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16 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 questions because their whole company did it wrong and no one noticed. Steffen: Exactly. You get into the groove of do- ing the same thing year after year, with the same building blocks and the processes, and you get comfortable. But then you come to a conference like this, for instance, and think, "Wow! We can do all these other things that we never considered." It's very eye-opening. Shaughnessy: What's your home base? Steffen: We are based out of Hiawatha, Iowa, which is a suburb of Cedar Rapids. Shaughnessy: We just left the IPC DC Execu- tive Board Meeting. Is there an active chapter near you? Steffen: I don't believe so. Cedar Rapids is also home to the headquarters of Collins Aerospace, as well as several other electronics design com- panies. If there's not a chapter there, it seems like that would be a prime area. Shaughnessy: You could start a chapter. It's a lot of work, though. Talk to Scott McCurdy in Orange County. He has been doing it for a long time and spends part of each day working on it. Steffen: I'd like to have local resources for the uni- versities, at least. During my time at Iowa State, I didn't feel like I had much industry support, at least in my experience with university organiza- tions. There's faculty support, but there's not a lot of industry support that I was able to access. Hav- ing access to this industry in those organizations would be great, if not an actual IPC DC chapter. Shaughnessy: Had you been to an IPC DC meet- ing before? Steffen: I had not. In fact, this is my first time visiting the Santa Clara area, so it has all been interesting. Shaughnessy: The good thing is you can talk to any of those people, during or after a meeting, and ask them about anything; they won't mind if you ask questions. How many people work for Crystal Group? Steffen: Crystal Group has almost 300 employ- ees, but the electrical engineering group is only about a dozen people, so we end up doing all of the jobs. We get exposure to the whole gam- ut, from concept to assembly, testing, etc. It's helpful to be connected to the product all the way through the manufacturing process. You really feel like you own your designs. Shaughnessy: That sounds like a good place to work, and they support you coming to events like this, which is a big plus. It was great meet- ing you, Michael. Thank you. Steffen: Thanks for the opportunity, Andy. DESIGN007 Getting robots to mimic how we move so effortlessly is the premise of a study from the University of Illinois and MIT. The team created a human-machine interface mapping an operator's movements onto a robot. The system also tracks the movements of their body, using a vest also wired up with sensors. The data captured from the torso and legs is then mapped onto a two-legged robot. The system allows the operator to "feel" what the robot is feeling if it bumps into a wall or gets nudged, for instance. This means trainers can adjust their movements as required. This feedback includes safety measures that automatically cut out power if the robot experiences dangerous levels of force. (Source: MIT Technology Review) A Robot Puppet Can Learn to Walk If It's Hooked Up to Human Legs

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