For most of my career, my neighbors and family have had a hard time understanding what I do for a living, mostly because they are not EEs. They get the writer part, but not the microcontroller part. But the advent of low-cost and easily programmed MCU boards like Arduino is changing that and igniting an explosion of creativity among non-EEs.
Nowhere is the impact of these MCU boards more evident than at the Maker Faire, which I was able to attend in California a few weeks ago. For those not familiar with the Faire, it is the offspring of Make magazine, which itself is the voice of a movement to get students (and adults) interested in science, technology, engineering, and math by encouraging them to explore how these fields lend themselves to creating gadgets, toys, and whiz-bang marvels of all kinds. This so-called maker movement is growing by leaps and bounds, as evidenced by the 120,000-plus attendees at this year's California Faire. A similar Faire was held in Taiwan at the same time, and more Faires are scheduled this year for Detroit, Kansas City, New York, and Rome. Mini Maker Faires are scheduled at venues around the globe.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.