Art without engineering is dreaming;
Engineering without art is calculating.

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Posts Tagged ‘Science Fair’

International Science Fair 1969 – Speech Synthesis

Science fairs, quite simply, kept me sane through those dark school years. The allure of the project, the deadlines, and having a justification for obsessive focus on things other than boring homework… these events shaped my life. Every year from 5th grade on, I had a science fair project, and this one was the last:…

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Louisville Regional Science Fair winners 1969

After three years of working on speech synthesis, I finally made it to the International Science Fair with a machine that showed promise… a working model of the vocal tract based on X-rays of my own head. With an arcane user-interface that included a voicing foot-pedal and fingers inserted into a tongue-emulator, I could create…

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Ed Roberts with Derek Fort – 1969 Science Fair Rocketry

Just a moment of family history… my father was the director of the Louisville Regional Science Fair, and Derek Fort was a frequent winner with interesting model rocketry projects. This was in the Feb 21, 1969 issue of General Electric News (he was a refrigeration engineer in Building 5 at Appliance Park, and for many…

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1967 Constellation engine failure – and speech synthesis

In May of 1967, I was enroute to the International Science Fair in San Francisco aboard a Constellation operated by American Flyers airline. We had just crossed the front range of the Rockies and were flying over snowy peaks, and I was gazing out the window on the right side of the plane. Suddenly engine…

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Andrew the Robot at 1965 Louisville Regional Science Fair

My father (Ed Roberts, at left) was director of the Louisville Regional Science Fair in the 1960s, and this delightful photo is from his archives. The robot was named Andrew, and his builder, Ed Ramsey (center), went to school at Trinity, then went on to study electrical engineering at Purdue. The robot had magnetic hands and a tape-recorder…

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Harmonograph – Science Fair 1965

This was my third science fair project… in 8th grade. The full title was The Harmonograph’s Lissajous Curves Duplicated by Servomechanisms, and it won first place at Louisville Country Day School (General Division) as well as first place in the Kentucky State Science Fair (Junior Division). The only photo of the machine that remains is…

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1964 Science Fair Project – The Computer Plus

I have often joked over the years that I never outgrew science fairs… showing off the various technomadic machines at trade shows and other events was eerily reminiscent of those early years, complete with passion, demo effects, marketing, and procrastination followed by despair. I credit science fairs with giving me a lifelong project-oriented perspective, and…

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