Smart Homes, Robotics, Automation, Unmanned Vehicles, Solar and Wind Energy. Regardless of where you work or what you do, these topics are affecting your life and will continue to do so in the future.

Most Popular Articles for 2015 - Did some of them predict the future?

Bob Hetherington for | LJB Management


2015 was an interesting year that's for sure. I thought I would take a look back at some of the most popular articles we published on all 3 of our Technology sites to get an idea of what you thought was important and maybe get some insight into where we could go in 2016. Here is what I found:


AltEnergyMag - Alternative Energy from Solar, Wind, Biomass, Fuel Cells and more…

From the list of most popular topics in the Alternative Energy field we can see that you are most interested in the future of the industry as well as new ideas and technologies that are shaping the future of energy.  At this point in time it seems that there is a real effort being made by businesses to use renewable sources to save them money in the future and build their corporate images. Terrific trend and lets hope it continues. It is amazing that even with the price of oil at record lows, society has decided that the future is better served by investing in new and clean sources of energy. Here's hoping this movement grows as we evolve --- now we just need to convince certain politicians in the US to get on board. Here are some of your favorites (if you want to share yours in 2016 just send us an email -


Crude Oil's Impact on Renewable Energy: Energy Alternative or Energy Staple?

With the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and the continual drop in capital costs in renewables technology, the margins for the leading players in the renewables industry will increase.

Storing Energy by Making Ice

Ice Energy has been awarded a five-year contract from Riverside Public Utilities to provide 5 megawatts of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage using Ice Energy's proprietary Ice Bear system.

The Cost of Renewable Energy

Support for new renewable energy resources will have the greatest impact on our energy by driving demand for improvements in alternative energy that will deliver health and environmental benefits, and will help change the way our electricity is produced.

Retrofitting Buildings to Improve Energy Efficiency

Making a building more sustainable while completing the retrofit could attract more higher-paying tenants, which would cause a greater appreciation by the time the owners plan to sell. Properties with Energy Star certification have sold for 2-5% more than buildings without such certification.

Corporate Demand for Renewable Energy is Increasing

Multinational corporations want access to global solutions that help them document their commitment to electricity from renewable energy sources.


HomeToys - Residential and Commercial Automation, Security & A/V Systems

OK, we get it --- Smart Home articles and interviews ruled the site last year and you found that to be what you were looking for. Back to basics for HomeToys since we did start out 20 years ago focused on Home Automation. The industry has changed drastically though. It seems the interface of choice is the smartphone, and the app of choice is still lighting control. There is a raft of new apps and systems that claim to "Do It All". Maybe 2016 will find a winner or two to that claim. One thing I do see though is that the interest in these product is growing with the everyday consumer and therefore the products and systems are getting cheaper and easier to install. That's a good thing.  Here are the top 5 articles from 2015.

Siri, Meet Hue: How to Use Apple's Siri to Activate Your Philips Hue Lights

While there are automated solutions available that will turn your Wi-Fi enabled lights on and off at pre-set times or based on other actions occurring, sometimes you just want to say, "Lights, turn off " and have it happen.

The Smart Home Library - Who, What, Where and How!

A compilation of some of the companies, systems and products vying for dominance in your smart home. Latest update 12/15/15
See also - Here is a comparison table so you can see what these systems offer at a glance.

How the Smartphone is Making Home Security Accessible to Anyone

Combined with smart home security and automation products, smartphones provide a portable window into the home. This makes them the perfect home security accessory-one that's a lot less expensive than a traditional monitored security system yet is always accessible.

CES and the Smart Home (note - this article is about CES 2015)

Smart homes should be able to automatically adapt to your wants and needs, so you don't have to think about them if you don't want to.

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

In this ongoing article we will take a look at some of the Smart Bulbs and Smart Lighting options that are available now. Updated 10/29/15

RoboticsTomorrow - Industrial Automation, Robots and Unmanned Vehicles

Its hard to pin down what the most popular trend in robotics is from our most popular --- but one thing that does stand out is the diversity of the topics and the level of sophistication of our readers. It seems you are looking for detailed examples and trends in this fascinating industry. We will do our best to get more of that for you --- but we need help with that. There is still a lot of protectionism in the industry --- secret processes and systems that companies are reluctant to share. While I understand that, I also know that sharing technology is a better way to advance an industry --- open source and open systems are the way to go --- take a look at the computer industry if you don't believe me. Sharing case studies and lessons learned with your colleagues (our readers) will not jeopardize your business --- in fact they may share something back that gets you over a hump that is hampering your progress. Anyhoooo - here are the top 5 for 2015 --- if you want to share yours in 2016 just send us an email -


Simulating Clearpath Robots In Maplesim

If your robotics research depends on accurate models, you may want to consider looking at MapleSim® 2015 - a high performance physical modeling and simulation tool developed by Maplesoft™.

Robotics Engineers: What are the salary levels & who is hiring?

The below salary charts for robotics engineers shows the highest salary levels for robotics engineers in New York & San Francisco at approx. $110,000.

Automate 2015: New Era of Industrial Robots

Automate 2015 was a perfect platform where the full spectrum of automation solutions and emerging technologies from across the board came together - inspiring greater and more creative collaborations and paving the way to greater global industrial success.
Note - I am really happy about this one (and the others from Automate 2015). We teamed up with Northwestern University Professor Jarvis Schultz to give 3 Master of Science and Robotics program students the opportunity to attend and report on Automate 2015 with full media credentials.  Here are the other 2 reports.

Robots Help with Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is thinking "out of the box". Removing time, effort, and cost from the manufacturing processes is the solution to Lean manufacturing and competitiveness.

The Line Between Hype And Reality For Robotic Process Automation

RPA can bring about a "virtual integration" of multiple systems while executing repetitive work more accurately and reliably than humans can.
Smart Homes, Robotics, Automation, Unmanned Vehicles, Solar and Wind Energy. Regardless of where you work or what you do, these topics are affecting your life and will continue to do so in the future. And we will continue to report on them all.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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