Engineering took a terrifying turn at Pack Expo in Chicago on Halloween, as the pneumatic equipment supplier Bimba Manufacturing Co. demonstrated the air-powered Scary Guy for some of the show's 46,000 attendees.
Meet the Scary Guy. (Source: Design News)
The Scary Guy is an animatronic figure built by the Scare Factory. Bimba supplied components for electronic controls, air cylinders, valves, fittings, and filters to enable the figure to move its upper body independently. Bimba engineers said the pneumatic bill of materials for the Scary Guy amounted to less than $300.
Haunted houses (HH) are big business. I calculated once, based on the supposed attendance of a local HH, that a typical attraction could rake in about $400,000 a season. Good HHs sell tickets for $20-30 these days too, so perhaps my number is a little low.
I tried to talk my engineering friends into building one, but they were scared to try. Pun intended.
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
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.