I’ve built two rovers as part of the Carleton Planetary Robotics Team, designed antennas for satellites and space probes, written models for optics, electronics, semiconductors, radiation interactions, and quantum algorithms, taught an R/C car how to drive within lines, and a bunch of other fun stuff.
A question you hear frequently from upper year engineering students is “How do I land my dream internship/job/career?” or variants like “I have X.Y GPA, why am I not receiving internship offers?”. Because I give this advice often, I’m “replying to public” and describing it fully here.
A good engineer has a solid toolbox of skills and resources they can rely on to get their job done, and being employable means demonstrating to employers that you have those skills and resources.
I’ve recently switch my web site to be a static site built with hugo and hosted on github’s pages. Being a statically generated site, hosted on somebody else’s computer, this setup is significantly more secure than my previous wordpress site, should be faster, and less prone to disappearing due to a server failure.
Hugo has a quite useful explainer on how to host a hugo site on github pages, including the use of magic submodules to maintain a source repository and a public website repository.
One of the fun things about being on a rover team is it gives me an opportunity to play with hardware far out of what I’d normally encounter. Much of that falls in the category of power, as we design for about a kW of draw running on 12V (for now).
A feature of our emergency stop system is a pair of 260A automotive relays, which I recently fried. While disappointed to have ruined a rather expensive relay, I was excited to take it apart.
So as far as I can tell, there have only been two written about attempts at making a bottle opener from a PCB, which to me is far too low a number.
Brian Benchoff cleverly inserted a notch into an arduino board, though found that the design wasn’t very durable.
And Low Voltage Labs came up with a more standard opener, but in a very small form. I couldn’t find any mention of the opener on their website though, and wanted one of my own, so set out to create it from scratch.
One of the often touted examples of the power of quantum computers is their ability to run Shor’s Algorithm, which is a way to quickly find the prime factors of a number, and hence defeat many of the encryption schemes used today.
There are many good explanations of how Shor’s algorithm works, like this more conceptual overview, this more mathematical explainer, or this article which not only explains the algorithm, but also the fundamentals of how a quantum computer operates.
Imaginary numbers are a powerful mathematical tool, however most people are only really familiar with the commonly used $i=\sqrt{-1}$. This is fair, because $i$ has uses in just about any technical field you can name, but there are others which have their own uses.
The dual numbers work by a definition similar to the complex numbers that $x = a + b\varepsilon$, where $\varepsilon$ is an imaginary number such that $\varepsilon^2=0$, but $\varepsilon \ne 0$
Lately as my collection of storage has grown I’ve found myself more and more in need of having some system in place, instead of a number of different hard drives which each may or may not contain something I’m looking for. I don’t have the resources to buy a number of identical drives to implement RAID, or to set up a second computer with an operating system that supports ZFS just for storage.