GM, Proctor & Gamble, Compaq Computers, Goodyear...besides the fact that these are all huge companies that make products the public uses every day, they have something else important in common: Dan Noonen. He was instrumental in designing DeviceNet, the open networking solution that helps each of these companies--and thousands of others--manufacture their products more efficiently. Introduced in 1994 and based on commercially available CAN chips, DeviceNet is a low-cost communications link able to connect a wide range of industrial devices to a network, regardless of vendor. Because the specification and protocol are open, vendors are not required to purchase hardware, software, or licensing rights to connect devices to a system. Users, moreover, can add a device or machine to the production line without powering down. Noonen, who joined Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley) in 1985, has also played a key role in some of the first installations and is one of the lead architects of RSNetWorx for DeviceNet--the next generation of monitoring and configuration software.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.