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General Chat Thread, What gadget do you wish existed - serious answers only please! in General; My daughter will soon be going into her final year of her Product Design Engineering Degree and is currently searching ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    What gadget do you wish existed - serious answers only please!

    My daughter will soon be going into her final year of her Product Design Engineering Degree and is currently searching for a subject for her final project.
    She needs to design and manufacture something...useful..
    This could be absolutely anything really. Preferably some sort of gadget or useful object.
    So...have you ever thought "I am surprised that with all the new technology, they have never thought of making X" or " why can't I get Y"

    Past designs by students include - the pop-up tent, a folding scooter, and a light that reacts to sound.

    Please ask around - she needs as many ideas to investigate as possible - but please make them at least vaguely make-able

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    A grass-cutting press, that compacts the grass into an ultra-small block that could possibly be recycled or used as animal feed. Maybe it would also extract liquid fertilizer?

  3. 2 Thanks to laserblazer:

    Garacesh (9th June 2014), witch (8th June 2014)

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    I know you asked for serious suggestions and this may be a bit frivolous but I often look out on the playground and think "if only we could harness all that energy". Perhaps it is feasible, in Africa they have playground equipment that pumps water.

    What gadget do you wish existed - serious answers only please!-playpump_publicity.jpg

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    witch's Avatar
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    A little bit "big" for her, I think.

    She is looking for something that she can actually design and make in a few months!

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    One day this will be a reality - in fact it's pretty close already:

    Global - Earth: Final Conflict Wiki

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    A paint brush that has some kind of guard on. Make life easier when doing edges so not to touch the skirting boards etc.

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    Dos_Box (9th June 2014), Garacesh (9th June 2014), witch (9th June 2014)

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    I know it sounds a bit silly but some sort of screen mirror that allows you to view the back of your head maybe using a camera of some sort. I cut my own hair to save on money and always have to ask someone to do the back as I can't see properly to do so. It may sound stupid but would come in useful!

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    witch (9th June 2014)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    So...have you ever thought "I am surprised that with all the new technology, they have never thought of making X" or " why can't I get Y"
    Proximity sensor / image recognition device for attaching to the sides of lorries to provide a view to the driver of any cyclists around. Probably aim to interface with a tablet in the driver's cab. Something Raspberry Pi based, with a camera, would probably do it, you just need to figure out how to attach it to the lorry (I'm thinking strong magnets), how to power it (might need an attachement to attach to the battery) and how to network it (possibly Bluetooth). Borris Johnson has hinted at mandatory cycle safty devices on lorries in the congestion zone, so there might soon be a market for such a device.

  12. Thanks to dhicks from:

    witch (9th June 2014)

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    @FN-GM You can buy paint guards but they are separate from the brush - I will pass your idea on @abillybob Just get a standard dressing table mirror with the three panels - you can see the back of your head quite easily with one of those - but I will pass your idea on to see if she can come up with a more "tech" solution

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    But they are rubbish they fall off all the time.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    But they are rubbish they fall off all the time.
    K - she'll look into it

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    A "you left the fridge door open alarm", some of my family members have alsymers and they leave the door open all the time and then they're food spoils, like a simple magnetic sensor and a voice says you've left your fridge open. The only real solutions out there at the moment all rely on Arduinos, relays and unstable code.

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    Gonna come back to the remote kettle idea that was suggested (and implemented) some time ago on here. I want an app that can tell my kettle to start a boil before i get home, or before i get up of the sofa.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnat1121 View Post
    A "you left the fridge door open alarm", some of my family members have alsymers and they leave the door open all the time and then they're food spoils, like a simple magnetic sensor and a voice says you've left your fridge open. The only real solutions out there at the moment all rely on Arduinos, relays and unstable code.
    Sadly for her - this already exists. You can even build your own here? Fridge Door Detector Alarm

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTDirect_Dave View Post
    Gonna come back to the remote kettle idea that was suggested (and implemented) some time ago on here. I want an app that can tell my kettle to start a boil before i get home, or before i get up of the sofa.
    Sounds good but an app isn't really something she is able to do - she needs to design and build something physical

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    @dhicks ... something similar to this has already being tested on buses around Bristol. Not quite a camera, but a warning device. The company are about to take it to haulage companies as well. As a bus/coach driver myself, having another screen to look at would reduce concentration on the road.

    CycleEye device that alerts drivers to cyclists in blind spots tested on Bristol buses | Bristol Post

  20. Thanks to tomgrindle from:

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