When a go-kart racer knows the density of dry air entering the engine, he can tune his carburetor's efficiency accordingly and maximize performance. The problem is weather is always changing. To avoid any guesswork, John Cashon built an on-board weather station for go-karts. It monitors three atmospheric parameters (barometric pressure, relative humidity, and temperature), does the required math, and displays the dry air density on a PDA for quick, on-the-fly carburetor adjustments.
Go-kart weather station parts list
Allied Part #
HIH-36010-002 humidity sensor
MPX4115A barometric pressure sensor
Trimming potentiometer 100 kOhm
Voltage regulator +5V
9V battery strap
Additional parts required: PalmOS PDA, OrbForms Designer (OrbWorks Inc.) DAQ-100 data acquisition card (Integrity Instruments), PDA serial cable prototype board, enclosure, 9V battery, various capacitors and resistors.
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.
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.