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GEAR-TYPE DRINK-O-METER TO MONITOR FLUID CONSUMPTION
Embodiments of the invention provide devices and methods for measuring fluid volume. Devices according to some embodiments include a chamber, having a pair of gears rotatably mounted therewithin. Fluid flow through the chamber causes rotation of the gears, such that each rotation and/or partial rotation results in a known volume of the fluid passing through the chamber. An optical sensor positioned outside of the chamber, can view the rotating gears through a substantially transparent chamber wall. The optical sensor can view an optical characteristic of one or both of the gears, and based upon this data, fluid volume, flow rate, and/or flow direction can be determined. Devices and methods disclosed herein can provide for improved precision in fluid flow meter measurement. In addition, the devices and methods used herein can be more durable and easier to fabricate than previously known positive displacement flow meters.
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Inventor(s):HOYT, R.; MONTAIN, S.; WOLLOWITZ, M.; HICKCOX, M.