Monthly Archives: August 2018

What is Open Bionics?

There are people all around the world that may loose limbs for various reasons -- wars, illness, and accidents being the three major ones. Artificial limbs do alleviate a part of the loss these folks experience, but often, their high cost means not all can afford a prosthetic limb. Open Bionics is a company making affordable bionic arms, making kids feel like superheroes. A start-up tech company in the UK, Open-Bionics is changing the way people see prostheses. The 3-D printed prostheses Open Bionics Read more [...]

How are RS232 and RS485 Different?

When engineers need to connect electronic equipment, they resort to serial interfaces such as the RS-232 and RS-485. Although dozens of other serial data interfaces exist today, most are meant for use in specific applications. A few of them are considered universal, such as I2S, MOST, FLEX, SPI, LIN, CAN and I2C. Other high-speed serial interfaces are also used, including Thunderbolt, HDMI, FireWire, USB, and Ethernet. Despite the proliferation of interfaces, the two legacy interfaces, RS-232 and Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi Controls the Cardboard Dog

This is a project for beginners using the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) single board computer. The RBPi is used to control a servo for turning the head of a cardboard dog away whenever a person is looking at it. This is to mimic a begging dog that seems ashamed of its begging nature. This project requires the SBC RBPi, its power supply with the 5 V micro-USB cable, a USB keyboard and mouse, a display, and an HDMI cable. For storing the OS, an 8 GB micro SD card is also necessary. Another computer will be Read more [...]

What are Current Sense Resistors and how do they work?

Efficiency has become the keyword in global trends in meeting demands for lower carbon-di-oxide emissions. Whether it is the smartening of the electrical supply grid or the electrification of our automobiles, the global trend is driving the need for electronic circuits to become more efficient. Knowing the level of current flowing through the circuit and reaching the load accurately is an important factor in gauging its efficiency for circuit designers and systems operators. This knowledge helps Read more [...]

Why Smart Home Tech Adoptions Need Switches

Most modern homes now use connected devices for entertainment, access control, and several other daily tasks. Their rapid increase can be gauged from the growth of the US market for smart homes, which has reached 29 million and is still rising. The amazing features and efficiencies products related to smart homes offer to households naturally mesmerize consumers. However, this also necessitates engineers keep in mind the physical interfaces. While customer satisfaction is a long-standing effect, Read more [...]

Sensor Nodes Based on the Raspberry Pi

Building sensor networks is economical if a microcontroller hosts the sensors. However, sometimes the computational power a microcontroller offers is not adequate. For instance, it may be necessary to convert the data to a different format, print a hard copy of the sensor data, or incorporate the data within an application. What you need is a computer that not only has more processing power, but also allows the use of common applications, affords access to peripherals, and permits the use of scripting Read more [...]

Intelligence in LED Lighting

Apart from illuminating dark spaces there is much more to LED lighting than otherwise thought of. LEDs can be connected in an intelligent network with a low-voltage IP-based infrastructure, and they become a part of a powerful network of systems. Such a system can cooperatively collect, analyze, manage, control, and respond to specific objectives based on real-time sensor feedback. The building lit up by these LEDs now behaves as a smart building, offering better operational performance. It responds Read more [...]

Less Expensive 3D Printing

3-D printing is no longer a new technology. Several design studios use it, along with some home users who make their products using 3-D printers. However, the general opinion is it is expensive, slow, and unable to compete with traditional mass-manufacturing processes. Although considered a revolutionary technology, so far, 3-D printing has remained on the periphery. Now, a Massachusetts company is trying to prove the general opinion wrong. Desktop Metal is coming out with a 3-D metal printing system Read more [...]

Bluetooth 5.0

Custodians of the Bluetooth standard are a flexible lot, considering the enhancements the popular short-range 2.4 GHz wireless technology has been receiving. The Bluetooth SIG or Special Interest Group has allowed it to evolve in ways not envisioned by the inventors. Their foresight will be allowing this technology to expand beyond three billion shipments beginning next year. The latest incarnation of the technology is the Bluetooth 5.0. This indicates the seriousness with which SIG wants to entrench Read more [...]

Choosing a Regulator – Switching or LDO

Unlike AC circuits where a simple transformer can change the incoming voltage to a different level, DC circuits need an active device to change the voltage to the desired level. In general, there are two types of circuits to do this—switching and linear. Switching regulators are highly efficient and work on buck, boost, or buck-boost technology to change the voltage level. On the other hand, linear regulators such as LDOs are ideal for powering very low power devices or applications where the difference Read more [...]