But the bike that I’m writing about, as you can see from the picture, is over the top even for this group. It’s a tall bike, with a couch instead of a bicycle seat. It has wheels, and can be ridden on land. But the wheels have paddles, and there’s a frame under there with pontoons attached, so it can go in the water as well. It has a table that can hold your beer. I’m not completely sure, but I think you steer by spinning the table around. Just be sure you keep an eye on your beer. The pontoons are made from 55 gallon plastic drums with the ends cut off, epoxied together, and filled with expanding foam insulation.
Rat Patrol OZ has some improvements planned, like a parasol and fold out bed. This is a project to keep your eye on.
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.