The Conundrum of Published Specs Versus Real-World Performance
Guest Blogs 1/23/2015 2 comments What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Babak Parviz Goes Through the Glass
Chris Wiltz 1/22/2015 2 comments Golden Mousetrap Lifetime Achievement Award winner Babak Parviz on his new gig at Amazon, the origins of Google Glass and the Smart Contact Lens, and why humanities, not tech, is the future.
Decoding Procurement: How It Can Work as Design Engineering’s Ally
Guest Blogs 1/22/2015 Post a comment Procurement actually means well. There is no question that procurement can do a better job of phrasing their questions or making connections between engineering’s goals and the processes underway. And if you are using the right deciphering code, the result can live up to -- or surpass -- your expectations.
Gadget of the Year Won’t Spill Your Drinks
Gadget Freak 1/21/2015 7 comments The 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year goes to the DDV-IP -- or, a Drink Deliver Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum. The gadget is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on a hot summer day. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the users.
It’s 2015. Where’s My Mr. Fusion?
Blog 1/20/2015 7 comments A quick look out the window confirms that flying cars and levitating skateboards, while they actually exist, are still not commonplace. We don’t have transparent aluminum yet, either.
From Accelerometers to Touch Screens, Sensors Dominate CES
Electronics News 1/19/2015 7 comments At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, 3,600 exhibitors demoed new products, most of which used sensors. Accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, cameras, touch screens, infrared and radar sensors endowed products with the ability to see, hear, and feel.
10 Places to Visit to Interest Your Kids in STEM
STEM Connection 1/16/2015 14 comments Scientific and engineering history is evident everywhere you look in our modern world, and there are a plethora of institutions, museums, facilities and other places that celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ideas and innovations.
$30K Chevy Bolt Looms as Challenge for GM
Automotive News 1/15/2015 20 comments General Motors’ glitzy public unveiling of the Bolt concept car this week shows commitment to the future of electric vehicle technology, but it also heaps pressure on its engineers to meet a challenging set of technical goals.
2015 Trend Watch: The IoT Booms but Needs Standards
Blog 1/14/2015 Post a comment Whether you call it the IoT, the IIoT, Industry 4.0, or Advanced Manufacturing, it's coming on big in 2015, and it’s going to change the very nature of manufacturing, according to Manufacturing Trends to Watch, produced by Frost and Sullivan's Gil Manufacturing Leadership group.
Tiny Bots Teach Your Kid to Code
STEM Connection 1/14/2015 3 comments While many would balk at the idea of robots looking after children not many could argue against robots educating the younger generation to code. After all, the world they are growing up in depends on it, and it’s still not -- for the most part -- being taught or mandated in schools. There’s even an argument to be made that computer literacy is becoming as important in today’s world as traditional literacy.
What Killed the Amazon Fire Phone?
Chris Wiltz 1/9/2015 16 comments Amazon's first venture into smartphones has lost the company $170 million. How that happened is a cautionary tale of over-engineering, failed amibition, and outright hubris.
Here's Your Chance to Learn About the Secrets of FPGAs
Guest Blogs 1/8/2015 Post a comment The secrets that programmable logic vendors use to create these amazing devices are typically not discussed in much detail by the manufacturers. But if you understand them you can typically figure out why your devices are performing the way they do.
CES 2015: Jamstik – the Guitar for iOS
Blog 1/7/2015 Post a comment Remember when Guitar Hero used to be a thing? No? Well, that might be because you fancy yourself a real musician. But for those who want something in between the completely simulated and completely authentic guitar experience, there’s Jamstik, ¬a MIDI guitar controller designed to interface with the iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
When Good Companies Make Bad Decisions
Blog 1/6/2015 19 comments Nearly every engineer has a story or two about mind-bogglingly stupid management decisions. The universality of this experience is one reason why Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons have enjoyed more than 25 years of popularity.
Who Will Be Gadget Freak of the Year?
Gadget Freak 1/5/2015 6 comments Voting in the final round of our annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest is now open. Cast your vote and come back next week to see if your favorite project garnered the $6,000 first prize!
Supercars Go Hybrid
Automotive News 1/5/2015 8 comments Consumers like hybrid powertrains because they burn less fuel and cost less to operate. But the hybrid’s growing popularity is taking it into a relatively new realm.
Lexus' New Concept Car Provides Bold Glimpse of the Future
Automotive News 12/23/2014 52 comments A bold, gold, open-air coupe may not be the ticket to automotive nirvana for every consumer, but Lexus’ LF-C2 concept car certainly turned heads at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. What’s more, it may provide a glimpse of the luxury automaker’s future.
Everyone has had the experience of trying to scrape the last of the peanut butter or mayonnaise from the bottom of a glass jar without getting your hand sticky. Inventor Ron Jidmar thinks he has a solution to all of that nonsense with a flexible jar design that can be squeezed with one hand to lift contents from the bottom to the top of a jar or container, leaving the other hand free to scoop the contents out cleanly.
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