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Gadget Freak

Slideshow: Best Gadget Freak Projects of 2011

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Rob Spiegel
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Good for a laugh
Rob Spiegel   12/5/2011 2:47:06 PM
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Got to admit it, I laughed out loud going through this slide show of the top 2011 Gadget Freaks. What a fun ride. And to think each one of the Gadget Freaks comes with a BOM, schematic and build instructions. You can actually make these in your home.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: Good for a laugh
Jennifer Campbell   12/5/2011 3:35:52 PM
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I have to admit, I laughed out loud at the Justin Timberlake comment - wonder how many engineers in our audience got the reference. =)

One thing that has been on my mind for several months concerning our monthly Gadget Freak feature is this: What percentage of our readers actually try to build the gadget? If you are one of them, let us know!

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Good for a laugh
Beth Stackpole   12/5/2011 3:43:53 PM
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I definitely can see the JT resemblance--how funny. But beyond the beer pong, my personal favorite was the e-volvo manned electric helicopter. That's one strange looking gadget and not one I'd want to personally test, but ... looks like some serious ingenuity!

Lauren Muskett
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Re: Good for a laugh
Lauren Muskett   12/5/2011 4:13:40 PM
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The e-volvo manned electric helicopter is my favorite one as well, but i would totally want to test it out!


Jennifer Campbell
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Re: Good for a laugh
Jennifer Campbell   12/5/2011 4:14:09 PM
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Another thought: In all my years at Design News, I have never once seen a Gadget Freak project submitted by a woman. Come on ladies!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Good for a laugh
Rob Spiegel   12/6/2011 10:18:42 AM
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Actually Jenn, we did have a Gadget Freak entry by a woman. It was exactly a year ago. Here's the link:

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=229830

Gadget Freak 176: Surround Sound Fun in 3D

It was submitted by Raven Sanders, a engineering student at SMU. I remember because it was so unusual to get a Gadget Freak from a woman.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: Good for a laugh
Jennifer Campbell   12/6/2011 10:49:11 AM
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Oh, that's right! I can't believe I forgot about that. She was the SMU student, right?
Let's hope for more in 2012!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Good for a laugh
Rob Spiegel   12/6/2011 12:37:19 PM
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Yes, I thought it was great we had a new gender for Gadget Freak. I recently contacted her to see if she had any new gadgets. No such luck. She's too busy with school.

Charles Murray
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Re: Good for a laugh
Charles Murray   12/6/2011 10:28:04 PM
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Although there has apparently been one female constributor to Gadget Freak, we need more. Women make up 10% of the engineering workforce today, I believe.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Good for a laugh
Rob Spiegel   12/7/2011 3:05:28 PM
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Not only is the engineering profession dominated by men, the electronics industry in particular has few women participants. I remember covering EDS (an electrincis distributor show) for a number of years. The only women at the show were journalists doing coverage. 

Alexander Wolfe
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Submit your Gadget Freak
Alexander Wolfe   12/5/2011 4:47:10 PM
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As content director of Design News, I'd like to invite readers who enjoyed this article to register for the site (here) and also to send me any suggests for stories, including potential Gadget Freaks. Write to me at alex.wolfe@ubm.com

 

Charles Murray
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Best of the best
Charles Murray   12/5/2011 9:26:10 PM
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It's hard to beat the e-volo, but I do like Turbo Dave's jet engine, made from $85 worth of junk parts. Our Department of Defense procurement people need to talk to Dave.

vimalkumarp
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GF projects
vimalkumarp   12/5/2011 10:24:37 PM
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Necessity is really the mother of invention. But it is also the telling proof of man's desire to highlight his existence. Engineering is indeed making the world a better place to live. These GF projects send that message that there is light always at the end of the tunnel. This is a must watch for all the budding engineers...!

 

Charles Murray
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Re: GF projects
Charles Murray   12/5/2011 11:23:47 PM
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Yes, necessity is the mother of invention. But I have to admit that I'm scratching my head as to the necessity behind the e-volo. Great design, but this may be the exception to the necessity rule.

bronorb
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Re: GF projects
bronorb   12/6/2011 11:58:10 AM
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I realize that Gadget freak submissions are mainly for fun but it looks as though these students put some serious effort into their designs as, I am sure, they are being graded on them.

That said, why aren't college professors and instructors pushing their students into creating something a little more useful. It seems to be a trend in schools these days to make sure that it's "fun" for the students.

I sincerely believe that this attitude has created a generation of people who ignore the serious problems of today in favor of designing a new iPhone App or a better game of Beer Pong.

Just sayin'. 

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: GF projects
Alexander Wolfe   12/6/2011 2:55:54 PM
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Regarding your comment, Bronorb, I'd like to point out that Gadget Freak projects are too important (too much fun) to be left to students alone. We'd love to see more submissions from seasoned engineers. Please drop me a line at alex.wolfe@ubm.com if you have something you'd like us to take a look at. As for beer pong and the like, I'd say that's definitely something one ages out of shortly after graduation. (At least, I hope that's the case.)

Krystyne
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Iron
Re: GF projects
Krystyne   12/6/2011 4:26:30 PM
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To Alexander:

I find your post a little offensive, especially the part about the Beer Pong table. As the mother of the "gadget freak" that made the table, I am VERY proud of him and all the work he put into it. Whether or not the engineeing project is something "useful" to you is irrevelant. I assure you, Cameron will "outgrow" the beer pong table, but as long as there are college students, this will always be "in style and in demand." It may not be something YOU want to see, but Cameron received many "thumbs up" for his project, including the University of Cincinnati. Maybe they should make a column called "Gadget Freak Wannabe's" for people like you.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: GF projects
Rob Spiegel   12/6/2011 12:42:20 PM
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Yes, Chuck, one of the interesting things about Gadget Freak is that often the gadget doesn't really solve anything. Gadgets for gadgets' sake. That's one of the fun aspects of Gadget Freak.

vimalkumarp
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Gold
best GF
vimalkumarp   12/5/2011 11:27:25 PM
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Charles, necessity here is the engineering desire. I agree with you on the necessity aspects of some of the projects, ,but then that is nothing but an attempt to stretch the limits of possibilities..!

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: best GF
Jennifer Campbell   12/6/2011 10:07:00 AM
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And stretch the limits many of our Gadget Freak contributors often do! Going back a few years, my favorite invention would probably be the "beer chucking" refrigerator - you just have to make sure you catch it!

Alexander Wolfe
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We want YOU!
Alexander Wolfe   12/8/2011 10:54:18 AM
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I'd like to reiterate my call for submissions from seasoned engineers. Please drop me a line at alex.wolfe@ubm.com if you have something you'd like us to take a look at. It could be featured in Design News print and online, and you could earn $500 for your efforts.

amyjohn
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Iron
Re: We want YOU!
amyjohn   12/26/2012 4:36:22 AM
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