We messed up and you responded. Last fall, we posted a gallery of the messiest engineering desks, courtesy of our sister site, EETimes. EELife editorial director Brian Fuller, who came up with the slideshow, opined that the results showed that the messier the desk, the more of a genius its owner must be.
We wanted to see whether Design News readers were as organizationally challenged. Several of you responded, so here's Messy Desks Part II, which mashes up mechanical engineers' workspaces with additional EETimes pictures.
Click the image below to view more of the messiest engineers' desks around:
Nicholas Lee of Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, shows off "my vast hoard of electronic components, reference books, datasheets, and a miscellany of electronic projects under construction," which reside next to his desk.
I noted that slide 4 of 13 shows a Jacobs Ladder with a safety screen around it and if grounded acts as a Faraday Cage for sub-GigHz frequencies, yet the caption states: "The last in the Nicolas Lee messy desk tetralogy is his three-foot-high Jacob's ladder, otherwise known as a Faraday Cage."
Sorry, no cigar here. A Faraday Cage prevents RF from entering, or exiting, a given space and is not another name for a Jocobs Ladder. A Jacobs Ladder radiates a pretty wide swath of the spectrum and should perhaps have a Faraday cage surrounding it to prevent interferrence with other equipment. The voltages present can make a person assume room temperature in short order, so another good idea is to keep fingers out of it. Think bug-zapper here.
It does seem that many of the more productive and creative engineers are not so very fixated on keeping things perfectly neat. But many of them are quite organized. Neatness and organization belong on separate axis at right angles, since I have seen some very neat but completely disorganized areas, places where nothing worthwhile could happen without a huge effort.
Mostly, what I have seen is that great engineers and many good engineers do engineering, while the poor and the mediocre straighten things up. It is like this: Those wo can, do, while those who can't, straighten things up. It rlates to priorities, it seems.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.