January started with a bang. Three weeks of travel, which meant a lot of time sitting on planes and waiting for them. The nice thing about this is that it gives me time to let my brain wander a bit and often times come upon new and interesting ideas that I can apply at AWR. This blog isn’t about that per se, but rather the Shock and Ah! I experienced as I was catching up on my reading with a couple of interesting articles during my travel time. On my iPad Flipboard app, I stumbled across an article in IEEE Spectrum about the next generation of Lego MindStorms, MindStorm EV3, which was unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Lego Mindstorms is a collection combining Lego’s classic building blocks with programmable microcomputers that bring Lego creations to life. It talks about how this new toy, which has an EV3 intelligent brick, lets the builder program the robots without using a computer and that it is making robotics fun and fascinating for all ages. What attracted me to it outside of my own love for Legos is that National Instruments, AWR’s parent company, is a key technology provider of this product—the intuitive software platform for EV3 is based on NI’s LabVIEW graphical programming software. LabVIEW is the same software that powers some of the greatest innovations in the world and is alreadyplug-n-play within the AWR Design Environment™ to provide a seamless RF/microwave design and test flow. How’s that for a bit of Shock and Ah!…that’s cool.
The second article was in the Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine. Scanning articles and photos, I was shocked to see my local Manhattan Beach, CA Marine Avenue Community Park and ah'd to read how Stanford students were taking a four-month road trip with the SparkTruck, a van full of technology gadgets, trying to make technology fun and fascinating so as to inspire the next generation of would be engineers and scientists.
My third Shock and Ah is yet to happen. It will be at DesignCon. AWR will be within the NI exhibition area footprint at the show and while I know we’ll shock plenty of the attendees with not only our joint presence but also the scale of it, we’ll be ah’ing them too with the breadth of technology (hardware, software for design & test) that we’ll be demonstrating. Please come by to learn more if you are there so we can skip the shock and just get straight to the ahs … this is really cool!