Hey Chuck, I didn't realize there was 150 pounds of wiring in autos. That's amazing. With the big emphasis on driving down the weight of vehicles to meet CAFE standards, wireless will probably get a good look-over. I imagine it will come down to cost of wireless versus the benefits of hitting the CAFE standards.
Agree with you, Rob, wireless can solve a lot of the networking problems in an industrial setting, and is definitely one of the ways forward for enabling connectivity for a number of machines and devices. Interesting and informative article, Al.
Agree with both of you. Wireless technology is going to continue to break into new application areas and the advantages are obvious. Guaranteeing reliability and also breaking into control apps will be the big challenge.
The next step -- a very distant step, to be sure -- would be to put wireless sensors on board vehicles. With 150 pounds of wiring on vehicles today, automotive engineers would love to be able to do that.
Nice article, Al. I would guess we'll see increased use of wireless devices and systems in all areas of automation and control. One area that calls for wireless is difficult environments where running wire often means the cable goes through mean environments that can include grease and sitting pools of gunk. Wireless is well suited to avoid these difficult terrains.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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