Infinite Range
MIT, Fall 2008

Class: Product Engineering Processes
Team Size: 15 people
Duration: 4 months
Project: Design a product for the home.

A conventional stovetop's 4 to 6 separate, fixed size, circular burners can lead to some challenging cooking experiences. The diameter of a large pot is bigger than a single burner - the bottom of such a pot will not be heated evenly, and its size may render adjacent burners unusable by other pots and pans. A rectangular griddle may be placed over two different burners, also resulting in uneven cooking. A fixed number of burners limits a user to cooking using only that number of pots or fewer.

Infinite Range is a electric cooktop that allows one to cook anywhere on its surface. Instead of circular burners, Infinite Range contains an array of 95 small heating elements that allow heat to be provided to any point. Each heating cell is surrounded by an induction sensor loop that detects when a metal pot is placed over it, resulting in the respective heating element firing. A touchscreen UI and control knob allow the user to set heat levels and timers for each of the pots on the stovetop.

Eliminating discrete, fixed-size and fixed-shape burners allows for customized control and heating of any number of pots - in any size, shape, or configuration.

The Infinite Range consists of 95 cells, each containing a burner coil and an induction sensor loop.