Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

rss

Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Unique Units and Brilliant Reductions Caroline Storm Westenhover
I love units of measurement: how you can multiply and divide unit Y by unit X and get unit J or W. If you know the units you want, you can look at the information you have and figure out how to get the answer you want just by cancelling units or introducing new ones. Clearly, this is limited to the realm where I am given enough information to solve a problem without experimentation.

Journal of a Newbie Maker Colin Carter
I’ll cut right to the chase here: I’m not an engineer. By education, I’m a technical writer. By pastime, I’m a musician, homebrewer, reader, cyclist, record collector, house cleaner, and animal lover. In the past couple of years, I’ve added the mantle of maker. Or tinkerer. Or DIYer. Whatever you want to call it, I built a circuit from a handful of components — and it works! You may remember your first successful build and your sense of accomplishment. Here’s my story.

Google Finally Lands Squarely in the IoT Domain Barry Manz
Not much has been heard about IoT from Google after it acquired Nest (and its thermostat, smoke detector and Dropcam connected security cameras) but that came to an end in May. At the Google I/O developer’s conference, the company announced the Android-based Brillo operating system and the protocol Weave that will let Brillo-enabled devices communicate with each other. A developer preview of Brillo is coming in the third quarter and Wave in the fourth quarter. In case you’re wondering, Google chose the name Brillo as it’s a “scrubbed” version of Android. As Google always thinks big, the idea is that your “smart home” will be controlled by Android devices that talk to each other and have access to servers in the cloud.

Build Your Own MSP432 BoosterPack Mike Parks
A little while ago, Texas Instruments (TI) launched their new MSP432 family of microcontrollers. Along with the new silicon, there is also a new LaunchPad development kit. Continuing the tradition from the MSP430, the new chips are very affordable while packing in professional grade features and very impressive energy sipping performance.

Home Automaddening Patrick Mannion
As an engineer and cautionary gadget freak it’s hard to not be excited by the recent activity around the Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation. It gives me hope that we’ll soon be able to connect the dots and make all these systems work together in concert so we can orchestrate a beautiful, harmonious symphony of technology. Then I wake up.

Older Forms of Communication are Alive and Well Arden Henderson
Communication workhorses in the industry have been around since the always-underestimated, industrious Neanderthals first used serial and parallel communications to wire up their caves for monitoring fire wood inventories and controlling cave fire pits while the Ice Age raged outside.

Iris Biometric Authentication and Your Car Justin Risedorf
Most drivers develop somewhat of a fondness for their vehicles. It’s not always a deep love affair, but definitely a fondness. Whether or not the particular model they are currently driving is their favorite (the proverbial car or truck of their dreams), they almost always end up having a genuine sense of attachment. That’s a very normal feeling, seeing as most vehicles take a considerable amount of investment of money and time. So, it stands to reason that when someone’s car is stolen, they tend to take it rather personally. It is usually talked about in terms of “feeling violated” and other similar comments.

The “Hotspotization” of America Barry Manz
About a year ago when I was helping my son set up his new life in Nashville, one of the things I chose to do was set up his cable/Internet/phone account. I found it curious that the cable company was offering its most sophisticated set-top box with integrated wireless access point and DVR for $1 less per month than its cheapest version.

Engineers of Many Packages Lynnette Reese
I was reading about the women of the #iLookLikeAnEngineer movement going through the blogosphere. The perceptions of “what an engineer looks like” might be changing. If a Hollywood writer is asked to “describe what an engineer looks like,” they would say he’s got short hair, wears a short sleeve shirt tucked into his trousers, and looks like engineers from the Apollo 13 movie. I disagree, and so do many others, apparently. I am an engineer and I look more like a housewife. (I get mistaken for everything but an engineer, actually.)

One of the Things is Sort of Like the Other Caroline Storm Westenhover
This semester I took Cooperative Control of Multi-Agent Systems (CC). Basically, the idea behind it is to make groups of robots behave like schools of fish. Each robot responds to its neighbor and environment to make the whole group act as one body. There are several advantages to this. One is that here is no “queen bee” to take out that would make all the other robots useless. The loss of any robot, whether through malicious attacks or just link failures, does not result in the loss of any other robots. Also, system expansion is easier.

View Blogs by Date