Episode 6 – Carbon Robots

Why hello there! Take your shoes off, take a seat, and grab a cold one, because Episode 6 of Technically Speaking is here to fill your brain-gut with KNOWLEDGE JUICE!

Episode6_base3Did you know that Ford is replacing it’s human workers with robot workers? You did? Well… I guess we were a bit behind the times, because we were very intrigued when we heard that Ford has started using robots to drive it’s durability course! Is this system designed to save money, or is it designed to achieve higher quality? Listen to find out!

Next, we decide to mix it up a little by sprinkling in some Listener Feedback! And we start out strong with an email concerning our Bicycle Brainstorm in Episode 2. How exactly is air lost from a rubber tire? And what’s the deal with Carbon Fiber bikes? (BONUS: Composites act like ceramics on a stress-strain curve, and here’s the graph we promised we’d show explaining it. Check out Wikipedia on the topic too.)

CompositeMaterialsIn787Speaking of Carbon Fiber – Joe and Jacob get a little nerdier than usual commenting on a great article from the Wall Street Journal about Composite Structures in commercial aircraft. Are they safer/better/cheaper/stronger? Or are they just a fad that engineers like think is cool? (Spoiler: Not a fad) Learn a little about Composite Structures, Design Requirements, and Design Intent while listening! (BONUS: Check out this awesome photo of the 787 Ultimate Wing Load Testing!)

Lastly, we wrap it up with one more listener feedback concerning our individual life journeys to become engineers. Turns out Engineers aren’t all that different! Give it a listen and then go hug your nearest Engineer.

DISCLAIMER: If you’re mad that we left out a Brainstorm this week, don’t worry! It will be back again next week, and most every episode forever!

In the meantime, listen to Episode 6, comment here or on Facebook or Twitter, email us a Brainstorm topic or general questions or comments! We’d love to hear from you!


Music: Robots FTW (Portal 2 Soundtrack)

Download the entire soundtrack, for free!



Posted in Episodes
5 comments on “Episode 6 – Carbon Robots
  1. Jeff Sykes says:

    Hey, I listened to this wo today (yes, 1.5 in one day), but I was also going through “the signal and the noise”, a book about bayesian statistics ans predictions, and the part that I went over today had to do with experts. This scenario was a freak October snowstorm in New York. The author pointed out that this was neither evidence for or against climate change, because climatology doesn’t work like that. However, some experts were more than happy to jump in the fray and call it one way or another. Those people shouldn’t be listened to.

  2. David Mertl says:

    I really liked the segments on composite materials, both in bikes and in aircraft. I’d known the basic idea about carbon fiber snapping and metal bending, but I didn’t really know why. Learning about the delamination of the layers was cool. Being a non-engineer it’s also interesting to learn the terminology you use to describe how materials deform and fail. I like how in-depth this episode was, I felt like I learned a lot.

    • Jacob Stump says:

      Wow, thanks David! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m glad we didn’t lose you in the overly technical talk. We really hope to get in depth like this more often, so it’s great to hear that our little experiment in science education was successful!

  3. Yuriy says:

    Isn’t 10 the worst rating on the Cooper-Harper scale?

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