Making a Synchronous MotorMenlo Roundtable (Issue 25: Fall 2016)
The goal of this project was to learn about alternating electric current, magnetism, and how both interact to power an AC motor. We built a single-phase, 2-coil, 2-pole AC motor, known as a synchronous motor. The motor has a maximum speed of 12,900 RPM, produces an average torque of 0.0204 N*m, and is approximately 34.30% efficient.
Performance Boost: Dynamically Improving a Home's Wi-Fi SignalIEEE Potentials (Volume: 35, Issue: 2, March-April 2016)
Wi-Fi is a common technology that allows many digital devices in a home or office, including personal computers, smartphones, tablet computers, and televisions, to connect to the Internet wirelessly. Over one-half of the homes in the United States, and one-quarter of the homes in the world, have Wi-Fi. Today, Wi-Fi is used for everything from retrieving documents to playing games to streaming movies. As Internet penetration grows and more connected devices are used inside the home, Wi-Fi will become even more pervasive.
A Dual Sensor System for Determining the Unique Oxygen Production Signature of PlantsCyber Journals: Multidisciplinary Journals in Science and Technology, Journal of Selected Areas in Mechatronics (JSAM), 2015 Edition, Vol. 5, No. 1
Low cost sensor technology has made real-time monitoring of oxygen production and consumption from plants practical and affordable in homes. We describe an automated sensor based monitoring system comprising an oxygen sensor, a light sensor, and an automated data logging program that together enable near real-time measurement of oxygen production from common house plants. The results from the using system on common houseplants show that each plant has a very unique pattern of oxygen production during the course of a day. Even though light is critical for photosynthesis, all plants that were tested maximize their oxygen production during early morning hours, much before sunlight reaches its maximum intensity. Further, some plants tested here are net consumers of oxygen during a 24 hour cycle, as they consume more in respiration than they produce in photosynthesis. There are several practical applications from results observed with this monitoring system and interesting areas for future research. These include creating oxygen neutral smart homes, design of enclosed spaces for space travel, and deeper scientific understanding of the role that specific plants play in oxygen production, which has applications for wellness and prevention of diseases.
Modular Media PlayerPatent: US D769941 S1
The ornamental design of a modular media player, as shown and described.
Multi-Person Straw for Sharing/Tasting BeveragesPatent: US 9186007 B2
The design of a beverage sharing/tasting straw with one dipping end and plurality of independent suction ends, each differentiable from the other through a combination of one or more of color, size, unique sleeve, logo, material, design and the like to enable multiple people to share/taste the same beverage without risk of transmitting virus, bacteria or other germs, either for one-time consumption or during re-use. The length of the straw dimensions of the suction ends and distance between suction ends can be customized for a specific number of people, ages and seating configurations (e.g. sharing for 2 kids seated next to each other). In one particular embodiment of this design, the beverage sharing/tasting straw end attachment can be adapted to fit over any currently available standard straw thereby converting a traditional single person straw to a multi-person sharing/tasting straw.
Apparatus and Method for Repairing a Surface Submerged in Liquid by Creating a Workable SpacePatent: US 8925168 B2
An apparatus and method for performing repair on the floor or side wall of a swimming pool or of a large body of liquid by creating a workable space without fully draining the water or liquid. The apparatus utilizes a sturdy solid tube to create a separation between the area enclosed within the tube and body of liquid outside. A guiding lid with multiple openings allows a specific tool to be guided into the tube for conducting repairs. A draining assembly drains the liquid enclosed within the tube. A drier assembly creates a dry workable space within the tube. A repair assembly is used to conduct a specific repair operation including spray painting, filling up holes, filling in caulking to cover up cracks, sanding within the workable space. An inspection assembly is used to remotely inspect the surface that needs repair.
System, Methodology, and Product to Sort, Organize, and Store Toy Building/Construction SetsPatent: US 7987990 B2
A system, methodology, and product to sort, organize and store individual members of building/construction toy sets utilizing a multi-level system of bins with sieves at different heights using user applied forces and gravity to automatically sort and organize pieces into bins, while providing a fun hands-on sorting experience for kids. The location, size and shape of the sieves can be designed to optimize sorting speed and user experience for specific toy manufacturer brands including Lego™ bricks made by Lego Corporation. The system also functions as a storage unit for the pieces, during and after sort. A flexible binding mechanism holds the system together during sort. The system is designed with see-through materials to monitor the status of the sort and find specific pieces in respective bins. A set of wheels enables mobility. The “hands-on” involvement in sorting also makes this an entertaining and educational apparatus for kids.