In this MIT electrical
engineering lecture, Professor Sussman explains how a mechanical watch mechanism
relates to an electrical oscillator circuit consisting of resistors, capacitors,
and inductors. Sussman is a life member of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers
Institute and exploits his expertise by demonstrating via close-up camera how various
parts of the watch function while explaining how they relate to electrical components.
This goes far beyond the comparatively lame textbook and classroom examples most
of us have experienced in college.
Officially, the U-2 is still the highest-flying airplane in the
world. Its real max altitude is classified, but in this video James May of the BBC's
Top Gear has the privilege
of riding on the edge of space, at 70,000', where the Earth's roundness, and the
thickness of the atmosphere separating terra firma from the black void of space
is apparent. He comments how it is hard to not become emotional over the reality
of seeing the home planet from such a vantage point.
Can you remember when the Rubik's Cube first
came out? It must have been around 1980 or so, because I was in the USAF at the
time. Don Hicks and I were the only two guys in our radar shop who took the challenge
seriously, and I do not recall who solved it first. Neither of us got as good
as this guy in the video, but we could whip through a cube in pretty good time.
Eventually I bought one of the cubes with 16 squares on a side. Never did solve
have to admit to never having heard of this band, OK Go. They and a cast of many
created a pretty amazing, giant size Rube Goldberg machine. One of my favorite parts
is the bowling ball being launched across a fairly large distance and hitting its
target to continue the machine's repertoire of imaginative gizmos. The video is
nearly 4 minutes long.
Here is a video of
some pretty spectacular lightning strikes on the world's tallest building - the
Burj Khalifa Dubai. It was made on January 11th of this year. Handling 50,000 amps
of current is no easy task, especially in an environment packed with sensitive electronics.
I have not seen any reports of systems failing during intense storms, but that is
no guarantee it has not happened.
This is what might be considered the mechanical
engineer's equivalent of an electrical engineer's cycles-per-second-to-Hertz converter.
Come to think of it, though, there might be a huge market for this device under
the new "green" energy policies. Maybe someone can package it commercially in the
form of a light switch, calculate a carbon offset value, and collect millions in
tax credits. Our Congress would be dumb enough to allow it.
years back, MIT began a program of publishing videos of many full courses, including
the electrical engineering curriculum. This particular video from course number
6.002 covers MOSFET amplifiers.
On-screen captioning follows popular Professor
Anant Agarwal performance as he speed-writes/draws on the multi-layered
electric chalkboard. A full transcript is provided for each lecture. It is a great
way to brush up for an impending interview.
Intel has made a few pretty good videos in the last couple years.
The best, IMHO, was the "Our rock stars aren't like your rock stars" commercial
starring Ajay Bhat. This circa
2007 video, Wanted:
Moore's Law for Another 40 Years, promotes their
transistor breakthrough. Background music is Bobby Fuller's 1965 hit "I Fought the
Law and the Law Won." This is very non-PC (guns used - a surprise coming out of
the belly of the PC beast)
From the looks of this video, maybe the
demolition experts should have budgeted for the extra sticks of dynamite or C4.
One building fell to the ground whilst the second assumed the position of a popular
tourist location in Pisa. Given the notoriety of the failure (including this mention),
all the engineers on the crew are probably now helping to maintain track for the
Beijing-Lhasa Express high speed rail system to Tibet.
Here is a case where
getting two for the price of one is not a good deal. In July of 2006, a Chinook
helicopter struck the 1000-foot transmission tower for television station
WFXL, in Albany, GA. The
tower had to come down because it posed a risk to the
WALB tower standing next to it.
Experts were called in. The WFXL guy wire charges went off as planned (visible in
the video) and things were going well... until a wire from the collapsing antenna
got tangled on the WALB tower guy wire. Well, that's one way to take care of the
Watch a Nokia N95 smartphone drive this LEGO Speedcubing robot
(big sport in the robotics nerd world). Constructed entirely from LEGO parts, it
includes a vision system for ascertaining the cube's state while solving a 3x3x3
Rubik's cube from any start position in under 20 seconds, including the initial
image capture. Thanks to a passionate, dedicated user base, LEGO has come a long
way since introducing the blocks in 1949. They now carry a complete line of robotics
devices, including processors, motors, and vision devices. Here is a nifty bit of
trivia for you:
LEGO is an combining of the two Danish words leg and godt,
meaning play well.
Last October, students at the University
of Southern Illinois launched a weather balloon laden with experiments and a video
camera. Gusty winds made the inflation process a bit dicey, but the flight completed
as planned. You can watch the balloon finally burst at 90,000 feet against the black
background of space. The local electric company help retrieve the craft from a tree
about 110 miles away.