Joe Groele of Allegany, N.Y., took a flash camera, added a few electronic components and turned it into a coin-tossing gadget. He converted the flash into a strobe, then he ran the electricity through a coil to create a magnetic field. “The changing magnetic field causes an electric current in the coin, called an eddy current, which produces an opposite magnetic field,” says Groele. The nifty current makes the coin repel off the coil and into the air, thus tossing the coin.
The process of turning a camera into a coin flipper came with a few blips. Groele ran a few bumpy tests before a slight nudging of the coin turned into a full toss. Most notably, he discovered that working with high voltages “can be painful.” He also says he should have been “more careful drilling holes in fragile plastic.” Lastly, he found out he didn’t have to destroy nearly as many cameras as he expected. But after numerous trials, he hit pay dirt: a contraption that routinely flips a coin.
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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