Anyone who has tried to squeeze a transformer plug onto a power strip will immediately appreciate the Flexity PowerSquid's design, which places the female plugs on flexible electrical cords. Inventor Christopher Hawker came up with his "cephalopod design" after noticing that rigid power strips couldn't accommodate as many power bricks as they have open plugs. The first PowerSquids were simply power multipliers that connected up to five cords to one grounded outlet. Now, Flexity has developed advanced models that offer surge protection. They retain the squid form factor but also "have all the features you'd expect from a premium surge protector," says Hawker. These include MOVs with joule ratings from 1020 to 3280 joules, EMI/RFI filtering, and protection for coaxial cables and phone lines. The flagship Calamari model also features two neon glowing outlets, an audible alarm, and a 360-degree, rotating, flat-profile, male plug. For more information, visit www.powersquid.net. Or visit Hawker's design firm at www.trident-design.com for a look at his other products.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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