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Tag Archives: engineering

This Is How You’re Supposed To Hold Your Burger

burger-holding

Burgers, along with pizza, are quite probably the most versatile (and satisfying!) food items ever invented. But a burger can be challenging to eat if you’re doing it wrong. Tired of ending up with half the bottom bun contents being spilled while eating, producers at the Japanese TV show “Honma Dekka!? hired experts in fluid mechanics, engineering, and dentistry to determine the best way to hold a burger so that you don’t end up wearing most of it after one bite.” The results of their “research”? Well, hold your burger with three fingers on the top bun, and two on the bottom. Your thumb and pinky finger will serve to hold the bottom bun in place, while the top three fingers… prevent the top bun from flying away?

This editor prefers to up the ante and use three fingers on the bottom and two on top. This way the burger is carefully cradled and the toppings don’t even try to escape from the sides. One could even argue for a 4-1 configuration, but that may be living life too dangerously for some.

Alternatively, one can try the daring one-handed 3-2 hold, so as to free one hand for fry retrieval, but that too may require excessive amounts of coordination and dexterity.

[ Kotaku ] VIA [ ThatsNerdaLicious ]

The Confectionary Cannon Shoots Marshmallows Straight Into Your Mouth

confectionary-cannon

Because what’s the point of going to engineering school if you can’t make a rig that shoots candy into your mouth, amirite? Well, a team of students at Olin College have created just that, and they called it the Confectionary Cannon. With a budget of $250, they took “four servos, a webcam, a solenoid and an Arduino Uno to make up the electrical system, which uses Python and OpenCV”, and created a device that’ll make anyone with a sweet tooth and a love of tech salivate just a little. Face recognition software looks for your mouth and the press of a button delivers the goods. Yeah, it doesn’t look like it has the most perfect accuracy in the world, but a little head movement on your part should be enough to bite down on the flying sugar.

No, it’s not available for purchase, but knowing that it can be made for that little money must mean some business minded person somewhere is working on it, right? Right?

[ Product Page ] VIA [ HackADay ]

Think That 12 Inch Subwoofer Is Badass? Try 6 Feet On For Size!

Let’s get the sad part out of the way from the start: you can’t buy this monstrosity. But it’s nice to know that in the spring of 2011, with a bit of elbow grease and a $600 budget, some engineering students from the University Of Wisconsin were able to create a subwoofer with a cone 6 feet in diameter. It was simply called The Giant Speaker. Seeing as this was done on a shoestring budget, the best materials for the job couldn’t be selected. The driver was made of fiberglass, instead of the preferable carbon fiber for instance. Still, the team used 24 Neodymium magnets to drive this giant cone with the voice coil driver being fabricated by hand with three layers of 18awg wire wound onto G10 form attached to a fiberglass disk for support. The giant speaker was then placed in an 8′ by 8′ by 2′ cabinet and set in motion by a “20kW PWM voltage sourced inverter (intended for motor drives and microgrids) which was powered by a 400V DC power supply. At low frequencies (~10 Hz) peak coil currents were 100A.” Turn out it was able to run at frequencies between 5Hz and 50Hz, after which the inertia just became too much for the system to handle. In tests, the group found out that the resonant frequency of the building they were in was 7Hz, which resulted in several complaints from the other tenants and lots of high-fives from the students. No word on whether they found the Brown Note.

[ Project Page ] VIA DamnGeeky ]

Video: How Accelerometers Know Up From Down

By David Ponce

The above video features Bill Hammack, The Engineer Guy, talking about one fascinating piece of circuitry that we’ve all pretty much started to take for granted: the accelerometer. It’s ubiquitous in our cellphones and mobile devices, and it’s what allows them to know up from down, and to detect even the most minute movement you make. But how do they work? How to they get the system to fit within a chip as big as a couple of grains of rice? Bill has the answer in the video, of course, and it makes for a fun viewing. At least for those geeks that are into understanding how everything around them works. Which we hope is most of you.

VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]

DenGyo Rectenna Harvests Lost Microwaves

By David Ponce

Looks like people are still trying to harvest stray electromagnetic waves and convert these into usable energy. Some of you may remember the huge controversy we generated two years ago with news of RCA’s Airnergy, a device that claimed to make electricity from WiFi signals. Most of you agreed this was bunk as there was just not enough power in these signals. Ok. But what about microwaves? Japanese company DenGyo has announced the Microwave Regenerative Converter, which is what they call a “rectenna”. This stands for antenna and rectifier, smushed together, and not for anal antenna. The idea is that you’d place the device inside a microwave oven and any energy that doesn’t go directly towards heating up your food would be converted back into electricity through this device, up to 100W. Since the water content of your food determines the oven’s efficiency, the rectenna would be doing the most converting with old stale bread or some similar dry things.

If you follow the links, you’ll be treated to all manner of mathematical formulas. We can’t understand them, but we think this could work. Any engineers want to set us straight?

[ TechOn! ] VIA [ Reddit ]

JetMan Yves Rossy Does Aerobatics With Actual Fighter Jets

By David Ponce

Yves Rossy is the world’s only flying man. He attaches himself to a custom-built wing and 4 turbojets, and simply takes to the skies (dropping from a helicopter for now), tilting his body to control his flight path. He’s been making headlines for a while, especially when he first crossed the English channel with his wing, back in 2008. And now he can add another feather to his cap: he’s flown in formation with two L-39C Albatros planes from the Breitling Jet Team, flying at their minimum speed. You can see what it looked like in the video below.

A little on the wing itself. It has a wingspan of 2m and weighs 55kg (121lbs) fully fueled and with smoke solution, 30kg (66lbs) dry. It’s propelled by 4 Jet-Cat P200 turbojet engines, with 22 kilograms thrust each. It has an average speed of 200 km/h (120mph) and a top speed (in descent mode) of 300 km/h (180mph). Finally, the amount of fuel on board lets Yves fly autonomously for 10 minutes. After that, it’s parachute time.

VIA [ TechEBlog ]

Hypnotizing Video Of The World’s Smallest V-12 Engine Being Assembled

By David Ponce

The video above shows craftsmanship and engineering prowess of such a degree that I remained transfixed for the duration of the 10 minute video. It shows a Spanish man machining every single part of a tiny V-12 engine and then proceeding to assemble the thing. Here are some details on the engine:12 cm3 of displacement (making it a… 12mL engine?), the diameter of the cyllinder is 11,3 mm and the stroke of the pistons 10mm. It runs on compressed air though it could conceivably run on gas; the guy didn’t want to “contaminate” the air with combustion gasses. There are 261 parts, 222 screws and it took him 1,220 hours to complete. It’s a one-off creation, is not for sale and is meant to instruct viewers on the inner workings of such an engine.

VIA [ BoingBoing ]