Looking to light up the town, model railroad enthusiast William Grill developed this unique and flexible control board for driving lighting for water towers, running and crossing lights, and storefront dress-up lights. The microcontroller-based application enables the selection of four display formats using five outputs, including combinations of sequenced, bouncing, and dual beacon displays. Since the architecture is table-based, the design allows the possibility of simple redefining and customizing with longer display sequences. And powered from 7 to 18V ac/dc, the circuit uses only a few milli-amps of power.
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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