Piezoelectric straw-covered skyscraper harvests energy Engineering Investigations 5/30/2013 1 comment Strawscraper, the invention of Swedish architecture firm Belatchew Arkitekter, aims to extend a building in Stockholm with an energy-producing outer shell made of piezoelectric straws that can recover wind energy.
Industrial robot helps researchers Engineering Investigations 5/10/2013 Post a comment Rethink Robotics is giving researchers an ability to get up close and personal with its Baxter industrial robot with a new research version they can use to build custom software and applications.
IP Nightmares Engineering Investigations 4/9/2013 6 comments While we accept the necessity of IP, everyone seems to have plenty of grips as well. What are your biggest complaints about IP developers or users?
What were they thinking: no transparency Engineering Investigations 4/5/2013 3 comments I am getting on my soapbox today to complain about the way tickets are sold for large concerts. This may not be true where you are but this is the way it is done in Portland…
What were they thinking: A clock Engineering Investigations 3/22/2013 18 comments It is amazing what some people consider simple or complex. While time is not the most rational number system and decimal might be easier, this patent has another idea…
PCBs help take the measure of Mars Engineering Investigations 3/1/2013 1 comment Determining thermal effects on general purpose pc boards is tough, but it’s another story to control PCB reliability in mission critical applications where device failure is not an option.
What were they thinking: the iWatch is coming Engineering Investigations 2/22/2013 1 comment OK, so perhaps that is a little premature, but Apple thinks the idea has enough merit that they have filed a patent about it. At the moment it has not be granted, but it does provide some interesting insights…
Circuit protection; shock tactics in real time Engineering Investigations 11/12/2012 2 comments When you’re dealing with something as volatile as electricity, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. At least, that’s what fuse maker Littelfuse believes, and the reason why the firm is putting its not so little weight behind an initiative that promises to deliver rapid responses, in real time, to engineers working on designs requiring circuit protection.
Prototyping your way to shorter design cycles Engineering Investigations 10/30/2012 Post a comment This articles contains two case studies where design teams on different continents were able to reduce their design cycle time. In both of these examples, the design teams used virtual prototyping and accurate models...
How well does Gorilla Glass work? Engineering Investigations 9/6/2012 6 comments Most smart phones these days come equipped with Gorilla Glass - a scratch resistant and toughened glass. But exactly how tough is it? Can you safely drop your device? What about all the shrapnel in my pockets - will they scratch or damage my beloved smart phone?
Deconstructing complex semiconductors layer by layer Engineering Investigations 7/5/2012 4 comments Recently, our sister company UBM TechInsights delivered a webinar on how it goes about doing the magic it does to uncover the secrets within semiconductors and other bits of integrated circuitry used in all the devices we’ve come to know and love.
Multi-Platform Integration Engineering Investigations 4/19/2012 8 comments Balloons, they seem like a simple product ... that’s what I use to think before I was asked to build a machine to make foil balloons.
Controller PCB problem solved Engineering Investigations 1/24/2012 7 comments Problem with a controller PCB causes significant yield loss at an off-shore drive assembly plant and Ravinder is sent in to investigate...
Wire we fixing this Engineering Investigations 1/19/2012 5 comments Dwight has a story from his academic years and work done at a company that "built just about anything."
HMI squeeze Engineering Investigations 1/18/2012 6 comments Problems with the human-machine interface on a Korean drilling platform have the users stumped ... until they call in the engineer, of course.
Liquidated damages Engineering Investigations 1/11/2012 10 comments Sometimes it's necessary to resort to a bit of stealth work to preserve your reputation...
Getting a buzz Engineering Investigations 12/27/2011 5 comments A shocking development while dangling 80 feet off the ground. Oh my!
FDDI built-in test Engineering Investigations 11/14/2011 Post a comment One of the many tasks I have had as a Hardware and Software Engineer is troubleshooting unintended consequences of design decisions made many years previously. Sometimes the decision was made by others, sometimes I throw a wrench in the gears all by myself.
Things that go BOOM Engineering Investigations 11/1/2011 6 comments One visit to a hydro plant takes the entire Southwest Virginia Power Company offline...go Sparky!
The SED Problem Engineering Investigations 10/24/2011 13 comments A famous comedian said, "I hate it when that happens!" That phrase got used every time I had to decipher, debug, or improve on Someone Else's Design.
Lights aren't so bright Engineering Investigations 10/10/2011 15 comments Confusing symptoms and misleading markings lead to a lengthy fault finding process for what turned out to be a simple problem.
Audio transport yields mixed success Engineering Investigations 8/30/2011 3 comments In one of my many stints of developing electronic gizmos as a contractor for the government, I was asked to build a transport device that would take in analog audio, transport it a distance, and then output it in a proprietary digital link format.
Pick the best Engineering Investigations piece Engineering Investigations 6/1/2011 6 comments We've been around the world, drunk Calvados in exotic locations, waded knee-deep in exploding mice, ground our teeth at management ineptitude and learned the value of teamwork. Now, it's time to help determine the best of the latest Engineering Investigations blog submissions!