Engineers who feel they are in the dark about how their products are working in the field now have Nlighten, a web-based product from Ninatek (www.ninatek.com) that delivers field-performance data to engineers for analysis. Josh Siler, Ninatek's director of technology, says the product lets engineers see field-service reports and monitor performance at the part level, as well as do financial and reliability studies. "Basically, with that information you can decide whether it's worth the effort to change the design or just keep replacing parts," he says.
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.