3-D Printing for Dummies

The current emphasis in industry is the phenomena of “Additive Manufacturing”.  This includes the broad spectrum of 3-D printing in many enterprises.  However, many of us need some introductory material that may at least make us conversant with our peers in education, industry and business.

You may order a free book, mentioned in the latest IEEE Spectrum publication.

Current information regarding new products and technologies may be accessed at IEEE Spectrum Product Spotlight.

IEEE Spectrum | 3 Park Ave, New York, NY, 10016
All product names contained herein are the trademarks of their respective holders. IEEE Spectrum is not responsible for the content or privacy of links to Web sites outside the IEEE Network.

Winona State University STEM Village — Education for Teachers

This is a great opportunity to update your nanotechnology knowledge and materials. See the seminar contact information below. This is neutron based (no charge!). Ummm … sorry about the pun.  Must be Spring Fever!

The Nanotechnology workshop has been rescheduled for April 29, 9am to noon. Please RSVP by April 27 so that we have ample supplies – email mreap@winona.edu. This is a FREE hands-on workshop appropriate for teachers at all grade levels”

 Image may contain: 1 person, camera
 There are more STEM village postings!

How Soft Is Your Robot? How Small?

Scientists control soft robots with magnetic fields

The trick promises complex control over simple machines.

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas 04.03.17 in Robots 1 Comments

As slick as soft robots (Soft robot wraps around your heart to help it beat) are, they tend to have very simple movements. It’d be a challenge to create a truly complex machine (Harvard’s Octobot is a soft, fully autonomous robot)                                                                                 using existing technology. Researchers may have a solution to more sophisticated movement, though. They’ve invented (Researchers Control Soft Robots Using Magnetic Fields) a technique that uses magnetic fields to steer squishier robots. The trick was to cover the robots in a polymer film loaded with iron microparticles made to form parallel chains using a magnetic field. When you want to steer a robot, you just subject its relevant components to another magnetic field — the direction and strength of the field determines what happens.

The scientists used their fresh approach to build three robots that take advantage of this newfound flexibility. One is a cantilever (the “lifter” you see above) that can carry up to 50 times its weight. An accordion bot can expand and contract like a muscle, while a valve can squeeze to act as a pump.

There’s no question that it’ll take a long time to make this method viable for real robots. You’d need an external device to produce the field, for a start. However, the potential uses are already easy to see. The accordion and valve robots would be particularly useful for robots that have to mimic organic functions, not to mention prosthetics, implants and other health care equipment.

Source: NCSUACS In this Article: magneticmagneticfieldsncsurobotrobotssciencesoftrobot,universityoftuls

Is this the “BEE’s Knees”?

You may think that the drone you received for Christmas was awsome, but, how small is it? Read about some emerging technology from Japan that uses a conductive gel and a bee sized drone.

“The undersides of these artificial pollinators are coated with horse hairs and an ionic gel just sticky enough to pick up pollen from one flower and deposit it onto another.”

Take look at nanobot pollinators!

Journal Reference:

  1. Chechetka et al. Materially engineered artificial pollinators. Chem, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2017.01.008

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. “Sticky gels turn insect-sized drones into artificial pollinators.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170209133506.htm>.

Emerging Technologies in the World of Toys

“We recently spent some time professionally testing (okay, playing with) the latest toys at the Toy Fair in London. This being 2016 many of those toys had a significant technological element, making them more interesting than your average cuddly bear. Join us as we revisit some of the best drones, internet-connected toys, AR games and STEM kits that we saw.”

“In pictures: The best tech toys from London Toy Fair 2016” An example is below!

MagFormers are magnetic building block kits which can teach pre-schoolers about engineering

MagFormers are magnetic building block kits which can teach pre-schoolers about engineering(Credit: Simon Crisp/Gizmag),

To spend time investigating many STREAM applications, Go to LONDON!

It wasn't all tech at the London Toy Fair, there were one or two familiar faces...

Credits:  New Atlas (Gizmag) (http://newatlas.com/)

 January 28th, 2016

NanoRockets and Health Care …

“Tiny machines like nanorockets are ideal candidates for drug delivery in the human body. Chemists at Radboud University now demonstrate the first complete movement regulation of a nanorocket.”

More images and text information at: NanoRockets in your cells?

Cite This Page:


Radboud University. “Nanorockets now available with brakes and a steering wheel.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161212133437.htm>.


” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” (Geek Version)

This is somewhat educational and entertaining!  For more information, humorous and otherwise.  See the Foremost Institute Website.

A Visit from Saint Assembler

Historical note: back when I ran sci.nanotech, it was my tradition to post this poem every Christmas, in a spirit of light-hearted fun.

We here at Foresight wish all our readers the merriest of seasons greetings, and hope that you all are safe, warm, and enjoying your holidays with family and friends!


A Visit from Saint Assembler

(With Apologies to Clement Moore)
by J. Storrs Hall

‘Twas the night before Breakthrough; when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The smocks were hung up in the lab for the night,
In hopes that a rest would bring some new insight.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of molecules danced through their heads.

Ma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap–

When logical inference struck me so hard
I let down my everyday common-sense guard.

The mind, on the crest of this new point of view
Took wild flights of fancy and made them seem true.

My wondering eyes, as I stood there agape,
Saw a miniature robot complete with a tape;

Of such a micronic molecular mass,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint … well, it must be a molecular assembler.

More rapidly than I could figure it out,
He built more of himself from stuff lying about.

He built Dasher and Dancer; they, Prancer and Vixen;
And then Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen.

Now faster than I could match each with his name,
they doubled and doubled–and they all were the same.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
(or more, rather, like smoke) they took off to the sky.

And I could imagine I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each tiny hoof.

Down the chimney they came, eating all of the soot,
As carelessly diamonds were dropped on my foot.

Another small cloud of atomic erectors
Were turning the roof into solar collectors.

I looked at one closely: a jolly old speck,
He had plenty of arms, and a bivalent neck.

His tape told him what he was programmed to do;
He was fast and efficient–self-referent too.

He looked like a gang of maniacal boys
Had been put in a room full of wee tinkertoys,

And making a mechanical jest of their teacher,
Allowed it to mutate into an odd creature.

Benzene rings on his fingers, propellors for toes,
Bucky ball for a belly, and lithium nose.

His arms moved like twinkling magical wands,
and his ears were connected by hydrogen bonds.

A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

Though New Jersey, the previous hour or two,
Had melted to form a sweet, sticky, gray goo.

He said not a word, but went straight to his work,
Built three more just like him, and turned with a jerk.

It was hard to see whether he gestured or beckoned,
For he did it a million or more times a second.

Not a bit of the household escaped from his hustle,
Even the doors received eyes, ears, and muscle.

I’d just gotten used to a toaster with brains;
I now must contend with intelligent drains.

Then most of them left through the skin of my hands,
to do a refurbishing job on my glands–

But I heard them exclaim, ere they dove out of sight,
“Happy Future to all, and to all a good night!”

And … Seasons Greetings to Everybody!