At the recent NI-Week Convention in Austin, TX, Intel Engineer Stewart Christie had a near escape from a potential violation of the Barber Statutes of Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TLDR) when a prototype of an automatic four bladed “hair cutting appliance” broke free from its tether on the stage and proceeded at alarming speed towards the audience. Ironically Mr. Christie had just shown some slides of previous accidents caused by similar devices. The two research students seen in these photos, were apparently involved in an accident, while tuning the PID (PonyTail Initiation Detacher). One obtained twenty six lacerations and the other received four stitches.
More info can be found at http://www.teamifor.blogspot.com/ if you would like to donate to their medical expenses. It’s believed that in order to get around similar barber licensing restrictions in Dubai these students have stated that this is not actually a QuadCropper, but is instead a Quadrotor Helicopter. In order to maintain this apparent subterfuge these student’s and their “accomplice’s” have recently travelled to North Dakota and entered their device in the autonomous category. This is believed to be some sort of unmanned haircutting and styling event, more info can be found at http://iarc.angel-strike.com/competitors.php.
Mr Christie also showed a video of one of his colleagues attempting, and failing, to control this device, and the youtube video shows this elegant fail.
Apparently it was because of these imminent threats to coiffure that it was decided to clamp the hair cutting device to the stage.
Mr Christie then went on to explain the design of the device and how it can be enhanced by the enabling of the Intel® Automatic Trim Or Manicure (Atom™) Microprocessor that is installed in the stack of controller boards.
But all hair broke loose when after a few minutes of running the system on the stage it apparently dis-entangled itself from the clamp and shot straight up in the air. Luckily, with some quick thinking from the Intel engineer, and some judicious handling of the remote controls, audience haircuts were avoided as he guided the errant craft over their heads to a clear space beyond the theatre area. A citizen reporter has supplied the following video of the system taking off and its subsequent crash landing, several disheveled engineers can be seen ducking, but it's not apparent if these were a result of the devices escape or just bad hair days.
At this point the TLDR has not commented on any proceedings against Mr Christie but un-named sources have intimated that depending on circumstances the following violations may apply.
No Sign containing the word “Barber”. - 16 Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 82.71(e).
Unlicensed Individual – Tex. Occupations Code Ch. 1601.251 (a)
Interestingly the final regulation may be the downfall of the ultimate deployment of this interesting device. 16Tex. Admin. Code Ch. 82.102 ( h). states that Multi-use equipment, implements, tools or materials shall be cleaned and disinfected before use on each client. It was not apparent, at least on the prototype device, how this would be accomplished, as the system has four independent blades, and is capable of cutting multiple people at once.
Mr Christie stated that new clamps have been designed and that he is not expecting anything similar when he takes the craft out to the upcoming Intel’s Design and Fashion (IDF) event in San Francisco. The QuadCropper will be shown in the Embedded Booth at IDF, Sept 13th -15th at the Moscone Center. http://www.intel.com/idf/
East Coasters can see this novel device in Boston at the Hynes Centre at the upcoming Eastern Styling and Curling (ESC) event. ESC takes place Sept 26th -29th http://esc.eetimes.com/boston/
Since returning from Austin, Mr Christie has augmented the system with LED strips and the video below shows its inaugural night flight.