Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pots/Pans that detect when they're about to boil over

 
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No idea how it would work... something like pots/pans with RFID tag that works in conjunction with some electronics in the stove? So when boiling over is detected, it sends a signal to the stove to turn down heat?
slater, Jun 11 2013

Infrared thermometer http://www.pastryit..._FI40Lpostive_1.jpg
something like this [piluso, Jun 11 2013]

[link]






       It would work fine with halogen and induction hobs - just not the old-style electric heating elements.   

       Better, though, to put the sensor on the hob top. I don't know how you'd do that, which puts it on a par with the idea as posted.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 11 2013
  

       Even with the standard electric units, it should be feasible. Remember that boiling water is pulling heat out very quickly, and even a slight cooling will reduce the boil level. You just might want a set with the sensor set a bit lower.   

       As far as how you do it, that's a little harder. A temperature sensor probably wouldn't do it, since it will all happen right around local boiling point (and you'd need a pressure sensor as well). Possibly an optical sensor and clear pots or pans, or at least clear patches.   

       The best might be either vision or ultrasonic from a top (hood) mounted sensor, as long as you didn't have lids on the pots. It would trigger and set two heights (rim and liquid level) whenever a pot is placed on the stove and analyze when the two get closer to each other. You might end up needing more than one camera with a high parallax to see the movement, and you'd definitely need some fairly complex vision algorithms.
MechE, Jun 11 2013
  

       Put a infrared thermometer [link] aiming the Pot/Pan from top and set the alarm to the desired temperature
piluso, Jun 11 2013
  

       //set the alarm to the desired temperature// Not a good idea. Water which is boiling over is at the same temperature as water which is simmering nicely, namely the boiling point of water.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 11 2013
  

       Is this about reaching boiling temperature or overflow caused by boiling ? In the first case, an alarm 2c or 3c below the boiling point must work. In the second case; a simple radar as distance meter checking the level it's the obvious choice. For simmering liquids, a whistling lid could be connected via bluetooth to a power amplifier system.
piluso, Jun 11 2013
  

       //put the sensor on the hob top// That's been baked since at least the 70s. It's usually restricted to a single elephant, which has a temperature sensor in the middle and a 'simmer' setting on the corresponding control dial. No boiling over.
spidermother, Jun 12 2013
  

       ^^^ It all made sense up to "elephant".
pertinax, Jun 12 2013
  
      
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