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Testing 1, 2, 3
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Testing 1, 2, 3

Author: NI

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You drive your car, travel by plane, listen to music, read about the Mars Rover. And none of it would be possible without the constant evolution of test technologies. We connect you to tech leaders discussing some of the biggest challenges facing society today and in the future.
10 Episodes
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History is filled with examples of inventions that people thought would be transformational, then turned out to be nothing but a fad. Take electrified water for example. It was thought to change the world forever, instead, it failed. Badly. That doesn’t mean we learn something from these failures. Each one shows us the importance of test, feedback, and the ability to adapt. This week, we will speak with two inventors, Dean Kamen and Kevin Cho, who have developed world-changing technology. We’ll talk about how test was crucial in their contribution to innovation, and how they overcame challenges within the invention and testing process.  Learn More About: History is filled with examples of inventions that turned out to be a fad. Each one shows us how hard it is for inventors to predict the needs of the public. Focus groups are not always enough to get traction with the general public, so what type of testing needs to be involved to ensure a product is both safe and successful? Dean Kamen has invented everything from an insulin pump to the Segway. From dabbling in his home basement to employing hundreds of engineers, how has the test played a role in Dean’s inventions? Testing often takes more time and effort than we think. How can we design the best testing protocols that anticipate almost every system failure? Dean explains why FIRST may be the invention he is most proud of, and why the best innovation is creating more innovators. Kevin Cho explains how they are making diamonds out of methane at RFHIC, and why we need testing that doesn’t create even bigger problems. Kevin’s work shows us that if you are trying to invent something new, you can’t always rely on past experiences.  Resources Mentioned: NIFirst Segway RFHIC
Never has technology so dramatically changed humankind than in the last century. Organizations are using technology in truly innovative ways to solve the many problems we have and to create opportunities such as improved living conditions, economic impact, and longer life expectancy. This week, we discuss how diversity in technology and rigorous test can help drive innovation. We welcome Efosa Ojomo from the Clayton Christensen Institute and Matt Stephenson from Code2College to talk about the power of tech that welcomes everyone and provides solutions for all members of society. We share examples of how the combination of AI and clinical expertise may be able to save lives, with the help of test of course.  Learn More About: What are some examples of how our smartphones can catch disease early and cut the costs of lab tests? Organizations use technology in innovative ways, but to keep up momentum, innovation needs to be as accessible as possible. How Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company not only brought cars to the masses, but sparked the creation of millions of jobs, more affordable health care, and roadway structures. What does the democratization of technology mean, and how can test bring the costs down? How can test can affect a country’s quality of life and can help ease the effects of poverty. How are we using test and technology to bring products to underserved markets that may not have access to power or clean water? Why is testing infrastructure absolutely necessary? Validation tests and production testing are both used to get a new product to market. How rigorous are each? Why is it important for managers to think about innovation? Why is it important for young people to learn about the importance of test and diversity in technology, and what is Code2College doing to help our young generation of engineers and coders?  Resources Mentioned: NIThe Prosperity Paradox Code2College CRADLE Butterfly Network Band-Aid   
Who Tests the Test?

Who Tests the Test?

2021-07-1428:15

The pandemic has changed just about everything in our society, but the need for rigorous testing is more important than ever. This week, we welcome two people who used test and measurement to stop the spread of COVID and provide an effective and simple solution for consumers. Scientist Harmony Douwes and Senior Test Systems Engineer Ruchira Gunatillake join us to talk about the Australian-based company Ellume’s groundbreaking work. Ellume created the first rapid COVID-19 test to be authorized by the FDA, helping to save thousands of lives and to stop the spread of the virus. They discuss creating the test, the efficacy rates of the test, and how they involve testing as part of the production process.  Learn More About:  How did Ellume use their previous influenza core technology to create an at-home test for COVID-19? How does the at-home test transmit data from the consumer to the cloud, and how can this help health officials monitor data? How can Ellume’s at-home test allow for more frequent testing, preventing strain on medical personnel, and save us from using up PPE? Most COVID infections happen when people don’t know they have the virus, so widespread testing is important to prevent the spread of the disease.  What is a destructive test, and what is a non-destructive test? What are the failure rates Ellume needs to see in a batch to know it won’t work? How does Ellume reach 100% non-destructive testing without completely obliterating its margins as part of the production line? How do internal systems testing make sure the consumer takes a sufficient sample?  Resources Mentioned: NIEllume  
The Future of Mobility

