Looking to paint the town red (or his buddies at any rate), Nathan Loden devised this simple device to detect if the paintballs are traveling at a safe speed (& 300 ft/sec). Consisting of sensor circuitry and a microcontroller with a three digit, seven segment display driver, it detects the presence or absence of a ball by measuring the amount of IR energy striking the sensor, causing a voltage swing detectable by the micro. A timer is set to overload if the number of instruction cycles exceeds a limit equal to 300 ft/sec, indicating safe shooting.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
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.