FIRST Robotics competitions, Botball tournaments, Mars rover demonstrations, fun events at colleges… How will you celebrate National Robotics Week this year?
Sudden infant death syndrome, or crib death, is responsible in the United States for around 2,225 deaths a year of children from birth to 12 months. But German researchers have developed a stretchable, printed circuit board that could be fitted into a one-piece sleeper and would signal an alarm if a baby stops breathing. Investigators at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin have figured out how to make the flexible, wearable circuit board from polyurethane, a plastic often used as a sealant. They fitted it with sensors that monitor breathing in the chest and stomach areas, and ironed it onto baby-size PJs.
Some engineers just can’t wait until they graduate to start innovating. Here’s one recent example: After watching a man with a speech impairment struggle to make a supermarket cashier understand him, three Ukrainian computer science students, who call themselves the QuadSquad, designed gloves fitted with 15 sensors that can understand the hand and finger gestures used in sign language.
Tokyo’s new 2,080-foot Sky Tree, the world’s tallest broadcast tower, is projected to draw 32 million visitors a year. But tourists won’t see one of its most striking features – a design intended to survive severe earthquakes and catastrophic winds.
Engineers began by studying soil formation as deep as 1.8 miles and taking meteorological measurements using a radiosonde balloon.
Sure, engineers tackle big problems to make the world a better place. But they design fun things, too! Check out this voice-activated popcorn-launching machine created by an electrical engineer at a popcorn company.