Honda’s new Insight hybrid – considered an affordable vehicle at $20,000 – has reportedly become a best seller in Japan. In the U.S., it recently received poor marks from Consumer Reports, which criticized its ride quality, handling, interior noise, acceleration and rear-seat access. Out of 22 current hatchbacks and small wagons rated by the magazine, the Insight ranked 21st.
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.