Seriously neat safety tech - Jay Maynard

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Tuesday, 21 June 2005


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1826 - Seriously neat safety tech

I got pointed to a really neat bit of safety technology today. SawStop is a table saw with the ability to detect that it's cutting thumb instead of wood and stop the saw blade, and drop it out of the way, within two teeth of making contact with the skin. The video demonstration is especially impressive.

I dunno how $2500 compares for a 10-inch, 3 HP table saw, but even if it's a lot higher than comparable saws, it's still a hell of a lot cheaper than reattachment surgery. If I were in the market, I'd get one.

current mood: [mood icon] impressed

(11 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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OK, that is pretty cool, but my question is how good is that detection mechanism with regards to false positives?

A saw that stops when cutting flesh and only flesh is cool. A saw which thinks it's cutting flesh almost all the damn time is not.
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From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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It's based on capacitance; apparently there's quite a difference between flesh and wood, and it has no trouble distinguishing between the two.
[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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Oh right. Yes, there would be. I didn't think that the detection would be electrical in nature.
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From:howardtayler
Date: - 0000
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Okay, that's amazing. AMAZING.

Thanks for the link!
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From:zarchasmpgmr
Date: - 0000
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No weiners were harmed in the making of this video.
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From:jugularjaguar
Date: - 0000

Very cool but

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Just another example of making things for careless or dumb people. Yes, accidents happen but so much of these if not all can be prevented by being careful.
[User Picture]
From:thatguychuck
Date: - 0000

Re: Very cool but

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Case in point:

A friend of mine works in an Air Force wood shop where there's a gentleman missing two fingers. He cut off one of them on a router one day by making some sort of mistake.

A year later someone asked, "What happened?" "Well, I was on this router, and I did something like [thwack]."

That's how he lost his second finger.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
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I thought that for a bit, too, but changed my mind. The technology is seriously impressive, but I wouldn't want to count on it or test it with my own flesh. Accidents do happen, even to those who are careful and no safety system is perfect.

I suspect that the biggest market, at the moment, for this is not private individuals but companies. It might lower insurance costs. It would prevent injuries and therefore reduce or prevent medical expenses. And having such a safety device shows good faith in accident prevention or at least mitigation. I expect many businesses will get this sort of thing right after one is sued by someone injured from a saw without such a safety feature. The smarter ones will get it before that.

[User Picture]
From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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Yeah, I saw that and thought the real market was in the big corporations. Lots of people I know who have worked in saw mills and the like are missing fingers. Something like this in such a work environment would be great for safety, I expect they'll become mandatory or at least industry standard before too long.
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From:jugularjaguar
Date: - 0000

the next step is

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the corporation that buys it finds out the people who use it bypass the safety features for some dumb reason. now don't laugh as this really happens. it might not happen with a table saw but people do bypass safety features all the time.

seems like we are taking over this lj
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
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I do know that safeties are bypassed, often for poor reason. But that is another issue.


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