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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


Well known in the engineering community, Imahara has paired his engineering expertise with a Hollywood TV and film career. In addition to his roles on Mythbusters and Battlebots, Imahara is the inventor behind many famous robotic characters - including the Star Wars prequel-era R2-D2, The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson sidekick -Geoff Peterson, the talking robot, and the rhythmic arms on the modern day Energizer Bunny. Up to his untimely and tragic death Grant was Mouser’s beloved spokesperson and brand ambassador who shared Mouser's passion to positively influence and support innovative design. 


Back to the Future Day Grant Imahara
THE DAY HAS ARRIVED. October 21, 2015, the “future date” Doc Brown brought Marty and Jennifer to in Back to the Future part II. But instead of the bleak, dystopian future made popular by films like Blade Runner and The Terminator, Robert Zemeckis and his team showed us a brightly colored, sunny Hill Valley (albeit with the occasional scheduled rain shower). A seemingly prophetic future filled with endless movie sequels presented in 3D, and the long-cursed Cubs finally winning a World Series. But what other Back to the Future predictions have seemingly come true? We may not have flying cars, but we DO have…

Timeline of Driverless Cars Grant Imahara
Human ingenuity in automotive engineering is about to take a huge turn. From the time Henry Ford helped make the “Horseless Carriage” an affordable part of everyday people’s lives, we’ve come to the point where we’re about to arrive at the next quantum leap in personal transportation.

High School Robotics and the FIRST Program Grant Imahara
Recently, I had the opportunity to accompany Mouser Electronics to the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis, MO. FIRST (which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”) is an international robotics competition for high school students. They spend six weeks designing and building a robot that will perform some task; like scooping up soccer balls and putting them into a goal. The game changes every year, so you always have to start from scratch.

From Rosie to JARVIS Grant Imahara
When I was a kid, I used to watch a cartoon called “The Jetsons”, which was set in a future where flying cars fold up into suitcases, a dinner table automatically clears away the dishes (by smashing them and sweeping them up), and sassy robotic maids do all the housework. Although I’m still waiting for my flying car, some of today’s automation technologies are a lot closer to the future world of The Jetsons than you might think.

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.

Robots Everywhere! Grant Imahara
Robots are nothing new to the sci-fi genre. From servants like Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet and The Jetson’s sassy maid Rosie, to noble, innocent machines like Johnny 5 and Data, robots seem to be everywhere in entertainment. But back in the day, actually interacting with one of these creations in real life seemed like, well, science fiction. But today, many of us interact with robots on a daily basis without giving it a second thought.

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