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
Two different shape-shifting polymers have been announced from two different universities: Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Zhejiang University in eastern China. Both of them change their shapes when immersed in water, and the one from Wyss Institute was made with 3D-printing techniques.
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