At work, I had to order some stuff from an office supply place, and got a free wireless keyboard / mouse combo. I thought, might as well use it, since my keyboard was going bad. Also, the mouse was optical, whereas my old mouse was not.
However, a couple issues soon presented themselves. First, I couldn’t use the mouse and keyboard at the same time. If you wanted to hold control while clicking on items, once control was pressed, the mouse wouldn’t respond. If you bumped the mouse while typing, the keyboard would miss a letter.
Second, the mouse was rechargeable, but the charger is USB powered. This means that if you shut down the PC at night, the mouse won’t charge. This is mitigated since the rechargeables are AAA size, so alkalines can be used. Less annoying is that the LEDs for capslock, numlock, scrolllock are on the receiver. Being an engineer, I use the above mentioned control-click a lot in both general purpose drawing programs and PCB CAD programs, and I ended up back to my old mouse as a result.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.