Welcome to the October edition of the Hardware Brief. I'm Simran Wasu, your guest editor for this month's edition. I will be sharing news from my colleagues at T Works, interesting hardware related news from around the world, and a special Fall update on all the hardware released by the big tech companies..
Maker Faire Hyderabad 2019
Only 25 days left for our second edition of Maker Faire Hyderabad to begin. Keep your calendars clear for November 10 and register yourself using this link! The faire will have impressive installations, exciting workshops, and a maker space to bring out the creativity in you. Bring your family and friends and spread the word!
In our latest teardown article, Anjan Babu illustrates the exponential progress of electronic technology over the past few decades by comparing the design and manufacturing process of high-end calculator from the 70’s to a basic modern day equivalent.
Mount Everest Lamp
Apoorva Singal and Firoz Ahammad teamed up to make a stunning desktop lamp in the shape of the majestic Mt. Everest. The complete instructions on how to make one for yourself is available on Instructables.com
The Manned Octocopter Project
Two years ago, Sahevaan Taneja and his team designed, built, and flew in India’s first manned octocopter. Sahevaan recently published a full article on how to build his engineering marvel on Instructables.com.
Big Tech Hardware Launches
Applehad its annual Fall event on September 10th where it introduced Apple TV+, a new iPad, Apple Watch, and 2 new iPhones. I had interned at Apple in 2017 as a product design engineer, and something that surprised me was the attention to detail that the designers gave to the design of the internal components to make them look aesthetic. Here is iFixit’s teardown of the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Look out for the incredibly dense dual stacked PCB; that tiny thing is the brains of the whole phone!
Amazon also had its own Alexa hardware event on September 25th where it announced 14 new devices, ranging from new Echo speakers to a pair of Alexa enabled glasses, a ring and even an oven! With such a wide variety of products at all price points, Amazon is banking on customers wanting to use Alexa in any form factor and situation.
Samsung finally re-releases the Galaxy Fold, one of the first folding screen smartphones on the market. With its special folding OLED screen and complex hinge mechanism, the phone is an impressive product with a daunting $2000 price tag. However, when it was initially released to reviewers in April, the Fold immediately faced issues with the hinge and screen function and durability. This time, Samsung released a video warning users to be careful of water, dust, and even pressure from their fingernails. Will this technology find adoption in the age of Gorilla glass and IP68 ratings? Time will tell.
Google just announced a bunch of new hardware on Tuesday: the Pixel Buds, Pixelbook Go, Pixel 4. The Pixel 4 is Google’s first flagship phone with dual cameras that can even do astrophotography and also features gesture control using a mini Radar chip developed by Google's 'Project Soli' team.
From the Internet
Check out the production line of Porsche’s all electric Taycan. The car and the factory is the result of $1 billion of investment from Porsche in order to produce electric vehicles. Automobile automation robots always fascinate me with their precise movements. The assembly line looks as well engineered as the car itself!
Robotics Boston Dynamics is finally offering one of its robot models, Spot, for sale to businesses. It is expected to cost “as much as a luxury car” and customers will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Here is BD’s introduction video on the Spot.
The cutting edge technology developed by Formula 1 trickles down not only into our road cars, but almost every other piece of technology we use. But F1 may seem like a dark art to many. Thankfully, Mercedes-AMG’s official Youtube Channel is full of high quality videos on how their F1 cars work, interviews with their drivers, behind-the-scenes R&D scoops, and track runs. Here’s a good video to get you started
Recently, the ubiquitous plastic straw has faced justifiable scrutiny as a prime example of wasteful single use plastic. An item that is used once for about 10 minutes of convenience is not worth the 400 years it takes to degrade. Core 77 dives into the humble beginnings of the straw, the eco-friendly alternatives of the past, and how it evolved into the plastic variant we use today.
Check out Fabian Oefner’s latest project of casting cameras in clear resins and then slicing them up to create real life cross-sections of the entire assembly. This technique is not only used to create beautiful sculptures but also in industry to have a look at the final fit and tolerances of a product assembly.
Space NASA unveiled their new generation spacesuits that are designed to be used on lunar missions scheduled for 2024. The 'xEMU' suits are designed to be more flexible, mobile, lunar dust resistant, and can withstand the extreme temperatures of space (121 to -156 deg C).
Here's the latest picture of the facility taken from the T Hub 2 building (which is also under construction).
Have a look at a 1:150 scale model of the T Works facility made by Dinesh in collaboration with the architects over at Studio Chintala. The model was on display at the Hyderabad Design Week Conference, which took place last week at HICC.
About this month's editor:
Simran is a Product Design Engineer at T Works. His work lies mainly at intersection of mechanical and product design, which involves making models and mechanisms that make a device function as intended. He can be reached at email@example.com
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