Got to admit it, I laughed out loud going through this slide show of the top 2011 Gadget Freaks. What a fun ride. And to think each one of the Gadget Freaks comes with a BOM, schematic and build instructions. You can actually make these in your home.
I have to admit, I laughed out loud at the Justin Timberlake comment - wonder how many engineers in our audience got the reference. =)
One thing that has been on my mind for several months concerning our monthly Gadget Freak feature is this: What percentage of our readers actually try to build the gadget? If you are one of them, let us know!
I definitely can see the JT resemblance--how funny. But beyond the beer pong, my personal favorite was the e-volvo manned electric helicopter. That's one strange looking gadget and not one I'd want to personally test, but ... looks like some serious ingenuity!
Not only is the engineering profession dominated by men, the electronics industry in particular has few women participants. I remember covering EDS (an electrincis distributor show) for a number of years. The only women at the show were journalists doing coverage.
As content director of Design News, I'd like to invite readers who enjoyed this article to register for the site (here) and also to send me any suggests for stories, including potential Gadget Freaks. Write to me at email@example.com
Necessity is really the mother of invention. But it is also the telling proof of man's desire to highlight his existence. Engineering is indeed making the world a better place to live. These GF projects send that message that there is light always at the end of the tunnel. This is a must watch for all the budding engineers...!
I realize that Gadget freak submissions are mainly for fun but it looks as though these students put some serious effort into their designs as, I am sure, they are being graded on them.
That said, why aren't college professors and instructors pushing their students into creating something a little more useful. It seems to be a trend in schools these days to make sure that it's "fun" for the students.
I sincerely believe that this attitude has created a generation of people who ignore the serious problems of today in favor of designing a new iPhone App or a better game of Beer Pong.
Regarding your comment, Bronorb, I'd like to point out that Gadget Freak projects are too important (too much fun) to be left to students alone. We'd love to see more submissions from seasoned engineers. Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have something you'd like us to take a look at. As for beer pong and the like, I'd say that's definitely something one ages out of shortly after graduation. (At least, I hope that's the case.)
I find your post a little offensive, especially the part about the Beer Pong table. As the mother of the "gadget freak" that made the table, I am VERY proud of him and all the work he put into it. Whether or not the engineeing project is something "useful" to you is irrevelant. I assure you, Cameron will "outgrow" the beer pong table, but as long as there are college students, this will always be "in style and in demand." It may not be something YOU want to see, but Cameron received many "thumbs up" for his project, including the University of Cincinnati. Maybe they should make a column called "Gadget Freak Wannabe's" for people like you.
And stretch the limits many of our Gadget Freak contributors often do! Going back a few years, my favorite invention would probably be the "beer chucking" refrigerator - you just have to make sure you catch it!
I'd like to reiterate my call for submissions from seasoned engineers. Please drop me a line at email@example.com if you have something you'd like us to take a look at. It could be featured in Design News print and online, and you could earn $500 for your efforts.
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Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
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.