Washington State University. The Titan atmosphere was recreated with a liquid mixture maintained at cold temperatures in a test chamber. A two-inch, cylinder-shaped cartridge heater was included to approximate the heat generated by the submarine. Titan is the only place in our solar system where we’ve found surface liquids and, as the thinking goes, where there is water, there is probably life.

Now, remember to check out Engineering360 and Electronics360 for more news and information like this — plus engineering reference guides, product spec sheets and videos of interest. Thanks for watching the Engineering360 News Brief!

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