Thunder Cloud Lamp Brings the Storm Indoors
Blog 3/11/2015 24 comments Designed by Richard Clarkson of Richard Clarkson Studio, a product, lighting, and furniture design studio based in New Zealand and New York, Cloud was inspired by Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast in 2012.
8 Views of Hot Manufacturing Tech
Blog 3/11/2015 1 comment The range of new technology hitting the scene is nothing short of impressive. These days, everything on the plant floor is touched by advances in connectivity, motion control, safety, security, robotics, and iHMI, and all of the new technology has an eye toward energy efficiency. This ain’t the Boomers’ plant. It's not even the Gen X plant; it’s the Millennial plant.
When Will the Smart Home Really Be Smart?
Guest Blogs 2/27/2015 6 comments The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
A Look at Job Prospects During Engineers Week
Blog 2/27/2015 2 comments Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
5 Trends to Watch at Mobile World Congress
Blog 2/25/2015 1 comment CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) may get all the mainstream press attention, but as many engineers know, a notable amount of important industry action also takes place each spring at MWC, the Mobile World Congress conference.
The Impact of the Maker Movement
Blog 2/24/2015 Post a comment The Maker movement is bringing engineering into the mainstream. Makers around the world are inspiring each other to create (or “make”) smart gadgets, robotic gizmos, autonomous drones, and wearable devices. These innovations are no longer monopolized by multimillion dollar companies.
Get Your Wireless Demo Boards at Gadget Freak Workshop
Gadget Freak 2/2/2015 4 comments Followers of Design News’ Gadget Freak blogs will have the opportunity next week to take home a wireless remote demo package that can be used to build garage door openers, tire pressure monitors, keyless entry systems, and much more.
Video: Flexible Jar Design Keeps Hands Clean
Blog 1/27/2015 6 comments Everyone has had the experience of trying to scrape the last of the peanut butter or mayonnaise from the bottom of a glass jar without getting your hand sticky. Inventor Ron Jidmar thinks he has a solution to all of that nonsense with a flexible jar design that can be squeezed with one hand to lift contents from the bottom to the top of a jar or container, leaving the other hand free to scoop the contents out cleanly.
Gadget of the Year Won’t Spill Your Drinks
Gadget Freak 1/21/2015 8 comments The 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year goes to the DDV-IP -- or, a Drink Deliver Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum. The gadget is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on a hot summer day. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the users.
CES 2015: Jamstik – the Guitar for iOS
Blog 1/7/2015 Post a comment Remember when Guitar Hero used to be a thing? No? Well, that might be because you fancy yourself a real musician. But for those who want something in between the completely simulated and completely authentic guitar experience, there’s Jamstik, ¬a MIDI guitar controller designed to interface with the iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
Who Will Be Gadget Freak of the Year?
Gadget Freak 1/5/2015 6 comments Voting in the final round of our annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest is now open. Cast your vote and come back next week to see if your favorite project garnered the $6,000 first prize!
Video: First Store Staffed Entirely by Telepresence Robots Opens in California
Blog 12/19/2014 36 comments The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Is the Ring the ‘Worst Product Ever Made?'
Blog 12/10/2014 13 comments The Ring -- an invention of a company called Logbar, based in Tokyo with its US headquarters in San Carlos, Calif. -- controls your personal devices, such as an iPhone, from your finger through gestures and Bluetooth connectivity. It surpassed its Kickstarter goal by several thousand dollars.
Get Your 15 Minutes of DIY Fame
Gadget Freak 11/28/2014 Post a comment If you have a Gadget Freak project, we have a reader who wants to make it. And not only will you get your 15 minutes of fame on our website and social media channels, you will also receive $500 and be automatically entered into the 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year contest.
The IoT Comes to Your Backyard
Blog 11/26/2014 17 comments The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Transformed into Solar-Powered Bike Path
Blog 11/21/2014 22 comments The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
Keyssa: 'Kiss Old Connectors Goodbye'
Blog 11/19/2014 11 comments Anyone who’s ever moved files from a hard drive to a computer has sat patiently waiting for the transfer to complete. But what if this process could be done wirelessly, without having to connect devices with cables, and in seconds?
Take a Teardown 'Voyage' With Kindle
Blog 11/18/2014 6 comments Look and be amazed! Amazon has added a new tablet to its e-reader lineup, and this one aims to perfect the reading experience. But can it beat Amazon's rocky repairability record?
Would You Let Your Kids Play With Atomic Energy?
STEM Connection 11/10/2014 27 comments In the early 1950s, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab offered young people the opportunity to watch radioactive decay with a spinthariscope, measure the radioactivity of uranium ore with an electroscope, watch the tracks formed by alpha particles in a cloud chamber, and even prospect for uranium using a Geiger counter. Yikes!
30 Seconds With Festo's AquaJelly
Electronics News 11/7/2014 1 comment Frank Langro of Festo Corp. describes how AquaJelly, the intelligent artificial jellyfish, works. Festo demonstrated AquaJelly at its booth at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago this week.
Why You Need to Take a Break
Blog 11/6/2014 30 comments This is the article your manager doesn’t want you to read. Are you working on a tough engineering problem? Don’t keep plugging away at it. Take a break and do something else for a while. Your manager will thank you later.
What makes this movie stand out from the typical high school sports story is that the teenagers are undocumented immigrants, and the big game is a NASA-sponsored marine robotics competition. Like many other Hollywood movies, however, Spare Parts only tells part of the story. What the film shows -- and doesn’t show -- raises important issues affecting STEM education in the US.
Instead of sifting through huge amounts of technical data looking for answers to assembly problems, engineers can now benefit from 3M's new initiative -- 3M Assembly Solutions. The company has organized its wealth of adhesive and tape solutions into six typical application areas, making it easier to find the best products to solve their real-world assembly and bonding problems.
Load dump occurs when a discharged battery is disconnected while the alternator is generating current and other loads remain on the alternator circuit. If left alone, the electrical spikes and transients will be transmitted along the power line, leading to malfunctions in individual electronics/sensors or permanent damage to the vehicle’s electronic system. Bottom line: An uncontrolled load dump threatens the overall safety and reliability of the vehicle.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.