Rick Crammond created a gadget for cutting Halloween pumpkins that is powered by the faucet in a kitchen sink. The water pressure drives a stack of CDs that has been converted into a turbine. Crammond's Tesla CD Turbine uses two principles developed by Nikola Tesla in the early 1900s. The turbine uses flat discs rather than blades or cups. In Crammond's gadget, the discs are CDs or DVDs stacked in their case. Crammond adds a few other household items — such as Krazy Glue® and glue sticks — and hooks it all to a kitchen faucet using a garden hose. The result is a surprisingly powerful turbine. Crammond uses that turbine power to drive a skill saw blade for easy pumpkin cutting.
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.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.