Qin Zhang is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana developing a programmable electrohydraulic (EH) control valve. The new device consists of five proportional-flow control valves that are used with a hybrid control algorithm. Zhang and colleague Haibo Hu published a paper outlining their conclusions: They say it is technically feasible to integrate a programmable valve using five individually controlled proportional valves. It is important to obtain the characteristics of sub-valves before the integration, say Zhang and Hu. They also assert that the use of a simple logic control algorithm is sufficient for achieving programmable valve features such as open center, closed center, tandem center, and float center. For more information, call Zhang at (217) 333-9419 or visit www.uiuc.edu.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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