We’re all familiar with Leonardo daVinci’s genius when it comes to art. But what about his prowess as an engineer and inventor? A new Discovery Channel series, Doing DaVinci, tasks a team of 21st century builders, engineers and historians to recreate DaVinci’s inventions to see if they really work.
The premise of show, which made its debut April 13, is to have the modern team reconstruct DaVinci’s inventions using materials only available in DaVinci’s time. The 10-episode series calls for the team to try to recreate many of DaVinci’s advanced weapons designs–everything from a futuristic armored tank to a three-story siege ladder.
One of the secret ingredients for the team comes straight out of the modern engineer’s tool bag. The Autodesk Inventor 3-D CAD and simulation tool will be tapped to virtually test the inventor’s designs in the computer so the team can be sure that the designs will operate appropriately in the physical world. That way, the team can reduce the number of physical prototypes that need to be built as part of their design process.
“Doing DaVinci” will air on the Discovery Channel on Mondays at 10pm ET/PT.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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