Texas Instruments calls its eZ430-F2013 the "world's smallest microcontroller development tool." Residing in a Universal Serial Bus (USB) stick, the device serves as an emulator that allows new users and experienced developers to evaluate the company's power-stingy MSP430 microcontroller architecture. The company's engineers stress, however, that it's more than a demo tool — users can fully develop their applications with it. "You can go as far as prototyping your application with this one board," notes Juan Alvarez, MSP430 marketing manager. "There's a lot of capability in it." By providing that capability, TI engineers say they are enabling users to minimize current consumption in such applications as motion detectors, smoke detectors, digital cameras, televisions and various sensors. Because the unit's die is so small, current consumption is just 200 µA/MIPS. Standby current is an extraordinary 500 nA. The eZ430-F2013 can be obtained from TI for $20. Learn more at http://rbi.ims.ca/4919-516.
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.