The simplicity comes in the silver box pictured above. This houses the Geiger tube which measures radiation levels. The box does three things: hangs on a wall somewhere, plugs into Ethernet and power, and reports measurements so that the data can be combined with info from all other functioning units.
After seeing the idea we wanted to know more about [Radu]. His answers to our slate of queries are found below.
Like it often happens, it’s a combination of several hobbies that keeps me in motion. I started with computer science 22 years ago when I was 10, added electronics and chemistry while I was still in my early years, physics and math later in highschool, and then back to computer science for my university studies and later on for my job.
I am a mobile software architect in a private company, it’s the equivalent of a software expert. It’s a title I got to earn after 10 years of experience in my field.
This gets very close to my hobbies, but goes on a slightly different path. I have a passion for knowledge, for life and for the people I care for. If life was not limited I would be fully satisfied. Finding a balance to these, is probably one of my biggest (utopian) dream.
Thanks for getting me back to Earth. Slow computers I had to deal with, buggy mobile phones and all in one technology that annoys me instead of helping me, would surely deserve to be a good target for uber destruction. But I love my equipment and tools and I would never do them harm. I’ve also scrapped many items to get what I needed when components were hard to find, so I’m not sure I could do this.
Mac OS. Because it does a good job while others just try to (and usually fail). I also like small/dedicated RTOS-es that are quick and efficient.
My macbook pro for software and my oscope. Because that’s what I use most and they help me with my tasks more than any other tools. Oh, and I almost forget about my cross screwdriver (it fits the same criteria).
I’m a big fan of microcontrollers, as a software developer I’d say they put the “elegant” attribute to electronics. I’ve used AVRs a lot and I still do.
C because it makes the Earth spin. And all the others, as I had the time to use most of them. I am fond of the saying “the right tool for the right job”. I apply this when deciding what’s the best language and similar things.
- An exoskeleton for when getting old.
- Learning biology from the software point of view: the telomeres, cell production codes, DNA damage errors, all in one learning to understand ageing as a software bug (or as a disease that needs a cure).
- assuming (2) is doable in my lifespan, this last project would probably be taking my wife on a trip to a neighboring galaxy in a few hundred years from now :-)
Computer programming and soldering, but you probably knew I would say that.
I had to think big for a prize of this size, but I also had to keep my sense of reality so the balance was to pick something doable in the given timeframe, as I wanted to present a complete and working solution. Among my ongoing projects, the global radiation network (uRadMonitor) was the best candidate. It’s complex, has scientific and commercial value (so it can be implemented), and brings good to humanity.
I’d love some advise on the hardware production, tips on better design and optimisation, everything that could be put to some practical use for this project. I did make a lot of progress on my own, but some educated tips and know-how are always good to get.
Yes, the exoskeleton idea would be nice to be put to practice, in order to come with a final product what would be reliable and truly helpful to those in need. This would probably be the thing I’d focus on, should I have the time. The power supply is an issue, but for the rest I’d dare to challenge all and fight for a solution. Lots of sensors, pneumatic actuators for all the main muscles and lots of lines of code / clever software, what a spicy and intriguing combination!
I love it all, thanks!
I think I said enough, the beer’s gone and so are the hours. But I’d like to say thanks in the name of the entire community for the THP thing. It’s a great contest, but this is only the label. What’s inside is a great motivation for people all around the world to invest in technology, to dream high and to put their resources into designing some truly amazing things. And this is a gain for the entire humanity. We need more of these things, more support for research, more investments in technology. It’s our best bet for a better tomorrow, and for creating true value. THANK YOU!