Engineer | WGM Consulting
Engineer, PhD, lecturer, freelance technical writer, blogger & tweeter interested in robots, AI, planetary explorers and all things electronic. STEM ambassador. Designed, built and programmed my first microcomputer in 1976. Still learning, still building, still coding today.
1 week ago
Many early electronic components had a short lifetime. The cause was identified and fixed, but then the ‘fix’ was banned for health and safety reasons. What happened to the forecast electronic apocalypse?
1 month ago
The first three parts of this series on digital signal processing examined the processes involved in converting analogue signals to digital and back again. Now let’s look at the digital hardware in the middle.
1 month ago
Most ‘hobby’ mobile robots on the market are usually of the 2-, 4-, or 6-wheeled variety with no suspension or steering systems. Changes in direction are achieved by varying wheel-speeds – so-called skid or tank steering. Not this one.
2 months ago
Everyone knows that gaseous emissions from fossil-fuel burning to bovine flatulence are the cause of global warming, right? Indeed they are, but less obvious causes of a high carbon footprint are becoming apparent. And your ‘Tech’ may be involved.
3 months ago
The porting of my FORTHdsPIC code to the fast version of the Microchip dsPIC33 digital signal controller has demonstrated – once again – that bare-metal coding is not for the easily frustrated!
Programmable Logic devices can replace boards full of simple logic chips and have been at the heart of high-end product development for years. Now they can revolutionise hardware design for artificial intelligence and fault-tolerant applications.
In Part 1 of this two-part post, I’ll be looking at the origins of programmable hardware which has reduced the chip-count of many PCB designs.
6 months ago
In 1971 the UK joined a very select group of countries by sending an artificial satellite into Earth orbit using a UK-built rocket. Then it gave up. Until now. Are we on the brink of starting again, this time launching from home soil?
6 months ago
The behaviour of swarms of insects and birds has always fascinated scientists because it appears to demonstrate collective intelligence way beyond that of an individual member. Engineers are now trying to exploit this phenomenon using robots.
The Open University students' Rocket-1 is in New Mexico being prepared for the Spaceport America Cup competition this week.
SpaceX has just launched 60 satellites into low Earth orbit as a test run for a future ‘constellation’ containing as many as 12000. Before that a CubeSat, KickSat-2 put 105 tiny ‘Sprite’ satellites into orbit. Isn’t Space too crowded already?
9 months ago
The recent crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight EA302 involving the latest version of the Boeing 737 airliner highlights how small changes in design can lead to a catastrophe. In this case, safety had become optional.