Welcome to the fifth round of voting in the first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest from Design News and Allied Electronics!
You know the drill by now -- choose your favorite of the four Gadget Freak projects below. Will it be the gadget that modifies wall art? How about the super LED flashlight designed by our teenage gadget master? Or do you prefer the wearable computer for Fido and Kitty? Perhaps the speed regulator for rotary tools?
In the coming weeks, we will present four Gadget Freak projects that ran in Design News over the past year. They are all great, so you have a tough task: You have to choose the best one.
In two weeks, we will present four more projects. Then, we'll take the winners from each of the six voting periods and present them in a final showdown. The winner will become Gadget Freak of the Year and will win an all-expense-paid trip to the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show in Anaheim, Calif. in February to show off the gadget at the Design News booth.
The first two rounds of voting resulted in runaway winners. The fourth round was relatively close, and we think the fifth round will be no exception.
Allied Electronics, a longtime sponsor of Gadget Freak, is celebrating its 85th anniversary. The company had this to say about our inaugural contest:
As a sponsor of the Design News Gadget Freak of the Year Contest, Allied salutes the creators and innovators who, like Allied, continue to push the boundaries of technology to make the world a better place through innovation. You’re the pioneers who will develop the next great life-changing 'thing,' and we’re proud to stand behind you every step of the way.
Watch the videos below, and then cast your vote.
Gadget Freak Case #229: Modify Your Wall Art
Gadget Freak Case #228: Super LED Flashlight Hits 3,000 Lumens
Gadget Freak Case #227: Wearable Computer Keeps Tabs on Fido & Kitty
Gadget Freak Case #226: Speed Regulator for Rotary Tool
Yes, the stars are huge in the mountains. Thin air, no light pollution. You can see how the constellations were observed. Instead of just seeing the major stars in the constellation, you can see shading from the billions of far-off stars you don't usually see.
I remember being in the NM mountains in the 70s. The stars looked positively huge because of the altitude combined with lack of light pollution from cities. We don't have bears here, but we do have mountain lions--I'm sure this would work on them, too.
I know what you mean about needing light in the country, Ann. I recently stayed in a friend's cabin in the mountains in New Mexico. He had a giant flashlight he called his bear light, because it helps him light up the bear when it breaks into the outside garbage bin. John's Super LED Flashlight would make a good bear light.
I'm voting for the Super LED Flashlight. Not because the inventor is a smart young guy, which he is, but because I think it's a nifty idea. Especially for someone who lives in the country like I do, where it's very dark at night, and we occasionally need a lot of light, like in emergencies (car crashes on my windy road, trees falling, etc.).
I really like the motor speed regulator, it seems pretty handy. I remember facing the torque problem with my drill machines when drilling the PCB boards in my undergrad. This regulator solves that problem.
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.