HRL Labs

Malibu, CA, United States
Malibu, CA, United States
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News Article | January 2, 2016

« HRL Labs team develops 3D printing process for ceramics; propulsion components, microelectromechanical systems and more | Main | China researchers discover that Li-ion battery cycling can control magnetization » Visteon will display two vehicles featuring advanced concepts at CES 2016 this coming week in Las Vegas: one with 3-D gesture technology and the other with a large field-of-vision windshield head-up-display (HUD). A separate driving simulator brings together the latest Visteon human-machine interaction (HMI) input technologies for an interactive experience using real-world driving scenarios. The proprietary 3-D gesture recognition concept is demonstrated within a compact multi-purpose vehicle. The system quickly reads defined hand movements to command certain features, using time-of-flight camera technology and high-performance, image-processing algorithms. Reading hand gestures faster and more precisely than with today’s 2-D solutions helps prevent distraction when accessing driver information and infotainment systems. The system offers the possibility to render any surface touch-sensitive, due to to its high spatial accuracy, eliminating the need for touch panels on displays. The system recognizes specific gestures such as holding up one, two or three fingers to perform different functions such as operating the windows, changing audio volume or opening the glove box. This provides quicker access, without the need to touch buttons or look for knobs. The system distinguishes between driver and passenger hand gestures, and also allows customizable gestures. Time of flight technology is based on the time it takes for light to travel from the source to the object and back to the camera’s sensor. By providing distance images in real time, the time-of-flight camera enables close-range gesture control in the cockpit. Large field-of-view head-up display. Visteon delivers an extra-large windshield HUD image with rich color, contrast and brightness, enhancing content without requiring the user to look away from his or her usual viewpoint. The wide-field image—about twice the size of a normal windshield HUD—allows the driver to see information not usually displayed in HUD systems, such as menus for music, multimedia and simple maps. The full-color image is designed to be seen clearly even on very bright days, through a powerful backlight and large mirror inside the instrument panel. The full-color resolution display uses data analytics to understand the environment in and around the vehicle, such as rain or heavy traffic. The driver sees different information displayed on the windshield as road and driving conditions change, prompting him or her to change speeds, adjust climate controls, respond to warnings, navigate, select music or answer the phone – all while keeping their eyes in the direction of the road. Contextual user experience cockpit. Several Visteon HMI technologies converge in this interactive cockpit simulator, including spatial gesture technology, pressure-sensitive touch pads and contextual or suggestive HMI—which helps drivers make quicker decisions based on past preferences and the changing environment around the vehicle. Features include: Spatial gesture (swipe up, down, left, right, and rotary motions), available at significantly less cost than camera-based solutions. Pressure-sensitive touch pad input zones for the driver and passenger, which sense the depth and location of button presses to trigger different features. Additionally, the surface can create a “virtual” touch screen and can also accommodate handwriting recognition. The pressure-sensitive pad works when the user is wearing gloves, and can accommodate various surface finishes, including leather, wood veneers, vinyl, plastic and composites. Contextual or suggestive HMI—using data analytics, this feature creates shortcuts and suggestions, specific to each driver, based on past behavior for connectivity, entertainment, navigation and climate. For example, when the driver gets in the car to go home from work, he or she can set the destination for home, check traffic, call home, and turn on the defroster with one gesture, as opposed to navigating a menu for each option. Time-of-Flight gesture system—Allows for more complex gestures such as hand/finger signs and swipes; enables the creation of virtual touch planes and/or surfaces in the vehicle.

Xiao X.,General Motors | Liu P.,HRL Labs | Wang J.S.,HRL Labs | Verbrugge M.W.,General Motors | Balogh M.P.,General Motors
Electrochemistry Communications | Year: 2011

In this paper, we demonstrated that the high rate capability of electrode can be achieved by engineering the existing electrode materials. A simple approach has been developed to align the graphene nanosheet vertically on current collector, which not only facilitates both lithium ion and electron transport, but also simplifies the electrode fabrication without involving binder and conductive additives. The charging rate for the optimized electrode structure can be significantly increased while the graphitic feature of the electrode still retains. We envision the use of this highly stable structure as an integral addition to high capacity anode materials for lithium ion batteries of high power and energy density. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Verbrugge M.,General Motors | Baker D.,General Motors | Purewal J.,HRL Labs | Wang J.,HRL Labs | And 3 more authors.
30th International Battery Seminar and Exhibit 2013: Primary and Secondary Batteries - Other Technologies | Year: 2013

Automotive use of lithium ion cells...clearly life modeling is important (battery sizing, warranty, etc.) 2. A new approach to modeling the combined chemical and mechanical degradation of graphitic (negative) electrodes...results compare well with experiment, but not quantitative at this point 3. A brief comment on the state of modeling diffusion-induced stress...improving our ability to calculate diffusion induced stress will render more accurate life models. Copyright © (2013) by the International Battery Seminar.

