A great thing about college demonstration projects is they don't have to have any commercial prospects. That's a good thing for students at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, who call their model an anti-gravity device. Despite that moniker, the machine uses the same principles that let high-speed magnetic levitation trains float above their tracks. The MSOE levitator uses analog instrumentation amplifiers donated by Analog Devices, a pulse-width modulated H-bridge from National Semiconductor, a coil, a feedback control compensator and Allegro MicroSystems Hall-effect sensors to magnetically suspend an object in mid-air.
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.