Did ever wonder how your cat or dog is being treated when you board it? Pete Cross decided to answer that question with technology.
He created the PetInspect gadget, which records data on how a pet is being treated while it is boarded. The data-logger and wireless communications device lets you track your pet's environment -- hot or cold -- and whether the pet is getting exercise. This gadget consists of a 16-bit microcontroller with 256K of flash memory and sensors for pressure, temperature, activity, light, and proximity.
Pete Cross' cat Elmo shows off the PetInspect, a data-logger and wireless communications device that lets you discover what environment your pet experiences and how it behaves while you're not around.
The PCB has dedicated power and ground planes on each board. The electronics package, including batteries, fits into a cylinder 28mm (1.1 inches) in diameter and 23mm (0.9 inches) in length.
It doesn't look like it. I've use the 'Loc8tor' for keeping track of my cats and dogs. It provides directional (arrows) as well as distance (sound) information up to about 600'. The same company has other products that work from further distances, but not as precise.
For tracking devices, the genre falls into LBS, or Location-Based-Services. LBS devices generally have some type of transceiver (I've developed many; from GPS to WAN-cellular, to RFID and even ZigBee protocols), and then the big kicker: a significant battery for the transceiver. All this adds up to a relatively larger volume than what is depicted in this device shown, which I liken more to a collection of sensory collectors.
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.