Top 5 Engineering Technology Articles This Week

Hello all! My top engineering technology picks of the week include a smart lawn watering system that chases away neighborhood cats, a protective “second skin” for Rio Olympians and a cleaner way to flush a toilet. Have a great weekend!

Electronic Beats
This music machine sounds like a drunk avant-garde trio

This will probably not overtake a symphony or your favorite band anytime soon. However, to see a single hand crank to play three musical instruments (guitar, keyboard and drum set). The engineering and design to build the complex wheel, pulleys and levers to make real (although as the article suggests, sounds like a drunk punk band). The concept behind the design was to make a life-size music box with real instruments so visitors could watch the insides of the components. The person cranking the machine has control over how fast the music is played and when breaks occur.

AI deep learning system helps keep lawn cat poop-free

Concerned about the pesky neighbor’s dog getting into your yard and always leaving a mess? One engineer ran into this problem with a neighbor’s cat, so he rigged an AI to track the cats. As soon as one wonders into his yard, his sprinkler system triggers and chases the cat from the yard. The system currently scans images for signs of what it’s been taught cats look like. This ensures deep learning system activates only with cats, not with visitors or other animals.

Mars rover problems? NASA’s Curiosity rover enters safety mode

NASA encountered an issue as the rover experienced an error and suddenly ceased all activities and entered a precautionary stand down on July 2. However, the team managed to restore all functionality four days later and is communicating with ground controllers. They are still attempting to figure out exactly what happened. While this isn’t the first time it has entered a safe mode, it has been more than two years since it entered the safe mode three times in 2013. On the same day the rover encountered its most recent error, NASA extended the project for two years during which it will continue learning more about the ancient wet environments, as well as how and when they evolved into less habitable and drier conditions.

Olympic rowers get ‘second skin’ kit to protect from Rio sewage

As we close in the 2016 Summer Olympics, many companies and agencies attempt to get incredible advertising deals by producing more improved equipment for teams and contestants at the Olympics. One company in the U.S. produced a new suit for the U.S. rowing team that may not make them faster or more competitive, but instead offers improved safety from possible sewage and drug-resistant bacteria in waterways. The antimicrobial suits repel water from the skin and protect it through a chemical-based antimicrobial finish.

Toilet Foot is not a disease, it’s a Kickstarter for anyone scared of germs

This revolutionary new Kickstarter is great for anyone suffering from Mysophobia, of just doesn’t want to use the handle of a toilet to flush. Simply step on the Toilet Foot and your hands stay clean from whomever (or whatever) last touched the handle. This could greatly decrease the spread of diseases. Note: if you watch the video, it does get a little graphic.