It can be satisfying to build something yourself, making careful measurements and ensuring your carefully routed wood slats fit together perfectly. Except when your measurements are off by a few microns and nothing fits. Some MIT students decided that a smart machine could help matters, and designed a re-routing router that automatically cuts the right shape.
Light 18-volt batteries have become the standard for cordless power tools, but they often underperform when faced with difficult tasks such as boring large holes into wood or metal. To produce more strength without resorting to a heavier, higher-voltage battery, engineers at Milwaukee redesigned the motor of the new M18 Fuel drill.
By Max FischerPosted 07.01.2011 at 3:52 pm 0 Comments
Over the past five years, 12-volt battery-powered tools have been rapidly replacing their corded counterparts. Among these upgrades, the Rockwell Trans4mer merges the portability of a 12 volt with true versatility, combining a jigsaw and a reciprocating saw into one shape-shifting 2.6-pound tool.
Need to take down some infrastructure? Turn to the new F-16, a demolition robot that can easily break down stairwells, concrete slabs and walls. For a full spectrum of destructive power, it uses shears, breakers, grapples, a drop hammer, buckets and a concrete-pulverizing claw.
Here's a new solution for the impatient gadget geek: graphene-enhanced batteries that can charge your cell phone and power tools in minutes, not hours.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working with a private firm to develop and commercialize lithium-ion battery electrodes using "Vor-x," a proprietary graphene material invented at Princeton University.
By Doug MahoneyPosted 06.03.2010 at 5:19 pm 3 Comments
The Trend: Multifunction power tools that combine the mechanisms of two or more pieces of equipment into one professional-grade item
Why Now? Contractors and ambitious DIYers want to do projects more efficiently. And in many cases, toolmakers are taking advantage of the zip and design flexibility offered by compact 12-volt lithium-ion batteries. With less weight and space devoted to the power source, there's room for what users want at the business end.
Earlier today, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis released the Hubble Space Telescope back into orbit after a successful mission to repair and upgrade NASA's famous orbiting observatory.
The mission was intensive, especially considering almost all of the repairs that were performed during a series of TK spacewalks were on parts that were never intended to be serviced by astronauts in space. Equally intense (and beautiful) are the 180 tools NASA employed for the job--with 116 of them created specifically for this mission.
Standard drills will barely make a chip in concrete or brick. That's why contractors drilling holes in a home's foundation use rotary hammer drills like this new Hitachi DH50MRY. In addition to the standard spinning bit, it slams a weight—the hammer—forward to create a sort of jackhammer effect to crush masonry as it drills. But all that pounding beats the heck out of your hands and arms. The Hitachi is one of the first to integrate a counterweight to absorb recoil. The result is a safer and easier-to-control drill that's still concrete's worst nightmare.
For guys on a job site drilling hundreds of holes a day, power matters—it lets them work faster and blow through knots, nails and other obstructions. That’s why corded tools, with their bigger, stronger motors, still reign for contractors, and why DeWalt challenged its engineers to deliver even more oomph. Their answer: a motor that squeezes in extra copper to deliver 40 percent more power.