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Best of 2011: Our Top Stories

The Most Popular, Interesting, Weird, or Just Plain Cool eGFI Blog Posts of 2011

2011 was another busy year for engineers all over the world. From inventing a device that turns air into water to exploring the oceans in a tiny submarine, scientists and engineers are exploring uncharted territory.

Like last year, we at eGFI have chronicled the most awe-inspiring innovations and stories, so in case you missed one, we present:

The Most Popular, Interesting, Weird, or Just Plain Cool eGFI Blog Posts of 2011

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It’s Here! The 5th Edition of
Engineering, Go For It

Like our new magazine cover? Snatch up the 44″ x 25″ poster

What do the blockbuster movie Avatar, high-performance sports gear, the Angry Birds phone app, and pollution-eating bacteria have in common? They are among a host of fascinating innovations developed by engineers and featured in the newest edition of the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Engineering, Go For It magazine.

The publication is now available in our online store. You can find a free preview of the magazine here.

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Fasten Your Seat Belts

space

New spacecraft will soon be fulfilling tourists’ astronautical dreams.

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Engineering Breakthrough Could Double Wireless Capacity

Melissa Duarte, a Rice University graduate student, with a “full-duplex” prototype

Engineers at Rice University have accomplished a feat that should bring happiness to all smart-phone users: “full-duplex” technology, a breakthrough that could instantly double the capacity and speed of existing wireless networks without the need for additional cell towers.

Much like people, modern wireless devices are not able to both “talk” and “listen” at the same time, meaning they must send and receive data on different frequencies. With full-duplex, however, information can be transmitted simultaneously in two directions.

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Student Invents Walking Chair

A product-design student in Derby, England, has invented a wheelchair alternative he hopes will give people with mobility issues more freedom, the BBC reported. Martin Harris, 21, noted that current wheelchairs are often restricted to paths. His battery-powered device “can work either indoors or outdoors – a leg can simply pick itself up and step over an obstacle.”

The chair, which can be steered by a joystick in the armrest, has six pairs of legs underneath the seat that consist of 216 pieces bolted together. Two conventional wheelchair motors power the “walking” chair, which can travel at up to 4 mph – the maximum allowed for battery-powered wheelchairs.

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