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.
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.
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