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Annika obrien dont try home

MacroFab Engineering Podcast #86

Don’t Try This At Home

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September 22, 2017, Episode #86

Annika O'Brien joins Parker and Stephen in the MacroFab Variety Hour Podcast.
  • Houston Hardware and Engineering Meetup is next Wednesday. RSVP today!
  • Annika O’Brien
    • Founder and driving force behind both the LA Robotics Club and Houston Robotics Club
    • Focus on creating communities for people of all ages who have an interest in learning more about Robotics and Electronics
  • Houston Robotics Club
    • Working on getting 501c3 status (non-profit)
    • Will provide outreach and free mentor-ship programs to any child interested in robotics
    • About 100 active users
    • Shout Out to TX/RX for generally being awesome and hosting the Robotics Club
  • Landmine Tracking Robotics
    • Symbiobots
    • Communicates with rats that can smell TNT
    • Piper the robot sees the rat’s dance and will tag the landmine
    • Will eventually drill into landmines to inject environmentally safe gel that will biodegrade TNT
Figure 1: Annika O’brien

Figure 1: Annika O’brien

Figure 2: Drawing of Piper the robot.

Figure 2: Drawing of Piper the robot.

About the Hosts

Parker Dillmann
  Parker Dillmann

Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.

In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.

In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.

Parker also runs the blog,, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.

Stephen Kraig
  Stephen Kraig

Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!

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Robots have fall damage

Robots Have Fall Damage

Matthew Prater joins Parker and Stephen to discuss his student's innovation projects and antimatter positrons.