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Brandon Pearce’s Avionics Guide SpaceX Rockets

Meet the man who keeps SpaceX’s rockets on track

5 min read
Brandon Pearce’s Avionics Guide SpaceX Rockets
Photo: Gregg Segal

Brandon PearceBrandon Pearce IEEE member Age 41 What he does Designs avionics for rockets and spacecraft. For whom SpaceX Where he does it Hawthorne, Calif. Fun factor Gets to send his work into orbit.Photo: Gregg Segal; Retouching: G-TOU

As a kid, he piled up the sci-fi novels in the closet of his California bedroom—Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, David Brin's Uplift novels, Frank Herbert's Dune saga. He dreamed of going to space, not as an astronaut but as a citizen of a spacefaring society. But by the time Brandon Pearce reached high school in 1986, that dream was fading. When he looked at the missions going on at NASA, he just didn't see how they would lead to moon colonies, interplanetary travel, and deep-space adventures.

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Poll: Would You Want to Work a Shorter Week?

Weigh in with your thoughts on a four-day workweek

2 min read
Person holding a giant sized pencil standing next to a giant sized calendar with days crossed out to show a four-day workweek.
iStock

When I worked for a company in Texas a few years ago, one of the benefits I enjoyed was a four-and-a-half-day workweek. The system enabled my colleagues and me to run some personal errands, see our doctors, and pick up our kids from school, among other activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic required many companies to adopt a flexible work schedule to keep their operations open. Many allowed their employees to work from home full time. Nowadays plenty of those employers are trying to persuade their workers to return to the office full time, but they are facing some resistance.

One solution some companies are trying is a four-day, 32-hour workweek for the same pay.

​Does your company offer a four-day workweek?

Would you like to work a four-day workweek?

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Xiaomi’s Humanoid Drummer Beats Expectations

Solving drum-playing helped quest for whole-body control

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot sits at an electronic drum kit

When Xiaomi announced its CyberOne humanoid robot a couple of months back, it wasn’t entirely clear what the company was actually going to do with the robot. Our guess was that rather than pretending that CyberOne was going to have some sort of practical purpose, Xiaomi would use it as a way of exploring possibilities with technology that may have useful applications elsewhere, but there were no explicit suggestions that there would be any actual research to come out of it. In a nice surprise, Xiaomi roboticists have taught the robot to do something that is, if not exactly useful, at least loud: to play the drums.

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This Gift Will Help Your Aspiring Engineer Learn Technology

Know someone that is hard to shop for? We have the perfect gift for you.

4 min read