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Hunting for Radio Frequency Interference

RF interference could be causing your dropped calls. Engineers from P3 hunt down the source and shut it off: Every day, Kevin Argentieri tracks down devices that are causing radio-frequency interference, and then tries to persuade their owners to shut them off.   Argentieri works for P3, a company that performs radio-frequency interference hunting for nationwide carriers including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. American carriers pay big bucks to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for exclusive licenses to swaths of the radio-frequency spectrum.   But rogue devices are out there, and it’s Argentieri’s job to find them. He says baby…

Building Alaska’s Internet

This $300 million telecom project will boost speeds or provide service to many areas of Alaska for the first time. TERRA was completed in October after six years of construction when engineers installed its final microwave repeater. The network uses a combination of repeater data links and fiber optics to form a giant, 5,000-⁠kilometer ring around southwest Alaska—a sparsely populated region with few paved roads and wilderness areas larger than West Virginia.  

DIY: Build a Cordless Soldering Iron

Want a temperature-controlled cordless soldering iron? You can’t buy one, but you can build a DIY one for tinkering in the field: Good soldering requires good tools. In particular, a soldering iron that uses feedback to keep the tip at a set temperature works much better than one that doesn’t. That functionality is easy to find in a bench soldering station, but try to find a cordless iron with it, and you’ll be out of luck. This DIY solution solves that problem by marrying the business end of a Weller “Magnastat” soldering iron with a Maglite flashlight.  

Casting a $20 Million Mirror for the World’s Largest Telescope

Building a mirror for any giant telescope is no simple feat. The sheer size of the glass, the nanometer precision of its curves, its carefully calculated optics, and the adaptive software required to run it make this a task of herculean proportions. But the recent castings of the 15-metric ton, off-axis mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope forced engineers to push the design and manufacturing process beyond all previous limits.  

Create Kinect 3D Avatars Using Your Body

Last week, we showed you how Microsoft’s new Kinect API lets you use your hands to draw on a painting program. But how about using gestures to create 3D models of any shape that you can use as Kinect avatars? No problem! That’s exactly what Microsoft Research’s Beijing team showed early this month at the company’s TechFest 2013.  

Kinect Fusion Lets You Build 3D Models of Anything

At Microsoft’s annual TechFest on Tuesday, international research teams had a chance to show off their latest tools, toys, and APIs to each other, and to us. We got a look at everything, including a robot-powered Haptic touch screen, a gesture recognition API from Jamie Shotton, a custom Kinect avatar builder, and lots of real-time 3-D capture software that will be on it’s way to you soon.   Here’s Kinect Fusion, which can live 3-D model anything that will stand still, including me. Brought to you by the Microsoft Research Cambridge team–who also brought you KinEtre.   We’ll be bringing…

Application Videos

The vacuum suction spider SSP is equipped with suction cups that are specially designed for the wood industry. The special structure of the bottom surface of the suction cup allows for extremely short cycle times and highly dynamic handling.  

Glass: Vacuum Technology for the Industry

Vacuum specialist Schmalz is extending its range of vacuum generators with very high suction rates with the launch of the new basic ejector SBPL (Schmalz Basic Pump Large). It is particularly well suited for safe handling of various workpieces and enables short cycle times.   Schmalz has greatly increased the efficiency of the ejector over its predecessor. The new eco nozzle technology is based on a multi-stage venturi concept and ensures an optimum combination of suction capacity and energy efficiency: Thanks to the eco nozzle, the suction rate in the range from -200 to -600 mbar is, in some cases,…

Plastics: Vacuum Technology for the Industry

In the production hall of a big paper factory heavy sacks must be commissioned and transported to the paper machines. Previously, this work was done manually, placing the employees under great physical strain. Today the vacuum tube lifter Jumbo Flex ensures faster materials handling while taking the burden off the employees.   The tube lifter Jumbo Flex 50 handles small to medium-sized loads up to 50 kg very quickly and ergonomically. The operator handle can be operated intuitively with one hand. Depending on the employee’s preference, it can be operated with one or two fingers on the right or left…

Logistics: Vacuum Technology for the Industry

Vacuum specialist Schmalz is extending its range of vacuum generators with very high suction rates with the launch of the new basic ejector SBPL (Schmalz Basic Pump Large). It is particularly well suited for safe handling of various workpieces and enables short cycle times.   Schmalz has greatly increased the efficiency of the ejector over its predecessor. The new eco nozzle technology is based on a multi-stage venturi concept and ensures an optimum combination of suction capacity and energy efficiency: Thanks to the eco nozzle, the suction rate in the range from -200 to -600 mbar is, in some cases,…

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