Low cost, low power hyperspectral imaging sensors and real-time, low power processing of hyperspectral data are needed for mobile platforms for agricultural, mineralogical, surveillance and physics applications. In this presentation we will show how two novel technologies - Compressed Sensing (CS) and analog Asynchronous Pulse Processing (APP) - are successfully applied to real time HSI sensing and processing.

Xiao X.,General Motors | Wang J.S.,HRL Labs. | Liu P.,HRL Labs. | Sachdev A.K.,General Motors | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2012

Both silicon and tin have a high specific capacity (3600 mAh g -1 for Li 15Si 4 and 992 mAh g -1 for Li 22Sn 5 respectively) and are among the most attractive materials for potential negative electrodes in lithium ion batteries. However, mechanical degradation induced by the large volume expansion during the cycling has limited their practical application. In this work, we developed a new class of Si-Sn nanocomposites with unique phase-separated nanostructure, where the amorphous Si nanoparticles are thermodynamically precipitated out from Si-Sn alloy and embedded within the Sn matrix. The phase separation-induced nanostructure provides the capability to mitigate the mechanical degradation, by preventing the nucleation and propagation of microcracks during lithiation. The nanocomposite electrode exhibits relative high capacity (1400 mAh g -1) and excellent cycling stability with the optimum composition and nanostructure. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Korah T.,Nokia Inc. | Medasani S.,HRL Labs | Owechko Y.,HRL Labs
IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops | Year: 2011

As part of a large-scale 3D recognition system for LI-DAR data from urban scenes, we describe an approach for segmenting millions of points into coherent regions that ideally belong to a single real-world object. Segmentation is crucial because it allows further tasks such as recognition, navigation, and data compression to exploit contextual information. A key contribution is our novel Strip Histogram Grid representation that encodes the scene as a grid of vertical 3D population histograms rising up from the locally detected ground. This scheme captures the nature of the real world, thereby making segmentation tasks intuitive and efficient. Our algorithms work across a large spectrum of urban objects ranging from buildings and forested areas to cars and other small street side objects. The methods have been applied to areas spanning several kilometers in multiple cities with data collected from both aerial and ground sensors exhibiting different properties. We processed almost a billion points spanning an area of 3.3 km2 in less than an hour on a regular desktop. © 2011 IEEE.

News Article | December 31, 2015

« New highly conductive solid electrolyte with improved electrode contact for solid-state Li-ion batteries | Main | HRL Labs team develops 3D printing process for ceramics; propulsion components, microelectromechanical systems and more » Chevrolet has sold more than 1.4 million vehicles with 4G LTE connectivity since June 2014, exceeding the total sold by of the rest of the industry combined. That number includes more than 500,000 Chevrolet Silverado, Silverado HD and Colorado trucks (about 36%). Chevrolet offers 4G LTE connectivity across its full-range of retail cars, trucks and crossovers. Chevrolet owners have consumed more than 1.4 million GB of data since its launch in June 2014. In 2015, Chevrolet owners logged more than 5 million interactions with the OnStar RemoteLink app every month on average. Chevrolet Volt drivers are most likely to use the app. Chevrolet drivers ask for directions through OnStar approximately two million times every month. More than 99% of people who bought a vehicle equipped with OnStar 4G LTE have taken advantage of the free trial of 4G LTE data and signed up for five years of connectivity which includes access to OnStar RemoteLink, monthly Vehicle Diagnostic Reports and Dealer Maintenance Notifications from OnStar.

News Article | November 9, 2015

Boeing has developed what they are calling the lightest metal ever and it's 99.9 percent air. The material called Microlattice appears solid from the outside, but inside it actually has an open cellular structure similar to bone or honeycombs, which allows it to be both super durable and lightweight. The material will soon be used by Boeing in airplanes and rockets to cut down on their weight, create more room within the fuselage and increase fuel efficiency, all while still being tough enough to endure the rigors of flight. The mesh material is compressible which allows it to absorb energy as well as materials much thicker and heavier than it. Sophia Yang, research scientist of architected materials at HRL Labs, who worked on the material for Boeing says that one layer wrapped around an egg would allow it to survive a 25-story drop unscathed. It's so light that if you blow on it in your hand it floats to the ground like a feather and doesn't compress a dandelion when sat on top of it. With better technology, these new material breakthroughs are becoming more common, which is a good thing. These new lightweight materials are able to replace much bulkier ones, making our vehicles, aircraft and even our gadgets more lightweight and energy efficient. You can watch a video about Microlattice below.

