I'm having flash backs. This is the type of problem my mechanics teacher (Dr. W.K. Stare) would give us on a pop quiz. He loved to pull these things out of someone's hat and see our faces when we would silently begin to scream. He was an absolute tyrant when you did not state your assumptions FIRST. Then DISPLAY your work in a complete and readable fashion. I can hear him now. My first pop quiz was returned with so much red ink I thought he bled on it. Actually, I learned a great deal from Dr. Stare and there came a time when the class was eager to see what torture awaited with the next one. Very interesting post.
I had a similar reaction, perhaps helped by the fact that I grew up with Cinderella clear plastic "slippers" for little girls, which were actually pumps with sort-of-high heels on them, as shown in the illustration to this article. That also makes me wonder about the assumption that these shoes have high heels on them. Perhaps the word "slipper" in the fairy tale means flat shoes, as it does today? They'd be a lot easier to dance in, especially if made of glass. Perhaps the enigineer should recalculate based on that assumption.
There is one Fairy-Tale that I have referenced in the engineering work-place quite often, being "The Emperor's New Clothes". Remember the story of a unbelievable fabrication of events that only the most royal and eloquent could possibly understand? How many times have I challenged the Program Manager's Schedule, using the line of the little boy in the fairy tale: "I Can't See 'em-!!"
My concern about glass slippers (since I knew I would never wear them) was that they would be uncomfortable because they are not flexible. Obviously Cindarella had to be careful how she walked. I'd like to see the analysis of Cindarella turning into a pumpkin!
The most puzzling part of the story for me is the "lived happily ever after" part. Will there be a sequel?
Your point about the King Kong example got me thinking that using these well indoctrinated, childhood stories as a basis to explore engineering concepts and mathematical theories could actually be a solid way to introduce kids, boys and girls, to what's possible in an engineering career. I'm not sure they'd hold ground for those who've moved beyond the introductory stage, but by exposure, they could definitely spark initial interest in the field, especially for kids who might be bored or not fully become engaged with traditional examples.
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.