Energy conservation is a hot topic on the nation's campuses. Competitions like the Dept. of Energy's Solar Decathlon are fostering ideas for reducing power consumption in homes. Georgia Tech's entry employed five solar-powered systems that managed lighting, HVAC, energy, plumbing and motion control systems. About 80 channels of analog and voltage data was measured and controlled by National Instruments' Compact Fieldpoint hardware. The plumbing control system used thermocouple and analog voltage input cards, while the energy control system used a Compact Fieldpoint system with analog conditioning. The user interfaces for each of the five systems, programmed in National Instruments' LabVIEW, ran on standard PCs.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
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