More smartphone apps for engineers

Aug. 9, 2011
Featured are apps that let you build a robot, provide a handy engineering guide, and detail the lower operating costs of variable frequency drives.
App details the lower operating costs of variable frequency drives

Users open the the $aving Predictor app for the iPhone from Yaskawa America Inc. and then select between Fan Application and Pump Application. Enter data such as cost per kWh, utility rebate, motor power, and motor efficiency. Other inputs include drive cost, installation cost, operation times, and duty cycles. The app shows a payback analysis in terms of energy cost saving/year and energy usage saved/year. The app also shows the payback time. An e-mail button lets users easily send analysis results to colleagues.

Build your own robot “buddy”
Having a stressful day at work? Take a break and play with 123Robot for the iPhone. Open the app and the screen shows sketches of robot body parts that you can swipe to the left or right to change. For instance, swipe a goofy-looking bubble-shaped head for one that resembles R2-D2. Likewise, select among various torsos and legs (or tank treads). Pressing the Build button shows the robot in 3D color, in a Mars-like setting. A Remote control panel has sliders that let you swivel the robot’s head, torso, and legs to get particular stances.

Mechanical engineering handbook
The Engineering Cookbook app for the Android targets mechanical engineers and includes all sorts of information about ventilation design. For example, click “Fan Types,” and the text describes the differences between axial and centrifugal fans. A list gives points to ponder before selecting a fan, including air volume required (CFM), system resistance, and air density. Push the “down” arrow at the bottom of the screen and up pops simplified versions of the most common fan laws. Other topics include motor and drive basics and ventilation system design.

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