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
A new federally sponsored manufacturing innovation center to strengthen US manufacturing abilities in fiber-reinforced composites has formed, bringing together materials suppliers, OEMs, university R&D labs, and national labs.
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