Here's the hilarious "Retroencabulator" video making the rounds on Youtube courtesy of ebaumsworld parodying a fictitious Rockwell Automation product. It's copyrighted 1997 by Rockwell so I have to assume the company has (or had) a sense of humor. However, searching "retroencabulator" on Rockwell's site comes up dry. Allen-Bradley (now part of Rockwell), Reliance Electric and Dodge Gears (both part of Baldor now) parttake in the fun.
The encabulator - a precursor to Star Wars devices, indeed - was the fictitious invention of New York attorney Bernard Salwen who in 1946 wrote about the "Turbo-Encabulator" as a spoof on technical jargon. Many technoology companies - from GE to DaimlerChrysler - have evolved the encabulator over the decades, culminating in Rockwell's video in 1997.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.