The Future of Mobility

2021-07-0125:01

The future of mobility is coming fast, but there are a couple of bumps on the road. To better prepare for the future, we need to understand what the potential risks are, and how to manage them. This week, we focus on how testing can help us get around more safely, and provide a more environmental form of transportation. We welcome Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation for America, to talk about building safer cars and the infrastructure that will help us avoid crashes. We also welcome Jason Marks, Business Development Manager from NI, to speak about the role of the test engineer when validating complex software, and the scale of autonomy for where we are now, and where we want to go. While we have made significant advances in electric vehicles, there are still many challenges. Planning and the right tests are crucial to help make the future of mobility more affordable and efficient for everyone.  Learn More About: How climate change has an impact on how we move and choose to get around.The Erie Canal built in 1808, the rail network and the I-390 are examples of new technology and infrastructure appearing and new opportunities showing themselves.Time is of the essence for finding better solutions to lessen traffic-related fatalities and congestion. How will we make sure that what we need is done not only with precision and care but in a timely fashion?Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation For America, speaks about how test might be able to improve some of the dangerous designs we see out in the world.What is Vision Zero, and what is the role for test engineers to help the greater vision actualize to a reality?Do we have to change everything about our current roads and highways to accommodate self-driving cars?Jason Marks, Business Development Manager for NI, speaks on how we can use test to better understand our current infrastructure and also build better technology using real data sets.What are the biggest challenges in getting self-driving cars out to market on a widespread level? Resources Mentioned: NIDepartment of TransportationVision Zero Transportation for America Jason Marks  
Big Data

Big Data

2021-06-1627:18

Big Data has the potential to answer many of life’s biggest questions, bring new products to market, and reduce costs for already existing inventions. However, without the right testing, this is just an unmanageable amount of data with nowhere to apply it. This episode welcomes Mike Santori from NI and Jennifer Stirrup of Data Relish to talk about best practices in data testing, how big data can help us, and why clean and accurate data is important to business.  Learn More About: Why traditional data testing methods don’t always perfectly apply to testing big data.Big data can be in any format and it’s structure and format aren’t the same for every test. How companies like Amazon have been leveraging big data and analyzing mountains of information in just fractions of a second. What type of testing is required for analyzing data at such a high level of speed? The elements behind testing - performance, functionality, and quality. What does it mean to process good quality data? How do we make sure that the data is accurately representing the behavior in question before we use it to make decisions or inferences? How did Siri and iPhones use Big Data to give us our very own handheld computer and personal assistant in one? More about the concerns that arise with Big Data in privacy and sharing very specific details about its users. How big data can help us cope with crises like disease and poverty.What responsibilities do engineers and data scientists have? What was the accident that ultimately led to creating Play-Doh?  Resources Mentioned: NIData Relish
5G Is Not For You

