Poco-Intro: Jon Thomas

I am Jon. I was born without an ‘h’—the doctors all said it wasn’t a big deal and that it happens sometimes. So far so good. We’ve got a John in our midst as well, so keep your wits about you.

I find that all great things in our world are a combination of other remarkable things. We see this in condiments: thousand island dressing and tartar sauce, for example. Who would have imagined that three of the primary condiments (ketchup, mayonnaise, and relish) could join forces so strongly to create such magnificent secondary condiments. Mechatronics is also a confluence of primary ingredients: Mechanical Engineering (ME), Electrical Engineering (EE), and Computer Science (CS). People say that mixed parents have the most attractive
children. I tend to agree; I believe Mechatronics is beautiful.

I grew up disassembling machines—lawnmower engines, bicycles, and VCRs—and trying to combine the pieces to build new machines (off-road motorized skateboards and pedal- powered wheelchairs–man, do i love wheelchairs!). More than anything else, I loved seeing how these devices worked—linkages, motors, bearings, gears, grease, pulleys. I was particularly drawn to mechanical systems, because I could actually see, touch, and smell the mechanisms. My interest in electronics and software came later (a circuit board doesn’t appear very exciting when you’re 10 years old, although those capacitors and ICs sure do resemble small cities) once I understood the invisible forces that make electrons do their dance. And that brings us to the present….what a joy it is to once again be building electro- mechanical devices, only this time I’ve added business cards to my arsenal! To me, Mechatronics is a way to be at the cutting edge of technology while still experiencing that
rush of discovery I knew from my childhood.

I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts on interesting topics surrounding Pocobor, and I am eager to hear yours as well.

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