As home appliances get smarter and smarter, they’re making use of sensing and control technologies long found in more sophisticated products such as cars. Micronas, a supplier of application-specific IC technology, today made a move to tap into that trend.
The company announced a new effort to bring its broad range of Hall Effect sensors to the white goods market. Previously, these sensors had mostly gone into automotive applications. The company plans to showcase its Hall Effect line-up in the new Home Appliances arena at IFA 2008, the consumer electronics fair held in Berlin, Germany.
Appliance makers already use plenty of sensors for the increasingly precise control tasks. For example, in washing machines, they might help control the variable-speed motor drive, which can save energy by agitating the clothes only enough to get them clean. “We are looking at the ‘green’ factor. Household appliances are major energy users and our technology helps to reduce power consumption and thus CO2 emissions,” according to Peter Zimmermann, the market manager heading Micronas’ initiative to enter the white goods market.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.