It’s easy to make devices more complicated in response to difficult specifications. It’s much harder to keep the design simple, or to innovate so that the risk does not exist in the first place. In some cases toys can provide inspiration for how to keep things simple, but also durable. Devices properly designed for children are inspirational for developing around foreseeable misuse. Happy reading.
There is elegance in engineering a simple solution. Frugal design, defined as high performance, low-cost, easy access, and very portable, is not necessarily the same. Nevertheless, a clever device such as a hand-twirled medical centrifuge is basic, very practical, and beautiful.
ASME, May 2021
This paste holds potential for high energy density, low-pressure hydrogen storage, although you also need a tank of water to use it. Depending on the hydrogen source, the grey goo may be green or blue. If you leave the cap off, will it ooze all over the counter?
IMechE News, May 2021
Although electronic controls are ubiquitous, there are applications where they pose difficulties, such as in flammable environments. Pneumatic systems have some inherent advantages. This autonomous robot has no electronics and almost no metal, yet it can walk by itself and change course when it hits an object.
ASME, June 2021
A PhD student in Russia built a device to track and kill mosquitos using a small laser. He uses artificial intelligence to predict a mosquito's flight pattern. No date has yet been predicted as to when this automated defence system is expected to become self-aware and write the plot for a movie.
Tech Radar, March 2021