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Gadget Freak Case #243: MR Shock Improves Biking

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Rob Spiegel
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Nice blend of sciences
Rob Spiegel   7/22/2013 10:21:48 AM
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There is a nice blend of sciences in this gadget -- chemistry, physics, mechanics, and electronics -- all for the fun of off-road biking.

naperlou
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Blogger
Cell phone would be better
naperlou   7/22/2013 10:38:22 AM
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This is a nice gfadget, but I would have used a different user interface.  I would be nervous about the screen on the side of the bike.  A blue tooth connection to a cell phone app would be more appropriate.

mrdon
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Gold
Re: Cell phone would be better
mrdon   7/22/2013 1:13:07 PM
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naperlou, I agree. Its a very nice device but the TFT screen being exposed on the side of the bike allows it to be damaged quite easily. The screen could have been mounted on the handle bars and using a wireless connection, such as BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) the controller can communicate with the mechanics (MR shocks). Still an impressive device.

mrdon
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Gold
Re: Nice blend of sciences
mrdon   7/22/2013 1:18:45 PM
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Rob I'm noticing a stream of Colorado State University engineering students developing some really cool and innovative gadgets.  This is the second bike gadget I've seen from the university where the first one was a Smart Bike Shifter (Gadget Freak Case #205). I assume biking must be big in Colorado, based on the bike submission projects, along with skiing. Cool Gadget!!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Nice blend of sciences
Rob Spiegel   7/22/2013 1:33:59 PM
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Yes, biking is big in Colorado, especially in this age group. And yes, we are seeing a string of projects from Colorado State. That goes back six or seven years. What I'd like to see is a string of your students, MrDon.

Jason Brack
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Iron
Re: Cell phone would be better
Jason Brack   7/22/2013 2:35:32 PM
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Thanks for the comments. We wanted to control this with a cell phone, but decided it might be beyond our abilities. This was pretty much our first experience with control systems and we wanted to make sure we didn't get in over our heads.

mrdon
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Gold
Re: Nice blend of sciences
mrdon   7/22/2013 2:37:36 PM
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Rob, I'm still working on the sales pitch of the benefits that come with submitting projects to the magazine. Some of the students are interested but trying to put this project into their busy schedule.

mrdon
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Gold
Re: Cell phone would be better
mrdon   7/22/2013 3:24:57 PM
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Jason, You guys did a great job on the bike project. I do understand about being over your head when developing products. I tell me students not to get caught up in the tech glitz -glamour of the project but focus on the team's capabilities to accomplish the individual tasks required to complete the final product. Very nice work!!!

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Nice blend of sciences
Rob Spiegel   7/22/2013 4:02:16 PM
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Thanks MrDon. As you can see from Jason's project, the Design News presentation becomes a nice resume item for students. On these team efforts, the project also reflects collaboration skills.

armorris
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Platinum
Re: Cell phone would be better
armorris   7/22/2013 4:07:15 PM
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This is a way cool gadget. It's a lot more sophisticated than any of my projects. I'm sure this is just a prototype to demonstrate the concept, instead of a finished product. Otherwise, the control panel would be in a much more convenient place.

Another thing: Will the iron particles in the shock oil not eventyally grind down the metal parts? I've heard of this technique before in a clutch used in an automobile AC system. Also, how much power does this thing use? A big battery or generator would slow you down a bit, wouldn't it?

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