William Grill had a periodic problem with backed-up water in his laundry room. The laundry tub has a shallow drain that is shared with the kitchen plumbing. The drain would regularly get clogged with refuse from kitchen disposal debris or laundry “goop.” When the drain clogged, water backed up onto the floor, creating a “rather unpleasant laundry room crises.”
Grill considered a water monitor, but he wanted a bit more warning so he could avert flooding. He wanted to know when the drain was getting clogged before “water was all over the place.”
He created a sensor that is set for two points — 1 and 5 inches of water in the laundry tub. The sensor sends an alarm before the water crests the tub and splatters all over the floor — all for less than $12 in components.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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