240 posts tagged with Engineering.
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ooooo shiny

Ever made an indie action film and needed something for that epic glass-break scene? How about the blackest black you can find? Want to adjust your boots so that they are mud repellant? Inventables has everything you need - for the budding inventor, busy set designer, or Q in training.
posted by divabat on Mar 26, 2011 - 43 comments

Women and Engineering no longer

Women More Likely To Leave Engineering Over Work Environment, Study Finds [more inside]
posted by jillithd on Mar 11, 2011 - 134 comments

Nofer Trunnions

For a number of years now work has been proceding in order to bring to the crudely conceived idea of a transmission that would not only supply inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors, but would also be capable of automaticaly synchronizing cardinal grammeters. Such an instrument is the turbo encabulator. [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Feb 8, 2011 - 65 comments

Simply Incredible

Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2011 - 24 comments

The cutaway drawing and its artists

The cutaway drawing and its artists. Enjoy. [more inside]
posted by clorox on Dec 3, 2010 - 15 comments

Confessions of a recovering engineer

Confessions of a Recovering Engineer
posted by aniola on Dec 2, 2010 - 52 comments

Icarus' Dream Finally a Reality

The dream of Icarus has been one shared by many throughout history. University of Toronto Engineering students made history this week when they successfully flew a human-powered aircraft with flapping wings continuously. The flight of the Snowbird is beautiful to watch. [more inside]
posted by smitt on Sep 23, 2010 - 42 comments

I Got It One Piece at a Time

Canadian Jiffy Jeep Crews can completely disassemble and reassemble a Willys Jeep in less than four minutes.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 11, 2010 - 37 comments

Almost two decades of scientific answers for (young) inquiring minds

The internet is full of answers, and some of them might even be true. For almost 20 years, the the Newton BBS has been a source of answers to science questions that may be accessed directly via the Web as well as through telnet (no public telnet access any more, sorry). The Newton BBS "Ask A Scientist" archive has answers from 15 science fields, from astronomy to zoology, for a total of more than 20,000 questions answered. This was covered previously, and the site is aimed at teachers and students from grades K-12, so io9's Ask a Physicist questions (with answers from Dr. Dave Goldberg) might be more engaging. See also: MIT's Ask An Engineer.
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 9, 2010 - 4 comments

You have a drinking problem. We have data.

John Billes—whose extracurricular exploits as an undergraduate at UT Austin brought us iPhone-controlled dance floor lights, R/C cars, and yes, even full-size automobiles—has created the KegMatea keg-mounted, Arduino-controlled data-logging suite with an iPad-based user interface—in his spare time, while working at Yelp.
posted by defenestration on Aug 17, 2010 - 9 comments

Let Me Tell You The Tale Of A Hot Rod Race

Colin Berry's Spinout is a a touching, tragic story about his older brother, Kevin. Kevin competed in--and very nearly won--the All-American Soap Box Derby, but lost to Bobby Lange, the son of ski-boot magnate and engineer Robert Lange Sr.. [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat on Aug 8, 2010 - 19 comments

Chuck Schumer, raising the bar. Nevermind that $42,000,000,000 trade deficit thing.

iPhone 4's reception woes, wherein bridging the area where the metal bands meet (affectionately dubbed "the spot") results in a dramatic loss in signal strength, have been widely covered in the media over the past few weeks. Apple acknowledged the concerns publicly with a letter to customers where they concluded that the issue was not with the phone, but rather that they were being too generous in the way the software communicated signal quality as bars. After an update to iOS, the bars are in fact different but the problems persist. Most recently, Consumer Reports stated it was unable to recommend iPhone 4 because of the significant design flaw, despite listing it as the highest rated overall smartphone they've tested to date. The latest wrinkle in the story has been an open letter to Steve Jobs from Chuck Schumer, yes -- United States Senator from New York Chuck Schumer, in which he questions the adequacy and transparency of Apple's response to customer concerns. Apple will be holding a press conference at 10AM tomorrow in San Francisco to address the matter. [more inside]
posted by cgomez on Jul 15, 2010 - 465 comments

To Swimfinity And Beyond

Take a swim in the Infinity Pool, at the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park. The Sky Park has rooftop restaurants, nightclubs, gardens, trees, plants, and a public observatory with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline. The Infinity Pool is the world's longest elevated swimming pool, with a 475-foot vanishing edge, 200 meters (55 stories) above the ground.
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 25, 2010 - 48 comments

