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Inductive versus capacitive position sensors

When it comes to inductive and capacitive position sensors, each is built quite differently, meaning that each technology is suited to particular geometries and applications.   When German scientist Ewald Georg von Kleist suffered an electric shock from his laboratory apparatus in 1745, he suddenly learned that it was possible to store a substantial electrical charge. Arguably, he had built the world’s first capacitor. A capacitor is a collector of electrical charge and typically comprises two conductive plates separated by a relatively small thickness of non-conductive material, or dielectric. The dielectric is typically air, plastic or ceramic.   Capacitors are…

10 Things We Couldn’t Do Without Robots

Since the advent of robots, work has been shared between man and machine. But, as robots become more technologically advanced and autonomous, they learn how to do jobs faster and better than humans. Their precision, intelligence and endless energy levels make them the perfect employees for a wide variety of jobs that humans just can’t afford to do.   Here are 10 things we couldn’t do without robots: Military Services: Military robots are some of the most high-tech and important robots used today. These state-of-the-art machines save lives by performing extremely dangerous tasks without endangering humans. Some common robots used…

WinAVR compilation error on Windows 8.1

Problem: After upgrading Windows 8(64bit)to 8.1 version, when try to compile project in AvrStudio 4 (WINAVR20100110) I get error: 0 [main] sh 2312 sync_with_child: child 4744(0x14C) died before initialization with status code 0xC0000142 73796 [main] sh 2312 sync_with_child: *** child state waiting for longjmp /usr/bin/sh: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable rm -rf main.o test.elf dep/* test.hex test.eep test.lss test.map make: [clean] Error -1073741502 (ignored) Build succeeded with 0 Warnings… 0 [main] sh 1484 sync_with_child: child 2300(0x14C) died before initialization with status code 0xC0000142 64185 [main] sh 1484 sync_with_child: *** child state waiting for longjmp /usr/bin/sh: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable avr-gcc -mmcu=atmega644pa…

Firo (Fire Entinguisher Robot)

Fire is like a double-edged sword. Discovery of fire stands as a milestone in the history of mankind. Fire fighters try their best to fight and extinguish fires when in need. But at the household level, it is observed that if the fire can be extinguished at an early stage, many major accidents can be averted. The aim here is to build a robot that can  detect and extinguish fire.   Circuit and working This fire extinguishing robot is a prototype (Fig. 1) of the actual one. Sensors used here are simple infrared (IR) photodiodes that detect IR rays coming…

Arduino IDE 1.6.1 not launching on Win7/64

Hello everyone, just a quick update. I was in the same situation, Win 7 64-bit 8Gb RAM, Arduino IDE 1.6.1 won’t start. Has suggested: I opened up the commands prompt (launch cmd.exe from Start button) I typed cd c:\program files (x86)\arduino then launched arduino_debug.exe I checked that the error was the VM’s reservation space I opened the two files arduino.l4j.ini and arduino_debug.l4j.ini with Notepad (Run it as Admin!!) I edited both files changing -Xmx1024M to -Xmx512M Saved and rerun Arduino IDE, everything fine!

Guide for the visually impaired…

As engineers, it is our job to fix something that is broken, or replace it with something better. Usually, these issues arise in man-made creations. A constant process of repair, refurbish, replace, redesign is what has brought mankind to it’s current state; those are all reworks of problems created by man as a side-effect of creating his comforts. But what about problems that have nothing to do with man’s progress? What about issues that would persist regardless of man’s endeavours?   One such issue, the issue of visual impairment, also called as blindness, is what I had aimed to tackle…

Arduino Morse Code generator

First of all, you might want to know my motivation for this project, so here goes. MIT, Manipal – my engineering college, had offered to take classes for people wanting to own Amateur Radio licenses. This seems like a great opportunity to be one amongst about half a million around the world with special radio privileges. These people are actually hobbyists that get to legally play around with basic radio communication and they follow a certain convention – one of them being, you guessed it, Morse Code communication. And so, people who wish to apply for the general license need…

