Welcome to Engineering Roundtable!

Meet our knights in shining, lead-free armor.

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Hey and happy Monday! Today we're excited to announce our newest upcoming video series: Engineering Roundtable. On the second and final Mondays of each month (alternating with According to Pete), three of our engineering gurus -- Nick, Chris and Joel -- will sit down and walk us through their latest projects, how they work, and how you can build your own! 

Vimeo link here

If you have an idea for a project you'd like to see them take a crack at, shoot your ideas to marketing@sparkfun.com, with "project challenge" in the subject line. Stay tuned, and be sure to check out the first installment of Engineering Roundtable on Monday, August 13! 

Comments 21 comments

  • North Alabama PC / about 10 years ago / 6

    Cool, great idea. But with the High IQ's in the room can't one of you set the time on the flashing clock behind you? :)

  • ThinkerT / about 10 years ago / 3

    Whoawhoawhoa - is that a 3D button I see on that video? Sparkfun - you should started filming in 3D. Just for kicks.

  • NotDavid4JustDavid / about 10 years ago / 3

    As an alternative, I'd like to see sharing of troubleshooting knowledge. It doesn't matter what the project is, everyone will sooner or later have to go through the frustration of finding out why something doesn't work. Unfortunately, it seems planning for troubleshooting/debugging always comes as an afterthought, rather that the FIRST thing we should consider when planning a project. :-)

    • Kevin Vermeer / about 10 years ago / 1

      I highly recommend Debugging by David Agans as a source of troubleshooting wisdom (not knowledge). It doesn't focus on, say, how to design a PCB to be debuggable or how to architect a piece of software to be easy to fix, but those are rather application-specific.

      If, however, Sparkfun or anybody else published some tutorials, blog posts, or whitepapers about designing for testability, I'd probably read them!

  • Hopefully SparkFun won't get sued by BMW... Looks awesome though...

    • CF / about 10 years ago * / 1

      It's just so hard to tell them apart. I'm so confused! < /sarcasm >

  • oneleftfoot / about 10 years ago / 2

    I'm sure you guys aren't eligible for the race, but it'd be cool to see one of you take on a longer, multi-part series on building an AVC entry... or maybe just tutorials on some of the high-level things that come up in the process. Choosing and modding an R/C vehicle to be autonomous, figuring out the type of navigation to use, constructing a kill switch, different ways to handle obstacle avoidance, etc.

  • make a robot that:

    takes less than 60 min to assemble from bare bones components (resistors, switches, sensors, etc.)

    costs less than $50 in parts

    can navigate a simple maze

    can shoot a ping pong ball for some triggering event

    challenge Part II

    make the kit available as a single item purchase at sparkfun so the students I teach can buy them.

    credit card is in hand while I wait


  • AllenQ / about 10 years ago / 1

    Two thoughts for beginner idea concepts, demonstrating how to incorporate transistors into a project so mini-processing units can drive devices with higher power requirements and, so closely related it's only a refinement of the initial idea, demonstrate how to control motors with mini-processing units. Thanks for doing your roundtable concept. I'm looking forward to it.

  • Lion XL / about 10 years ago / 1

    I know what I would love to see.... How about a intro series on hacking/understanding unknown devices via JTAG, etc.

    For instance I have Spy Trackr at home, which I wanted to hack into a roaming surveillance camera (there is alot wildlife marching through my yard, (possums, deer, bears, oh my..) I love watching them and would like to record them and maybe follow them when I am not home. However, Wild planet dropped the ball and the dev tools are pretty crappy.

    Now, I am about 20 yrs out of school and NO, I didnt study electronics. MY 40+ year old brain gets fatigued when i try to read and understand all the pre-req stuff for using JTAG. Now if I could get past the books and start to 'touch' stuff, I know I would be much more effective and learn a whole lot faster. So a tutorial series walking us through setting up JTAG and maybe dumping the memory, or starting a terminal window (if it runs linux, which the trakr does!!!) would be a godsend. Even if you geared the tutorial around your own products, I think it would go over really well.

    just my .14 cents (inflation!)

  • chartle / about 10 years ago / 1

    I would like to see how to better program and use chips like the ATTiny 85. I'm having a big problem getting past "blink" and I'm not sure how things like libraries work when you are not using a full blown Arduino and "fuses" just scare the hell out of me. There are resources on the net but nothing that is one source.

  • Member #238184 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I would like to see someone build the "Robot Butler" from Make Magazine. I know it's probably not a hard things for any of you to do, but I just think the idea is cool and I don't have the cash to do it myself. Thanks guy's. I'm excited to see where you'll all go with this new project.


  • Melt-O-Tronic / about 10 years ago / 1

    That's a great intro! And a good idea. I'd love to learn how to build a quadcopter or hexacopter from beginning to end. Not so much for the mechanics -- I'm good with that -- but component selection, command & control, sensor filtering & integration, etc.

    Like many people (I suspect), I understand the concepts and principles at a macro level but wouldn't know where to start to pull it all together. I'm an empty-headed dimwit with ambition. :-)

  • FelixFelicis / about 10 years ago / 1

    Micro Mouse!!!!! I would love to know the code behind a micro mouse.. Tried some on my own, but nothing worked. Maybe something like this.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bproY7G2t4o

  • I freakin' love this! Can't wait to pick at the brains of smart people!

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