News Article | January 4, 2016

3D printing holds a lot of potential but it is limited by the number of printable materials out there. Researchers have added heat-resistant ceramic to the list, however, opening up more possibilities for additive manufacturing. In a study published in the journal Science, researchers from HRL Laboratories showed that it is now possible to not just build but customize ceramic parts intricately while incorporating properties like strength and resistance to friction, chemical degradation and heat. Ceramics are not known for their durability, particularly those in complex shapes, and they are compatible with traditional manufacturing methods like casting and machining. And while heat is needed to combine powders and create solid forms, it is also responsible for introducing flaws, like fractures and cracks, into the finished product. To get around this problem, HRL Labs researchers turned to printable resin made from preceramic polymers, which turn into ceramic when high heat is applied. Specifically, they showed that the resin is compatible with stereolithography, a popular 3D printing technique that utilizes a laser to create structures from liquid polymers layer by layer, as well as a specialized method 100 to 1,000 times faster than stereolithography in building lattices with patterned masks and ultraviolet light. After printing, the resin was subjected to heat to turn it ceramic to demonstrate the material's impressive mechanical properties. According to Tobias Schaedler, senior HRL Labs scientist, the study made it possible to print two classes of useful ceramic parts: one, small and intricate components for rockets, jet engines and electromechanical systems, and the other, large but lightweight lattice structures for air and spacecraft exteriors. "With our new 3D printing process we can take full advantage of the many desirable properties of this silicon oxycarbide ceramic, including high hardness, strength and temperature capability as well as resistance to abrasion and corrosion," he said. HRL Labs has also received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a supporter of the study, to utilize the new 3D printing technique to come up with a ceramic aeroshell that can be used as a shield against debris, pressure and heat for hypersonic aircraft or spacecraft. According to DARPA's Defense Sciences Office director Stefanie Tompkins, ceramic foam is great for aeroshells but the material's poor mechanical properties make them incompatible with load-bearing structures. HRL Lab's ceramic lattice structures, however, boast of 10 times more strength than foams available commercially. Schaedler was joined by Zak Eckel, William Carter, Chaoyin Zhou, Alan Jacobsen and John Martin in the study.

News Article | December 4, 2015

How do you build the world’s lightest metal? Make it mainly from air, according to scientists. The material, known as a "microlattice," was developed by scientists at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California, which is co-owned by Boeing and General Motors. The new microlattice is made up of a network of tiny hollow tubes and is roughly 100 times lighter than Styrofoam. In an effort to save fuel, aerospace and automotive companies constantly strive to make their materials as lightweight as possible without sacrificing structural integrity. The process used to build the new microlattices holds huge promise, the researchers say, because the materials created are not only incredibly light, but also very strong. [Humanoid Robots to Flying Cars: 10 Coolest DARPA Projects] Boeing showcased the material in a recent video, by demonstrating how a small piece of metal microlattice could be balanced on top of a delicate dandelion seed head. "People think it must be the metal that's the light part, so they assume we made some new alloy," said Sophia Yang, a chemist at HRL Laboratories. "This was actually made from nickel-phosphorous, a very well-known metal, but we are able to engineer how the metal is architected in order to create a structure that can still stand by itself, yet be so light it can sit on top of a dandelion and not perturb it." The material’s remarkable properties are based on the same principles that allow the Eiffel Tower to support a skyscraper-size structure at a fraction of the weight of a conventional building. HRL's innovation was to translate these principles to very small scales. The microlattice’s network of interconnected hollow tubes mimics the structure of bridge supports, the researchers said. But in this case, the walls of the tubes are just 100 nanometers thick — 1,000 times thinner than the width of a human hair — meaning that the material is 99.99 percent air. The structure is built using an innovative additive manufacturing process, similar to 3D printing. But while 3D printing builds up structures layer by layer, the solution developed by HRL Labs uses special polymers that react to light to form the entire structure in one go. By shining ultraviolet light through a specially patterned filter onto the liquid form of the polymer, an interconnected three-dimensional lattice can form in seconds. This structure can then be coated with a wide variety of metals, ceramics or composites (depending on the application) before the polymer is dissolved, leaving a microlattice of connected hollow tubes. Researchers can vary the rigidity of the structure by tweaking the chemical makeup of the polymer, or adjusting the pattern of the filter. This means they can create both highly flexible structures suited for damage absorption and very strong ones designed to provide structural support, Yang told Live Science. "The way we see this technology growing is as a fundamental manufacturing process. It can be applied to a number of different applications," she said. "We are working on really scaling up the process. We do R&D, but these materials can't stay in the lab — we need to work out how to make them on a larger scale." Boeing is collaborating with NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the branch of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for developing cutting-edge military technologies, to build new materials for spacecraft and hypersonic vehicles. The lightweight metal could also be used in projects aimed at developing next-generation parts for the lab's co-owners. In one promising avenue of research, microlattices are being used in the so-called sandwich structures that have become the standard for lightweight design in the aerospace industry. By attaching thin sheets of a stiff material to a thick but lightweight core, it is possible to create highly rigid structures that aren't heavy, the researchers said. Normally, the cores of these structures are made using foam or lightweight materials arranged in a simple honeycomb pattern, but using a microlattice instead could not only reduce weight but also drastically increase the strength of the structures. This is the focus of HRL Lab's work with NASA and DARPA.

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