Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Robot Voice

Cylon Speak and Spell

Up until the mid ’90s, the inter-concourse tram at Atlanta Hartsfield airport used a ridiculous computer voice synthesizer to make announcements to passengers of the tram. I’m not up on my voice synth history, but the voice sounded like late ’70s technology… like a Cylon mated with a Speak-and-Spell. It was hard to understand, so its use in a major international airport was somewhat odd. Of course, I do have many-a-fond memories of riding that tram imprinted in my fatty … READ MORE

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Under Promise and Over Deliver

Turbo Encabulator

I have a 1-step lesson to make you a better engineer, a better employee, and even a better person. Yes- all three. This one simple and easy lesson will undoubtedly improve every interpersonal relationship in your life. What is the lesson? Well, I gave it away with the title. STEP 1 of 1: Under Promise and Over Deliver (UPOD). This means to be realistic or even overly conservative with what you promise to deliver, and then do your best to … READ MORE

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Amazon to Tackle McMaster

Amazon Supply Homepage

So far, no company has even come close to the convenience, selection, web interface, or speed of the almighty McMaster Carr. But it is interesting to note Amazon is applying their procurement/distribution skillz to the industrial supply market. AmazonSupply’s web interface is better than some, and in places it does feel inspired by McMaster (fasteners), but they still have a long way to go. The selection feels more like Northern Tool than a big-boy industrial supply like MSC, Grainger, or … READ MORE

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CAD model of ED-209 from Robocop!

ED209 CAD model

GO DOWNLOAD THIS CAD MODEL. YOU HAVE 20 SECONDS TO COMPLY. Certainly one of the best things to come out of the 80′s was the movie Robocop. Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Starship Troopers) delivers a classic Jesus-Christ-Science-Fiction flick about a cop in future Detroit crucified by shotgun fire to be resurrected as a cyborg cop who forces peace and order on a chaotic society with an iron fist… er, maybe it’s plastic. What a movie! Indeed Robocop is still fun … READ MORE

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Before Patenting, Research your Invention

Bullet through Lightbulb

(edited and reprinted with permission from www.bluduc.com) This is a story of me being the bad guy… the bad engineering dude. I had to be the bearer of some crappy news to a client. A dude contacted me a while back with an idea he wanted to patent, prototype, and eventually manufacture. For shits-n-grins let’s call this dude Jim. JIM was plenty excited about his idea. Jim was so excited in fact, that he actually experienced dreams at night of … READ MORE

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