Frankenstrument

The Bassoforte is made from a broken bass guitar and a dismantled piano. The end result is awesome.
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy on Jun 18, 2010 - 55 comments

Star forts from above

Star forts from above (Google Maps links): Alba Iulia, Arad Fortress, Almeida, Bourtrange, Coevorden, Estremoz, Goryōkaku, Naarden, Neuf Brisach, Nicosia, Palmanova, Retranchement, Terezín, Willemstad. More.
posted by nthdegx on Jun 8, 2010 - 47 comments

Steve Durnin's D-Drive

Steve Durnin's D-Drive is a fascinating new infinitely-variable transmission that doesn't use friction components or a clutch of any kind. Video of a prototype with detailed explanations is included.
posted by odinsdream on May 15, 2010 - 44 comments

FAST and cheap

Value engineering (also known as Value Analysis) is an approach to cost-effective product development that seems to have had its heyday in the developed world. However, as this recent student project "Value Engineering Project (Tata Nano)" seems to show, it is still popular in the developing world. Comparing this definition of Carlos Ghosn's now famous phrase "Frugal Engineering" with VE's seems to imply "new name; same approach" - understandable since Tata are the leading lights of the Indian Value Engineering society. Is it time for a global revival of interest?
posted by infini on May 13, 2010 - 9 comments

Director of Research at Google and AI genius

Reddit interviews Peter Norvig (reddit discussion) related: Seeds of AI at Google -- how the internet is shaping intelligence and learning and, in turn, the role of human culture in natural selection1,2 and why we are not living in western civilization. (via)
posted by kliuless on Mar 6, 2010 - 13 comments

Talking with a mouthfull of motor.

Ate Up With Motor provides well-reaserched articles on automotive topics. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Feb 17, 2010 - 9 comments

Basic Mechanics in Fire Control Computers

I've never really had a clear understanding of how mechanical computing worked, until today when I watched these US Navy training films from 1953. Part 1 focuses on shafts, gears, cams and differentials. Part 2 explains mechanical component solvers, integrators and multipliers. More information about ship gun fire-control systems here.
posted by drmanhattan on Feb 14, 2010 - 28 comments

The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race

For 36 years, engineering students from colleges across North America (and beyond) have aspired to succeed at winter's most prestigious, most arduous, most ridiculous challenge - to build and ride the world's fastest sled . . . made of concrete. Tomorrow, if you're in the greater Hamilton Ontario area, you can witness the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race yourself. Expect to see A fair warning however, spectators who stand too close might become part of the action. [more inside]
posted by Popular Ethics on Jan 29, 2010 - 24 comments

All we hear is radio ga ga.

Audiophoolery: Pseudoscience in Consumer Audio. You might think that a science-based field like audio engineering would be immune to the kind of magical thinking we see in other fields. Unfortunately, you would be wrong [...] As a consumerist, it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy-looking wire that’s no better than the heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store. Or magic isolation pads and little discs made from exotic hardwood that purport to “improve clarity and reduce listening fatigue,” among other surprising claims. The number of scams based on ignorance of basic audio science grows every day. Via.
posted by amyms on Jan 11, 2010 - 209 comments

Eiffel Tower blueprints

So you want to build your own Eiffel Tower. Then you'll need 7,300 tons of iron, 2.5 million rivets, and some blueprints. (You may also need a copyright lawyer.)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 29, 2009 - 10 comments

Manhattan Bridge Timelapse

Timelapse of the Manhattan Bridge shows the bridge flexing up and down as trains pass over it (SLYT). via
posted by carter on Dec 10, 2009 - 42 comments

Great Lakes to be filter-fed to carp

Asian Carp update: since 2003(previously), the inexorable advance of Asian Carp up the Mississippi delta has brought them to within 6 miles of Lake Michigan. These invasive "100-pound Zebra Mussels" suck rivers clean and starve native fish. Asian Carp are now 97% of the fish biomass in the Mississippi delta. The "electric fence" across the canal didn't stop them. The poisoning of the canal won't stop them. Closing the Chicago sewage canal locks is the only way to be sure. But the Army Corps of Engineers have the jurisdiction. Feel safe? [more inside]
posted by anthill on Dec 3, 2009 - 66 comments

