Want to know just how hard you're exercising? Maybe your TV can tell you. At least it can if you've equipped yourself with the new Entertrainer from PowerUp Fitness Inc. The Entertrainer turns your TV into an exercise intensity monitor by combining the functions of a universal remote control and a heart rate monitor. You program the Entertrainer with your age, gender and desired workout intensity and hang it from your exercise machine. Then strap a heart-rate monitor around your chest, turn on the TV, and begin your desired method of aerobic torture — treadmill, stationary bike, stair climber or rowing machine. As long as the user's heart rate stays within the zone programmed into the Entertrainer, the TV will keep broadcasting your favorite show loud and clear. But start to slack off, even a little bit, and the volume will drop. Slack off long enough and the TV will shut off, leaving you winded and with nothing to watch. Joe Volpe, who invented the device, says it's constructed mostly from off-the-shelf electronics. The most distinctive thing about its mechanical design is that he packaged the electronics in a do-decahedron plastic shell. "I saw the shape on a Star Trek episode and thought it looked cool," he says. For more information on the Entertrainer, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/4915-530.
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.