What does Dr. Victor Frankenstein have in common with engineers? You know you know the answer: It's the ability to bring back objects from the dead.
The doc's most famous example is that big monster, of course, but who knows what else he reanimated in his lab? Frankenstein's toaster? Frankenstein's microwave? The list is likely to be endless.
Like a modern-day engineer, Frankenstein didn't just throw out a crappy product or demand his money back when something didn't quite live up to his expectations. No sir, he applied his technical prowess and problem-solving ability to fixing it.
So, in honor of Dr. Frankenstein and Halloween, Tektronix and EE Times have teamed up to recognize this special ability of engineers and mad doctors to get things to work. And as our thanks for the countless products you help keep out of landfills each year, we are giving away a Tektronix MS02024B scope worth $3,650 to one lucky engineer. The winner will be announced on -- you guessed it -- October 31, 2013.
All you have to do is describe a situation in which a product didn't quite live up to expectations (or outright failed), and you successfully repaired, redesigned, or even reanimated it.
Here's how to enter:
Describe in 1,000 words or less a compelling example of a product that you tore into to fix or improve it.
Describe the circumstances that drove you to open it up and investigate its inner workings. Tell us whether you think the problem was related to a design or manufacturing screw up or possibly misuse. If you can, speculate on the choices or tradeoffs that were made and why.
Most importantly, tell us how you diagnosed and fixed the problem. Was it an entire circuit redesign or a simple duct-tape-and-rubber-band-it-together fix? What new constraints, added cost, or other tradeoffs did your work introduce?
Include any relevant supporting documentation: photos, charts, sketches, video, and data that help illustrate your story.
You'll get extra credit if your story makes us groan or laugh out loud -- preferably both.
Register with EE Times, if you haven't done so already, and email your entry to Caleb Kraft by October 26, 2013. Include your EE Times user name, the email you used to register, and a short bio of yourself (less than 50 words).
Need a sample to get your gray cells working? Check out The case of the flat panel TV scream, in which an intrepid engineer scores a free 36-inch panel flat screen TV by knowing how to fix it.
All qualifying entries will be published on the new Frankenstein's Fix blog on EE Life and will be entered into a drawing for a Tektronix MSO2024B digital oscilloscope. Full contest rules are located on the following page.
The requirements of this EE contest sound a tad familiar. They are actually the job description of our own Sherlock Ohms. I hope some of our Sherlocks enter this contest. We're been presenting these mad scientists for years at the rate of two or three per week.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.