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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Steven Keeping gained a BEng (Hons.) degree at Brighton University, U.K., before working in the electronics divisions of Eurotherm and BOC for seven years. He then joined Electronic Production magazine and subsequently spent 13 years in senior editorial and publishing roles on electronics manufacturing, test, and design titles including What’s New in Electronics and Australian Electronics Engineering for Trinity Mirror, CMP and RBI in the U.K. and Australia. In 2006, Steven became a freelance journalist specializing in electronics. He is based in Sydney.


Move Over LEDs, Electric Motors Will Save the Planet Steven Keeping
LEDs save energy, but efficient electric motors can save much more. Now a new generation of GaN transistors promises new power-supply breakthroughs to help the units become even greener.

Writing the Rules for Autonomous Vehicles Steven Keeping
Autonomous vehicles are coming. But adapting them to drive safely on roads dominated by conventional vehicles is proving tricky. A better solution would be to design the transport system from scratch. It could be a long wait.

Multi-Sensor Modules Ease Indoor Agriculture Design Challenges Steven Keeping
Multi-sensor modules, such as TE Connectivity’s AmbiMate, are simplifying the engineering involved in the global enterprise of controlled-environment agriculture (popularly known as vertical farming).

Wireless Tech Helps Protect Healthcare Budgets Steven Keeping
An aging population is increasingly suffering from chronic diseases, and frequent hospitalization puts an additional load on stressed healthcare budgets. However, wireless technology is enabling good symptom management, keeping seniors safe at home and protecting budget concerns.

Li-ion Batteries Overcome Renewable Energy Uncertainty Steven Keeping
Renewable energy (RE) promises much, but it has yet to make a significant impact on world demand. Variability and uncertainty make it impossible to guarantee RE resources will be available when peak demand occurs. However, pilot operations have demonstrated that energy storage using Li-ion batteries could provide a solution to RE variability and uncertainty by smoothing the differences between supply and demand.

Smart Monitoring Counters VOC Concerns Steven Keeping
Volatile organic compound (VOC) pollution is on the rise. Certain illnesses and cognitive impairments reveal a link to these chemicals, and modern energy-efficient buildings are making the problem worse. Miniaturized sensors offer a solution by indicating when concentrations breach safety levels.

Lithium, Cobalt, and Lithium-Cobalt Prices, Demand Drive EVs Steven Keeping
The price of Lithium has tripled since 2016 as electric vehicle batteries compete with mobile consumer electronics for the material. But the escalating price, driven by a threat of shortage of supply, is unlikely to dampen EV demand. Cobalt, another vital ingredient of Li-ion batteries, is another matter, and researchers are working hard to find cheaper alternatives, including Lithium-cobalt.

Biometrics Address Password Flaws Steven Keeping
Password security is flawed—as Hawaiians recently found to their cost—because it relies on humans to create a memorable yet tough-to-hack secret phrase. Biometrics, pioneered by the smartphone’s fingerprint scanner, offers a better alternative.

Collaborative Robots: Combining Machine Muscle with Human Dexterity Steven Keeping
While industrial robots dominate—as the best option for low-volume, high-mix assembly in mass-manufacturing—in comparison to human dexterity, a new generation of lightweight robots promises to marry the best of man and machine.

Microgrid Vision Stalls but Smart Automation Offers Reboot Steven Keeping
Microgrids are the key to integrating green energy. But engineers must embrace smart grid technologies before the hype becomes reality.

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