Lee Holmes' two cats get their portions served personally by his server computer. The computer stands right next to his homemade mechanical dry cat food dispenser, running the Subversion Version Control System under Ubuntu Linux. But at feeding time, it moonlights as a waiter.
Activating the CD ROM eject and load functions, the computer gives a lever on the cat feeder two nudges with its CD tray. The metered portion of cat food is dispensed and the cats dine. If you're planning a Skinner box experiment on a budget or simply need to feed your pets while you're out, here's a clever way to do it. Scripts are included for Linux and any Windows version that supports PowerShell.
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.