A steel six-wheel shopping cart with nylon webbing siding and child seat won the ninth annual National Engineering Design Challenge for a safer shopping cart, sponsored by JETS, a national, non-profit educational organization that promotes educational excellence in math, science, and technology in high schools. To prove its stability, three students balanced on the buggy's side during competition. The cart stood motionless. A novel six-wheel design is the key to the cart's steadiness. On the standard cart, the turning wheels are in the front and the pivot point is in the back, creating front-wheel steering. The diameter of the smallest circle it can make, therefore, is twice the cart's length. The Queen of Carts' two center wheels not only act as stabilizing wheels and keep the cart going straight, but also are the pivot point. The cart can turn from either end--from front or back around the center wheels. Also, while standard carts carry most of the load in the front over the turning wheels, making them difficult to maneuver under heavy loads, the Queen of Carts can easily carry loads up to 1,200 lb. Alysse Beutel, Patrick Flannery, Judith Luckie, Jessica Rudy, and Rebecca Wilson from West Perry High School in Elliottsburg, PA designed the Queen of Carts. FAX: (212) 967-7292
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.