Brilliant folding power plug

A brilliant industrial design (IMO) for a slimline UK power plug. The UK plug is an exceptionally chunky and large lump; a real pain in the computer satchel. This video shows what appears to be a manufacturable design that turns it into an elegant device. SLYT. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish on Nov 4, 2009 - 103 comments

synthetic biology

Our biotech century: the noocytes are coming... (previously)
posted by kliuless on Oct 4, 2009 - 25 comments

a pink sliver of rat brain sat in a beaker

The simulated brain - "The scientists behind Blue Brain hope to have a virtual human brain functioning in ten years... Dr. Markram began by collecting detailed information about the rat's NCC, down to the level of genes, proteins, molecules and the electrical signals that connect one neuron to another. These complex relationships were then turned into millions of equations, written in software. He then recorded real-world data -- the strength and path of each electrical signal -- directly from rat brains to test the accuracy of the software." Is it possible to digitally simulate a brain accurately? Can it only be analog? And are there quantum effects to be considered? (previously 1 2 3 4) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 18, 2009 - 251 comments

A sea of green

"Algae is the ultimate biological system using sunlight to capture and convert carbon dioxide into fuel... I came up with a notion to trick algae into pumping more [fuel] out." Craig Venter's Synthetic Genomics partners with ExxonMobil in a $600M project to harvest biofuels from genetically engineered algae. "We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry." [previously] [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 14, 2009 - 45 comments

Ten new wind turbine designs

Ten new wind turbine designs. Curious, grotesque, sculptural, beautiful, utilitarian.
posted by Slithy_Tove on Jul 12, 2009 - 52 comments

Photographs of the Excitement of Geotechnical Engineering (Failures)

Professors Ross W. Boulanger and Dr. James Duncan have put together a Geotechnical Engineering Photo Album, with details of the successes and disasters. The album includes compaction techniques for a highway off-ramp, deep excavation methods, an offshore tank structure, and earthquake hazards of many sorts (mountain landslides, liquefaction damage to ports in Kobe, Japan, surface rupture in Taiwan, and problems with shallow foundations and subsidence in Turkey). (via oi9)
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 10, 2009 - 12 comments

Neurosecurity

Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices. "An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define 'neurosecurity'—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices." [Via Mind Hacks]
posted by homunculus on Jul 8, 2009 - 22 comments

Sixty Symbols

What Periodic Videos did for chemistry, Sixty Symbols is doing for physics and engineering. Some behind the scenes action and general scienciness. [more inside]
posted by DU on Jun 26, 2009 - 13 comments

Nature's Elegant Solutions

Imagine nature's most elegant ideas organized by design and engineering function, so you can enter "filter salt from water" and see how mangroves, penguins, and shorebirds desalinate without fossil fuels. That's the idea behind AskNature, the online inspiration source for the biomimicry community. The featured pages are a good starting point. Cross-pollinating biology with design. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 5, 2009 - 13 comments

A Game of Gravity

Cogitate - Manipulate LEGO TECHNIC gears, beams, conveyor belts and motors to complete the ten pre-built puzzles or create your own levels. [In my case - Then watch them crash in a heap when you test them.]
posted by tellurian on Jun 4, 2009 - 15 comments

ECE 4760: Introduction to Microcontroller Programming FINAL DESIGN PROJECT

Our project is a fart intensity detector which ranks fart magnitude on a scale from 0-9 according to sound, temperature, and gas concentrations. Two Cornell EE students built a Fart Intensity Detection Station as a final project for Introduction to Microcontroller Programming. [more inside]
posted by clavicle on May 10, 2009 - 57 comments

Bridge Too Far

Friday Flash Frustration: Their cute little faces ask for the impossible. Get them to the other side. (via)
posted by DU on Apr 17, 2009 - 54 comments

Revolutionary Semiconductor

Friday Flash Fun*: Конструктор: Engineer of the People, in which you are an engineer working in a top-secret semiconductor facility called H3, designing top-secret integrated circuits based on specifications provided to you. *For certain values of 'fun'
posted by daniel_charms on Mar 27, 2009 - 36 comments

"Wall up a dozen lawyers at one end and put a good fee at the other."

