With the floor populated by jugglers, acrobats, and magicians, the 49th annual Design Automation Conference (DAC) at times seemed more like a medieval fair than a high-tech tradeshow. Not that you couldn't find evidence of modern society.
There was, of course, a car on the show floor (a modern requirement for any tradeshow, no matter how far removed an industry is from the automotive business). And Aldec Inc.'s booth featured a robot that, if you made the mistake of talking to it, seemed a little too desperate to make friends.
Click on the image below to see a few scenes from the show.
Aldec's talking robot had a pleasant voice and was charmingly quick with a joke, but in the end, it seemed just a little too eager to make friends.
Nice slide show, Dylan. What a wild bunch of examples of automation. Silly me, I thought automation was all about sensors, servo motors, and Ethernet. I guess the final products show better than the wires and grease inside.
These are some pretty neat examples of automation. For the trade show, a person might walk right by a booth that has a bunch of six axis robots sitting static, but if you have one of those robots playing air hockey, you will have a line around the block waiting to see your product.
You're right, Tim. I attended a Microsoft user conference that featured tons of useful technology. They also had a surface computer displayed. The surface computer -- with little practical value -- got all the attention.
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.