PCB manufacturing process

An overview, tutorial or information about the basics of the PCB manufacturing process. The PCB manufacturing process is very important for anyone involved in the electronics industry. Printed circuit boards, PCBs, are very widely used as the basis for electronic circuits. Printed circuit boards are used to provide the mechanical basis on which the circuit can be built. Accordingly virtually all circuits use printed circuit boards and they are designed and used in quantities of millions.   Although PCBs form the basis of virtually all electronic circuits today, they tend to be taken for granted. Nevertheless technology in this area…

Printed Circuit Board

Background A printed circuit board, or PCB, is a self-contained module of interconnected electronic components found in devices ranging from common beepers, or pagers, and radios to sophisticated radar and computer systems. The circuits are formed by a thin layer of conducting material deposited, or “printed,” on the surface of an insulating board known as the substrate. Individual electronic components are placed on the surface of the substrate and soldered to the interconnecting circuits. Contact fingers along one or more edges of the substrate act as connectors to other PCBs or to external electrical devices such as on-off switches. A…

PCBs Fabrication Methods

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is a mechanical assembly consisting of layers of fiberglass sheet laminated with etched copper patterns. It is used to mount electronic parts in a rigid manner suitable for packaging. Also known as a Printed Wiring Board (PWB). A schematic diagram must be made available that shows the connection of the parts on the board. Each part on the schematic should have a reference designator that matches the one shown on the Bill of Materials (BOM). Many schematic layout programs will allow automatic generation of the BOM. The parts to be mounted on the PCB should be…

Bohr’s tall story

Some time ago I received a call from a colleague who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student: The instructor and the student agreed to submit this to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.   I went to my colleague’s office and read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the…

What would happen if oxygen were to disappear for 5 seconds?

All Oxygen? A few things..   Everyone at the beach would get sunburns. Ozone is molecular oxygen, and blocks the majority of UV light. Without it we are toast. The day-time sky would get darker. With fewer particles in the atmosphere to scatter blue light, the sky would get a bit less blue and a bit more black. Every internal combustion engine would stall. This means that every airplane taking off from a runway would likely crash to the ground, while planes in flight could glide for some time. All pieces of untreated metal would instantly spot weld to each…

Logical puzzles & answers – For Interviews, Placement, Competitive and Entrance Examinations

Question: Three friends divided some bullets equally. After all of them shot 4 bullets the total number of bullets remaining is equal to the bullets each had after division. Find the original number divided? Answer : 18. Assume that initial there were 3*X bullets. So they got X bullets each after division. All of them shot 4 bullets. So now they have (X – 4) bullets each. But it is given that,after they shot 4 bullets each, total number of bullets remaining is equal to the bullets each had after division i.e. X Therefore, the equation is 3 * (X…

Why is Stainless Steel Stainless?

What Is Stainless Steel and Why Is it Stainless? In 1913, English metallurgist Harry Brearly, working on a project to improve rifle barrels, accidentally discovered that adding chromium to low carbon steel gives it stain resistance. In addition to iron, carbon, and chromium, modern stainless steel may also contain other elements, such as nickel, niobium, molybdenum, and titanium. Nickel, molybdenum, niobium, and chromium enhance the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. It is the addition of a minimum of 12% chromium to the steel that makes it resist rust, or stain ‘less’ than other types of steel. The chromium in the steel combines…

What’s a servo

A Servo is a small device that has an output shaft. This shaft can be positioned to specific angular positions by sending the servo a coded signal. As long as the coded signal exists on the input line, the servo will maintain the angular position of the shaft. As the coded signal changes, the angular position of the shaft changes. In practice, servos are used in radio controlled airplanes to position control surfaces like the elevators and rudders. They are also used in radio controlled cars, puppets, and of course, robots. A Futaba S-148 Servo Servos are extremely useful in…

WHY A BLUE LED IS WORTH A NOBEL PRIZE?

Three scientists have jointly earned the Nobel Prize in physics for their work on blue LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. Why blue in particular? Well, blue was the last — and most difficult — advance required to create white LED light. And with white LED light, companies are able to create smartphone and computer screens, as well as light bulbs that last longer and use less electricity than any bulb invented before.   LEDs are basically semiconductors that have been built so they emit light when they’re activated. Different chemicals give different LEDs their colors. Engineers made the first LEDs in…

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