It's interesting to hear that old-is-better-than-new is an ongoing theme in Made by Monkeys, Rob. The auto industry has managed to boost its quality and reliability enormously over the past 35 years, so I can only wonder why so many home appliances and handhelds are getting worse.
That's a pretty good story about the Shop Vac, Jon. I think the key to the sucess of your Shop Vac and the Genie (the vacuum he went back to) that Dave discusses in the Monkey story is the age of the vacuums that worked well. Not surprisingly, the older ones work better than the new ones. This is quite a theme in Made by Monkeys.
Sad to hear about the poorly designed shop vacuum. I have a Shop Vac that continues to run well after 35 years. Wouldn't trade it for any other type.
Some time ago my son decided to get two goats as pets. He bought large alfalfa pellets but figured they might cause the goats to choke. So, how do you grind up large quantities of pellets to make a finer feed? Use a Dispose-All to grind them and collect the bits in my Shop Vac connected to the Dispose-All outlet. Worked like a charm. You never know when a shop vacuum will come in handy.
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.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
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.
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.