Robotics

Microscopic robots 'walk' thanks to laser tech

A Cornell University-led collaboration has created the first microscopic robots that incorporate semiconductor components, allowing them to be controlled—and made to walk—with standard electronic signals.

Engineering

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Smartphones that don't scratch or shatter. Metal-free pacemakers. Electronics for space and other harsh environments. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ceramic welding technology developed by a team of engineers ...

Engineering

Finding keyholes in metals 3-D printing

Additive manufacturing's promise to revolutionize industry is constrained by a widespread problem: tiny gas pockets in the final product, which can lead to cracks and other failures.

Robotics

The first wireless flying robotic insect takes off

Insect-sized flying robots could help with time-consuming tasks like surveying crop growth on large farms or sniffing out gas leaks. These robots soar by fluttering tiny wings because they are too small to use propellers, ...

Telecom

Laser communications: Empowering more data than ever before

Launching this summer, NASA's Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will showcase the dynamic powers of laser communications technologies. With NASA's ever-increasing human and robotic presence in space, missions ...

Engineering

Energy-saving gas turbines from the 3D printer

3D printing has opened up a completely new range of possibilities. One example is the production of novel turbine buckets. However, the 3D printing process often induces internal stress in the components, which can, in the ...

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Laser

A laser is a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process called stimulated emission. The term laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Laser light is usually spatially coherent, which means that the light either is emitted in a narrow, low-divergence beam, or can be converted into one with the help of optical components such as lenses. Typically, lasers are thought of as emitting light with a narrow wavelength spectrum ("monochromatic" light). This is not true of all lasers, however: some emit light with a broad spectrum, while others emit light at multiple distinct wavelengths simultaneously. The coherence of typical laser emission is distinctive. Most other light sources emit incoherent light, which has a phase that varies randomly with time and position.

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