Black & Decker puts new "motion-activated" twist on the cordless screwdriver
By Paul Ridden
August 20, 2012
Motion sensing technology is just about everywhere these days. It allows smartphone or tablet gamers to control onscreen action (or even pilot an RC airplane) by tilting or twisting the device, can help feed the digital music muse and gives personal transport innovations like the Lit C-1 the ability to stand upright all by themselves. Now it's the turn of the powered screwdriver to break into this exciting and magical realm with the launch of the Gyro 4V MAX Lithium-ion Rechargeable Screwdriver from Black & Decker.
Just in case you hadn't already worked it out, the word that kicks off the rather long product name refers to built-in gyroscopic technology, specifically the ISZ-650 Z-axis integrated MEMS Gyroscope from California's Invensense. Instead of having to reach for buttons, knobs or switches on the handle of a motor-driven screwdriver, Black & Decker's new model allows users to control the power tool's variable speed and direction with a twist of the wrist.
The tiny built-in gyro measures the wrist motion and a microprocessor translates the degree of change into variable speed and direction. A one quarter turn to the right starts the screw tightening process, with the speed of the bit increasing up to 180 rpm as the user rotates further from the vertical off position. A similar turn to the left reverses the motor.
The motion-activated screwdriver sports its own LED light to illuminate the work area and its included Li-ion battery is claimed to hold its charge for up to 18 months. The unit also comes with two standard bits and a jack plug charger.
The Gyro 4V MAX Lithium-ion Rechargeable Screwdriver (BDCS40G) is due to hit the shelves in October for US$39.97.
Source: Black & Decker