Intel® Edison 2017 “Tommy” Awards

On March 24th, 2017, Intel and the Edison Innovation Foundation will announce the winners of the “Tommy” award, named in honor of the great inventor, Thomas Edison. The winners are selected because they have used the Intel® Edison multi-function module in ways that epitomize the spirit and creativity of Edison. Last year’s winners can be seen here.

The First Place Winner of the 2016 awards ceremony was Shubham Banerjee for work in using the microprocessor to build his Braille Printer called “Braigo”

The First Place Winner of the 2016 awards ceremony was Shubham Banerjee for work in using the microprocessor to build his Braille Printer called “Braigo”

The Intel® Edison multi-function module is a tiny, SD-card-sized powerhouse designed for building Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable computing products. The Edison module contains a high-speed, dual-core processing unit, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, low energy, storage and memory, and a broad spectrum of input/output (I/O) options for interfacing with user systems. Because of its small footprint and low power consumption, the Edison module is an ideal choice for projects that need a lot of processing power without being connected to a power supply. All this can lower the barriers to entry for a range of inventors, entrepreneurs, and consumer product designers.

Keep an eye out here for the 2017 winners … coming soon!

Thomas Edison said, “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Thomas Edison, as Green as St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patricks Day

Happy St. Patricks Day

Every year in the town of West Orange, home to the legendary Thomas Edison, lab and home, (National Historical Park), a vintage 1922 Model T automobile, given to Thomas Edison by Henry Ford, is driven in the large St. Patrick Day parade. This year marks the 66th year of that big parade.

During the parade, a park ranger drive the antique ford, chaperoning the superintendent of the park and family.

 

The Model T bringing up the rear of the parade 

The Model T bringing up the rear of the parade

The rangers celebrate in front of the Model T

The rangers celebrate in front of the Model T

Normally, the Model T is housed in the Edison garage, which is sited on the historic home estate known as Glenmont. Here it is accompanied by two early Detroit Electric vehicles that were driven by his wife Mina, a 1914 Model 47 and a 1911 Model L-1.

Edison’s garage at Glenmont

Edison’s garage at Glenmont

Edison nickel-iron storage batteries

Edison nickel-iron storage batteries

What is so unique about this garage is its history as probably the first to have an electric vehicle charging station integrated within.

Thomas Edison was using an overnight charging station here, way back in 1908, when the building was originally built [using his famous Portland cement formulation].

Today, we think it is quite sophisticated to charge our electric cars in our garages. Old Tom was doing it over 100 years ago.

 

Original Edison electric vehicle charging station in Glenmont garage batteries

Original Edison electric vehicle charging station in Glenmont garage batteries

Environmentally, the garage is “as green as St. Patrick’s Day”. The batteries used in the vehicles are the famous Edison nickel-iron storage batteries, built at his nearby West Orange manufacturing complex, and whose rugged battery technology ushered in what we today refer to as alkaline storage cells.

Currently, the vehicles in the Edison garage are undergoing a conservation process to protect them against aging. The garage itself is being renovated with plans to convert it into a STEM education center for use by the many teachers and students who visit the park every year.

Contributions to help the Edison Innovation Foundation and Charles Edison Fund renovate the garage and cars are always appreciated:

DONATE NOW

Thomas Edison said, “I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Edison Style, Diversity and Invention

Edison Could Work at Google!Project managers know that a good mix of ideas from people with differing backgrounds and cultures goes a long way toward developing exciting and new inventions. It’s the soft side of team-based inventing, and it works. That, and a low flat organizational structure, promotes people interacting both horizontally and vertically-freely gaining new insights from the work of others, and using those insights in unique, sometimes disruptive ways.

The political world talks a great deal about diversity, but for as long as Edison created his project team concept and implemented his invention factory model for R&D [back in the 1870s/80s], diversity has been a staple of life for he and the many other inventors and entrepreneurs that followed—a kind of built-in humanitarian aspect of the inventive life.

Unfortunately, we don’t often think about inventors as humanitarians and champions of diversity. We callously spin them off as boring geeks and narrow-minded people, mocking them in movies [often forgetting that Edison created the movie industry]. These inventive men and women tend to see the world of ideas as totally neutral.

Just go to any technical conference or gathering of entrepreneurs and witness the huge diversity of men and women sharing ideas, technology, and partnering on new ventures. That, dear readers, is diversity in action; and that is what Edison was all about.

Thomas Edison said, “My desire is to do everything within my power to free people from drudgery and create the largest measure of happiness and prosperity.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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