Here's an alarm clock that clicks on your favorite music, vibrates your pillow, removes your sheets and makes your coffee. Brian Wagner and his mechanical engineering teammates at Colorado State University (Matthew Cuff, Ryan Seeboth and Steve Schmitt) devised the perfect wake-up machine. The alarm uses a keypad and six LEDs to indicate depressed buttons or command functions that determine the sensory mix to wake you up and ease you into your day. The temperature gauge can be connected to a heater or fan to activate the perfect wake-up temperature.
Using three (four?) PICs, a keyboard encoder, a 555, and four digital potentiometers when only the PIC16F747 would do is not a good design. I suspect everything on the "Light Dimmer Circuit" sheet could also be incorporated into the one PIC16F747.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.