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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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


The Expanding World of Shrinking Robots Justin Risedorf
The Microrobotics Lab at Harvard University is working on microbots that might be able to help, if not totally reshape, fields including agriculture, medicine and police work. These innovative microbots are being developed with the overall goal of making tasks more efficient and less expensive.

Human Settlements in Space; Mars Madness? Sylvie Barak
Advancements in technology and space travel mean human settlement on Mars is already possible using existing technologies. But while the mechanisms are ready, is human psychology? Programs like Mars One are already ramping up plans for Mars colonization, with the goal of sending the first human pioneers in crews of four, every two years, starting in 2026.

Amateur Space Exploration: CubeSats Mike Parks
When Sputnik launched in 1957, it contained four antennas that transmitted a very simple radio signal that allowed the satellite to be tracked. Fast forward through the years and space exploration has become increasingly sophisticated. We have since expanded to manned spaceflight, space stations, landing on the moon, sending rovers to distant planets, and satellites of all types. In the beginning, human space exploration has required the resources that only governments could afford. Today that is changing, thanks to companies such as SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation. Still, short of weather balloon experiments, space exploration by ordinary people seems a remote dream for most.

"I Believe We Should Go to the Moon" Lynnette Reese
“I Believe We Should Go to the Moon.” With these words, President Kennedy launched the space program. Back in 1961, these were words that today would sound like, “I Believe We Should Go to Mars.” This was a difficult goal, when a single google query today “sets in motion as much computing as it took to send Neil Armstrong and eleven other astronauts to the moon. Not just the actual flights, but all the computing done throughout the planning and execution of the 11-year, 17 mission Apollo program.”

Hubble, Hubble, Toil and Bubble Arden Henderson
Back to Hubble (the space telescope). Twenty-five years later, we celebrate its birthday. The Hubble has been in operation so long it was serviced by space shuttles, a bunch of quaint space hardware that no longer flies and is parked rusting in museums these days.

Weird RF Part 2: Removing Obstacles to Space Travel Barry Manz
Bounce radio signals off the moon? Unthinkable! Well it certainly was in 1945, when scientists at the U. S. Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth (Wall Twp., NJ) resuming trying (after World War II ended) to pierce the Earth's ionosphere with electromagnetic energy. Hardly anyone knew much about this program called “Project Diana” (named for the Greek goddess of the moon), and many still don’t today. This is a shame, as the project and its key participant removed one of the greatest obstacles to space travel.

Challenges of the Final Frontier Grant Imahara
Like many kids in my generation, I grew up with Star Trek. I’d watch the Original Series in re-runs and later followed the Next Generation in college. I found their take on space exploration fascinating and wondered if we would ever be able to explore the galaxy like Captain Kirk. In reality, space is one of the harshest environments that we as humans can face. Since we’re used to our oxygen-rich, solar-powered, radiation-shielded, one-g Earth, in order to explore the cold vacuum of outer space, we need a tremendous amount of ingenuity and determination.

Demystifying the RJ Connector Rudy Ramos
The registered connector, better known as the RJ connector and commonly known as a modular connector, is one of the most frequently used connectors, present in almost every business and household in America. Yet, it is also one of the most misunderstood, and frequently plagues its users with doubts as to whether they are using the correct connector for their application.

The Open Yocto Project Makes Embedded Linux Simple Daniel Hankewycz
With the decrease in cost of microprocessors and ARM cores, embedded Linux systems have become more accessible to the general public. Sure, it’s easy to just slap an Arduino on your project and call it done, but what if you want to go one step further and actually make your own Linux solution? The development team behind the open source Yocto Project have made compiling a custom Linux image simpler than ever.

Get Out and Flex Those Brain Muscles Caroline Storm Westenhover
Oh my goodness, did you see the Robot on Mouser robotics challenge? I have to be honest, I have done many things in software but almost nothing in hardware. I have coded robot brains to do things like clustered object avoidance, but never put it in actual hardware. I have wanted to since my second semester, I just never managed to find the time. Seeing all these robot gets me excited again.

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