Into the black. At nearly five miles, it's the longest transportation tunnel east of the Rockies. Built in 1874, its construction took 200 lives, nearly bankrupted the state of Massachusetts, and served as a crucible for modern engineering. Journey into the Hoosac Tunnel, urban exploration destination and the most haunted place in New England.
posted by billypilgrim on Feb 20, 2009 - 18 comments

People doing strange things with electricity

Dorkbot is a "monthly meeting of artists (sound/image/movement/whatever), designers, engineers, students, scientists, and other interested parties who are involved in the creative use of electricity." Started in NYC in 2000 by Douglas Repetto, Director of Research at the Columbia University Computer Music Center as well as one of Wired's 10 Sexiest Geeks, there are now dozens all over the world. Past presenters have been featured here on the blue. For instance Jeff Han presented his multi-touch interface at dorkbot-nyc in April of 2006. Miru Kim presented her naked city spleen at dorkbot-nyc in October of 2006. Bummed that there's not one in your own city? Start your own! [more inside]
posted by funkiwan on Dec 30, 2008 - 19 comments

The Lackawanna Cut-Off

A glance will show / Why Phoebe Snow / Prefers this route / To Buffalo.
And Phoebe's right / No route is quite / As short as Road / of Anthracite.


In 1908 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began work on the New Jersey Cut-Off to make its New York to Buffalo mainline (the Road of Anthracite so liked by Phoebe Snow) even shorter and faster. It was to have no grade crossings, and was to be as straight and level as possible — through hilly terrain. The 28-mile Lackawanna Cut-Off, as it is now known, was built over three years, cost $11 million, and was an engineering marvel of massive reinforced concrete bridges, enormous cuts, and the largest railroad embankment in the world. All of this has been abandoned for years, though there are plans afoot to restore the Cut-Off for commuter rail. [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 24, 2008 - 17 comments

What Good Is Half A Machine?

One of the classic arguments against evolution by natural selection is "what good is half an X?" where X is an eye, a wing or some other complex body part or system. Directly responding to the implicit challenge some researchers have been not just figuring out how X could have evolved, but actually evolving new complex machines (previously). The basic ideas are so simple that web versions (explanation and discussion) have been popping up.
posted by DU on Dec 9, 2008 - 67 comments

Deep Geek: Understanding Memristors

The coming memristor revolution in electronics and how it works. The newly created memristor, only the fourth fundamental fundamental type of passive circuit element, has the promise of computing advances both prosaic (faster, cheaper and "bigger" flash drives) and momentous (relatively effortless mimicry of brain cells and their activity). This is the story of the memristor's genesis, told by R. Stanley Williams, the leader of the team that created the device. [more inside]
posted by NortonDC on Dec 7, 2008 - 43 comments

Incredibeta

Incredibots. Make crazy machines! Solve puzzles! Share with your friends! And that's just the beta. Similarly [more inside]
posted by DU on Nov 13, 2008 - 36 comments

Fixing the world on $2/day

Amy Smith and MIT's D-lab apply engineering principles to real-world problems that affect the world's poorest residents. She organizes an annual conference. Hear her talk at TED. Previously
posted by lalochezia on Nov 2, 2008 - 4 comments

Flawlesss Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP)

Flawless Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP). Breatheless reporting aside, it looks like when a pilot can control the landing, these aircraft are tough enough that no one need be hurt. Many more excellent videos in the post-video links, too.
posted by five fresh fish on Oct 21, 2008 - 40 comments

Termite Mounds

Busy Bugs: Termite Mounds vs. the Burj Dubai Tower.
posted by homunculus on Sep 30, 2008 - 34 comments

The engines cannae be built that way Cap’n

Scotty is spinning in his gr- the stratosphere: "Every Federation starship has a chief engineer, right? And the chief engineer's job is to keep everything running and solve problems, right? Right, but unfortunately, that's about the only thing they get right." An essay on how "Star Trek" ignored fundamental principles of engineering.
posted by orthogonality on Aug 8, 2008 - 50 comments

The Man Who Invented Stereo

In a single 1931 document, electrical engineer Alan Blumlein patented stereo records, stereo movie sountracks and surround sound. His equipment was used to make some of the first stereo recordings at EMI's Abbey Road studios - several decades before the technology came into popular use. Blumlein went on to pioneer 405 line TV (the first wholly electronic format which won out over John Logie Baird's rival system) and to produce the equipment that made the first outside TV broadcast possible. At the outbreak of World War 2 he was a key architect of the secret H2S radar project. Unfortunately he was killed in a plane crash while testing the technology and the whole incident was kept secret. Hence he remains an obscure figure despite his achievements. A recent BBC Radio 4 program contains a lot of the archive stereo footage and tells his story.
posted by rongorongo on Aug 7, 2008 - 5 comments

There Could Be Blood

Andy Grove on Our Electric Future - "Energy independence [viz.] is the wrong goal. Here is a plan Americans can stick to." Perhaps some infrastructure spending1,2 is in order? [etc., &c., cf.] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 15, 2008 - 14 comments

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