— Around The Home
Black & Decker puts new "motion-activated" twist on the cordless screwdriver
Black & Decker has announced the new Gyro 4V MAX Lithium-ion Rechargeable Screwdriver, which is activated and controlled with a twist of the wrist
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
About the Author
While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
All articles by Paul Ridden
This seems like a gimmick, and it's pretty pricy for what it does. Is that battery replaceable?
Black & Decker makes a $10 screwdriver/drill that runs off AA batteries, and I have actually found that one to be useful as a dedicated pilot hole drill. It uses hex bits, so switching between a hex drill bit and a screwdriver bit is fast and convenient. And the AA batteries mean that it can sit on the shelf for months without going dead.
"Vertical off position"? So what happens when not driving a horizontal screw? Hopefully this is a fuzzy description rather than another sub-par B&D design...
I work with hand tools and power tools every day as part of my job. This would be beyond useless to me. Movement in my truck would keep setting it off, the automatic light uses battery life, (just like the cordless drill they put out, I can't turn it off either when it's not useful.) And having to twist my wrist to activate it would likely cause misalignment of the screw I am installing. I simply use two drills for pilot and screw driving. same weight. same motion, same feel, same actions. Why screw around with success?
I would have put a pressure sensor in, so the harder you press on the screw, the faster it went.
"I would have put a pressure sensor in, so the harder you press on the screw, the faster it went.
That is an excellent idea in theory, but will not work well in fact, because of the need for the travel and return springs.
I collect antique tools. If you examine the old "Yankee screwdrivers" they drive a screw with a helix for forward and reverse, and lock closed for ratcheting.
A fine design, but tools that were used by pros had the return springs removed! because the recoil when the tip skipped off the screw destroyed the wood before you could react to the skip. Old timers allowed gravity, or hand action to open their drivers.
Return springs are a very bad idea when working with woodwork.
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