Not an aging rock star, "rod creep" is a fault in a fly-fishing cast where the rod rotates forward at the end of the back cast instead of stopping. Now, thanks to MEMs technology and Noel Perkins, mechanical engineering professor at the University of Michigan, anglers may have an easier time diagnosing such faults. Perkins wanted to master fly fishing and had previous experience simulating sensor-equipped submarine detection cables for the Navy. Modeling the fly line was similar, but Perkins needed devices to help understand how much his cast deviated from ideal. Using MEMs motion sensors, he built a device to measure fly-rod motion and wired it to his Palm Pilot attached to the rod. His "casting signature" can be compared to an expert's. He is looking for partners to develop the technology. www.engin.umich.edu
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.