For a couple years now, I have been looking at home weather stations to measure wind speed and direction along with the other usual stuff - indoor and outdoor temparature, humidity and rainfall. I went with a WMR968 Professional Weather Station from Oregon Scientific. It uses solar to power wireless transmitters to send the data from instruments to the display. It was a bear to install, taking 6-8 hours to get the anemometer high enough and away from obstructions. The directions were so bad, I thought it would never work, but it does and fairly reliably - for now.
But I wished I had waited for the anemometer from Fascinating Electronics. It’s a homemade but cleverly fashioned together with PVC pipe. The anemometer (weather vane and cup rotor) is $100. Throw in another $25 for the temparature/humidity sensor and you all but the rain guage you get in the WMR968 which goes for $250 (I wanted Davis Vantage Pro 2, but could not justify the $500+ cost). To be fair, Fascinating’s piecemeal approach isn’t for everyone. It does not come with an electronic display so you have to build or acquire your own or use a calibration chart to translate pulses from the anemometer in MPH. But that could be a fun project.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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