Technology news: August 2012
`World’s first` motion-activated screwdriver uses MEMS gyroscope
The power tools giant Black & Decker has developed what it claims is the world’s first motion-activated screwdriver, using a gyroscopic sensor to control its speed and direction. A twist of the user’s wrist is all that is needed to change the speed or direction of the Gyro screwdriver, making it much easier to control than other rechargeable screwdrivers, according to Black & Decker.
With traditional battery-powered screwdrivers, the operator usually needs to engage a switch to change the direction of operation and cannot vary the screwdriver’s speed. The new patent-pending screwdriver automatically tightens or loosens screws simply by the user rotating their wrist one-quarter turn to the right for forward, or left for reverse.
The screwdriver incorporates a MEMS (micro electromechanical systems) single-axis gyroscope device, supplied by the MEMS specialist, InvenSense.
“We’re taking a technology people are familiar with using in motion-sensing video games, smartphones, and even toy helicopters, and using it in a new and innovative way to create a unique power tool,” says Matt Nestorick, Black & Decker’s product manager for consumer power tools.
The screwdriver is powered by a 4V lithium-ion battery technology that holds its charge for up to 18 months. It is due to go on sale in the US in October at a price of less than $40.