To squeeze as much distance as possible out of the Roadster’s lithium-ion battery, the drivers traveled at a consistent speed of 34 mph for a large portion of their journey, which took 12 hours. Prior to the drive, a security seal was applied to the vehicle’s charge port door. The drivers took the vehicle from Alice Springs, Northern Territory to Coober Pedy, South Australia. Upon reaching its destination, the vehicle reportedly had three miles to spare in its battery. The drive was part of an alternative fuel rally called the Global Green Challenge.
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.