I recently heard an interesting quote about how engineers make the world a better place by doing two things: “increasing the awesome, and decreasing the suck.” That is, raising the bar in terms of cutting-edge technology and development, and also raising the lowest-common denominator by helping end poverty and world hunger and the like. I’ve got to say this is a pretty good, albeit generalized, view on what engineers do and what types of engineers there are. (Here’s the video from which I heard the quote; he’s got a pretty casual style, so check out their channel too).
Anyways, this is worth mentioning because this poor kid in the video below has polycystic kidney disease, and thus no real functional immune system. Some people would call him a bubble boy, since he has to live in quarantine to keep from contracting an illness—since even a cold could easily kill him. Poor kid can’t even go to school, and he sure wants to. Well, he was given a solution to this problem: a robot avatar which he can drive through school, and interact with his classmates. And so, ladies and gentlemen, engineering as something which simultaneously increases the awesome, and decreases the suck:
The robot is, surprisingly, unweaponized. Once he gets into engineering in
high school he can put on a rubber-band gun or something.
Upside: this kid gets to learn and make friends and be a social human being again. Downside: he can’t play videogames all day any more. Unless you count driving a robot through a maze of a building and dodging thousands of hostiles a videogame. Which you should. An awesome one.