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.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.