Look out, world. Here comes a generation of wildly creative engineers.
We see Gadget Freak projects from all walks of life, but many of our most imaginative gadgets are created by very young engineers. Most of our budding engineers are moving their way through college mechatronics programs, but some were in high school when they developed and submitted their creations.
Click the image below for a slideshow of the best gadgets from some of our youngest engineers.
Gadget Freak Case #196: Mayan Water Sound Fountain
Here's an entertaining gadget from a trio of engineering students -- a waterfall over a miniature Mayan temple that responds to music. Speakers and lights are built into the Mayan pyramid, and water flows through the center of the gadget for a powerful overall effect. The device includes a pyramid plexiglass body, a water system, a control unit, speakers, and an output screen with LEDs.
Do you have a Gadget Freak project you would like the world to see? Send a brief description of your gadget and a photo to Senior Editor Rob Spiegel.
Great job by those young engineers! I would like one of the smart bikes - I always have trouble knowing what gear to shift on my ten speed when the terrain changes. I also would like that toolbox for our garage - my only request would be that they add an additional feature that solves the problem we always have - remembering to replace the tools in the proper place when the job is complete!
I wonder if they will be attempting to bring any of their designs to market. We see a lot of senior projects (hubby teaches electronics at the college level) but the logistics of bringing a prototype through the product development and marketing process seems formidable at the student level - budget being one of the limiting factors. However, these efforts are always great props for future interviews and speak very highly of the person's abilities in so many ways. Bringing these projects to completion involves multiple skill sets and is no small task! Congratulations to each one of these young people!
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.