5G Is Not For You

2021-06-0326:46

We know 5G as this super fast wireless network that some experts say will drive innovation in manufacturing, transportation, and other industries that might not even exist yet. There is a lot of hope for 5G and testing will play a critical role in getting it into our lives. This week, we explore the role testing plays in this 5G with Clarke Ryan, Senior Director of Product Development from Spirent,  and Alexandra Hussenot, Founder of Immersionn. Learn More About: How does 5G have the potential to revolutionize our lives, and could it really be the next industrial revolution? How does 5G differ from 4G? How is it more beneficial but also more complex and more confusing? 5G can get the conversation moving 100 times faster than 4G, but not without a hitch. Learn where 5G literally hits a wall in getting the signal out, poor coverage, and slower download speeds. Because 5G takes so much infrastructure, time and money, right now there is no one standard. What testing challenges does 5G face? What is mobile edge computing, and how does it take our data and turn it into actionable information? How 5G might revolutionize the road, changing the way self-driving cars communicate with each other and creating new ways of navigating roads, crosswalks, and traffic lights. The different technologies that were each added in by 3G, 4G, and now 5G.5G offers up huge opportunities and untold benefits, but also huge liabilities and risks. This is where testing and test engineering comes in. How can we best now prepare for the changes that 5G will bring in the future? Is 5G what will lead us into a dystopian future, or will it be the connector of man and machine, and the enabler of the remote worker? How does 5G help us test our flexing muscles, to test faster, cheaper, and more reliably?  Resources Mentioned: NISpirent Alexandra Hussenot 
When you are bound for the moon, there are thousands of “gee, glad we tested this” moments during any and all stages of space flight. If not, you’ve got some trouble. From NASA’s early days to the modern era, space exploration has led to some of the most spectacular and public test failures. This week, the episode focuses on NASA’s rocket test of the mid 20th century, including a few of NASA’s big wins in history, and biggest losses. We also discuss the importance behind Sputnik’s launch, new recent developments in private space travel, and why the inclusiveness of who we send to space is still very much a big issue. To help us, we welcome Amy Shira Teitel, author, space flight historian, and host of the YouTube series “The Vintage Space.”  Learn More About: Failure in testing is often called a failure of imagination. Learn how this is the case with the Apollo 13 and 11 missions. Engineers have had to get creative during space exploration - but using duct tape, a plastic bag, and cardboard to save lives might be one of the most prime examples of thinking quickly and adapting to meet the needs of the situation presently at hand.The Apollo 11 was on a descent to the moon in 1969 when a fuel light blinked on and signaled that The Eagle’s Tank was nearly dry. How did testing and quick thinking play a role in this historical event? Eight windows failed tests during the course of the Apollo program, but none during missions. This is why space engineers must test, test again, and test repeatedly after that. Space exploration is a by-product of the Cold War. Sputnik was about the size of a microwave oven but struck fear and awe in Americans. Learn how the Space Race was on, and how America reacted to a closely guarded Soviet space program.As if the challenge of physics and engineering weren’t enough, another barrier to human space flight was human prejudice. Just days before the mission, NASA canceled the women flight crew in 1961. Two decades would pass before Sally Ride would become the first woman to fly in space. Who were exactly the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, or the Mercury 13, and why is it so important to honor them to acknowledge NASA’s push for inclusion in space and the progress we have made so far. The future of space exploration and tourism within private sectors, such as SpaceX and Firefly.  Resources Mentioned: NIJohnson Space CenterAmy Shira Teitel NASA Mercury 7 SpaceXFirefly  
Most of us dream of a world where we can take a nap on our commute, but do so with the guarantee of safety, security, and peace of mind. The revolution will be driverless, but there is still much to learn about self-driving cars and the technology behind testing them that we need to know. In this episode, we welcome two experts that can help us understand how close we are to self-driving cars being a thing we see every day on our roads, and what challenges and barriers are holding us back. Ram Mirwani, Director of Business Development ADAS for Konrad Technologies, and Daniel Riedelbauch, Principal Solutions Marketing Manager in Automotive at NI, are here to explain how we test self-driving cars for every scenario, and moreover - how to teach AI to make human - even ethical decisions about how to react in emergency situations. Self Driving Cars are coming to a road near you. At some point.  Learn More About: Many of us dream of a world where our car does all the heavy lifting while we sit back and relax, but there is much test that still needs to be done before it’s an everyday occurrence. Ram discusses where the self-driving car is and how they have been on the way since 1995. When does Ram think we will reach mass deployment of self-driving vehicles? We can rely on this technology, there are some kinks that need to be worked out and a combination of components for every single decision while we are on the road. What is it about testing that makes it take longer to come up with a new design? True autonomous vehicles only exist in test vehicles. How can testing help? What do we test for when testing a self-driving vehicle? Daniel talks about the struggles of robot cars, and how we need the sensor models to be as close as possible to the real world sensors possible. When will testing be enough? What is the Gold Standard, and what Key Performance Indicators should we be using to measure our success? How can the government help?  Resources Mentioned: NI 
How We Got Here

How We Got Here

2021-04-2023:11

Welcome to the first episode of Testing 1-2-3, a new podcast from NI, where we speak to engineers, experts, and those on the forefront of some of the world’s biggest inventions and possibilities, to look at the world around us from the lens of testing. Get ready to deepen your knowledge, experience some “eureka” moments, and have fun in the process. In the first episode, we explore how we created a modern world complete with appliances, automobiles, and aircrafts ready for everyday use and consumption. We know rigorous and repeated testing is important, but what happens when things go wrong? We welcome two experts to talk about why testing is so important, so overlooked, and yet so underrated. The first guest, Melanie Cragnolin, brings her 17 years of experience in structural engineering to discuss the negligence of three historic engineering failures: the Titanic sinking, the Hindenburg, and the Tacoma Narrows bridge. The conversation then shifts to the value of test in aviation with former test pilot Chris Solan, who explains why he may be the most relaxed person on the plane. Learn More About: The Titanic, Hindenburg, and Tacoma Narrows are three separate catastrophic failures, but they each have a common theme of a need for more testing, listening to the engineers, and speaking up when things seem off. The human obstacles that engineers and designers face underlining the need for careful, thorough, imaginative testing.Melanie shares some interesting facts about what was happening in the Titanic that you may have never heard before. Why we need to be more proactive than reactive when it comes to Testing. What additional testing could have been done in each of these tragic instances, and also the need for backup plans and safety measures in case things do go wrong. Chris explains the engineering perspective of the wings on a plane flapping during turbulence, and it may calm even the most nervous flyer. What really happens if we take our phone off airplane mode while in an aircraft? Snakes on a plane may not be real, but for one flight, mini dachshunds sure were!  Resources Mentioned: NIMelanie CragnolinChris Solan 
You drive your car, travel by plane, listen to music, read about the Mars Rover. And none of it would be possible without the constant evolution of test technologies. In this series, we'll connect you to tech leaders discussing some of the biggest challenges facing society today and in the future.
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