New and Notable Product Design 13048New and Notable Product Design
March 15, 2004
SENSORS, LEDS SHOW THE WAY
Arkon Resources LavNav(TM) Lavatory Navigation Nightlight.
"Way to go," takes on new meaning with this low-cost sensor laden nightlight that mounts under a toilet lid. For starters, a passive infrared pyroelectric-crystal sensor will detect an approaching person six to ten feet away. If a photoelectric cell then determines it is dark or nighttime, an active seat sensor uses an IR LED beam to detect the position of seat-and indicates status by bathing the area with red (up) or green (down) LED light. The LavNav is also touted as a nighttime potty training aid. VP Marketing and Sales:Aaron Roth, [email protected]http://rbi.ims.ca/3846-541
METER MADE FOR SAFETY
Wavetek Meterman(R) Test Tools XP Digital Multimeters.
The VoltTect(TM) non-contact, capacitive "voltage tick" circuit built into the head of this general-market digital multimeter (and wired parallel to the other circuits) allows detection of potentially dangerous ac voltages greater than 70V through roughly four inches of nondielectric materials. Circuit protection features, such as heavy duty 1,000V fuses and extra spacing of boards and components to avoid arcing and shorting, help provide a CAT III safety rating for all three models in the XP Series. Senior Manufacturing Engineer:Dan Cordwell, [email protected]http://rbi.ims.ca/3846-542
SPEAKER ALERTS DEER
DesignTech International Trailblazer(TM) Electronic Deer Alert.
Unlike vehicle-mounted whistles that emit sound levels dependent on speed, this electronic automotive deer alert gives off a constant range of 103-dB sounds. Reportedly effective up to 1,500 ft, the device's speaker produces tones different from the "natural environment" to capture the attention of animals and turn them away. Because of overlapping hearing ranges between humans and deer, extensive field research led to a speaker design that produces a low sound for humans while repelling wildlife. Director of Sales:Arturas Rainys, [email protected]http://rbi.ims.ca/3846-543
ARM SCANS WITH ABANDON
FARO Technologies Laser ScanArm(TM).
Engineers used an internal data bus and power supply to eliminate cumbersome external cables of previous scan arms-thus allowing simple attachment of the laser scanner to the arm via a port at the end. Without external cabling, the "clean" arm takes advantage of its infinite range of rotation with less potential for snagging surrounding equipment and objects. Development of a patented image-processing algorithm allows using the bus system to convert video images to digital data and compress them aboard the arm before porting to a controlling PC. The integrated installation facilitates digitizing objects with the scanner or ceramic hard probe interchangeably-without having to remove either component. Users can, for example, collect simple points with the probe and then scan sections of a target requiring larger data volumes. Product Manger:Shaun Mymudes, [email protected]http://rbi.ims.ca/3846-544
REEL, REEL GONE
Reelcraft Industries ReelTek Hose Reel.
This hybrid composite and steel reel combines the benefits of both materials for strength, lightness, and low parts count. The glass-filled polypropylene "spool" combines four components (ratchet teeth, two spool halves, and bearing hub) in one piece to cut assembly cost. A single-cavity injection mold, with interchangeable center slides for different width reels, forms the composite piece. Progressive metal stamping dies are used to manufacture and bend the steel base plate and guide arm, which feature integral gussets, forms, and ribs. This fabrication allows using lighter gauge steel while reducing weight and maintaining rigidity. Previous reels were made from heavier gauge steel simply bent or assembled as a two-piece weldment. Project Engineer:Greg Banaszkiewicz, [email protected]http://rbi.ims.ca/3846-545
Griffin Technology iTrip.
This battery-less transmitter attachment allows Apple iPod users to play music through an FM radio in a car or at home. The transmitter can be tuned to any channel in the FM band, not just the four fixed frequencies at the cluttered low end of the spectrum used by previous transmitters. But in allowing this frequency control, development engineers could not interfere with the iPod's operating system. So they programmed the iTrip to recognize control tones stored as MP3 files in the iPod, which the transmitter's microcontroller interprets to set the frequency. The microcontroller saves the value in nonvolatile memory. Free, downloadable Station Finder 2.0 software suggests clear channels for locations in worldwide markets. Product Manager:Don Stratton, [email protected]http://rbi.ims.ca/3846-546
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