In the software world, SAP does the same thing. They are very specific about what hardware, system software and middleware can be used with their ERP products. This is a real pain, until you have a problem that needs fixing. With a certified installation, they have the test fixtures for all valid combinations and can run in the same environment that you have. It allows them to give a very high SLA.
Not just a great example of patient and methodical troubleshooting - but also an example of how you can combine your areas of interest in your profession. While I have been a test engineer for years, I also have a passion for horses. I have a small business where my husband and I develop portable trail obstacles for horses. We often combine our mechanical engineering skills to solve problems with our obstacles and are currently developing some obstacles that are PIC controlled. We have a water obstacle that we eventually plan to have activated by a motion sensor. That's the awesome thing about engineering - you can bring it into so many different areas and work on those that specifically interest you - just as the author of this very interesting article has shown...
Good point, Naperlou, One thing a really like about this solution is how those who built the pipe organ worked to replicate the problem 600 miles away. This is reminiscent of how the Apollo 13 problem was solved. Those in Houston tried to replicate the materials those in the spacecraft has so they could use those materials to solve the problem.
Beth, I agree with you. That was an interesting story and a very interesting problem. There is no way to teach such skills. You just have to work with the equipment and understand it at many levels to find a solution.
Nice story and an on-going lesson for up-and-coming engineers that despite the complexities of today's products and tool platforms, patience and persistence as well as a thirst for curiousity and an eye for creative problem solving are still the tried and true foundational skills for good engineers. Thanks for sharing.
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.