While it's too late to send in a hardware entry for the $10,000 prize of Cornelius Van Drebbel's Mad Design Contest, you still have time to submit an entry for the e-paper design for the $2,000 first-place prize. The contest, co-sponsored by NEC Electronics America and EDN magazine, features designs using NEC Electronics' 8-bit microcontrollers. Entries are being accepted through Jan. 5, 2005. Go to www.maddesigncontest.com for more info.
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.