Celestron's SkyScout personal planetarium ($399 at Amazon.com) lets stargazers instantly identify or locate over 6,000 celestial objects, then provides commentary on the planet or star. It employs a pair of ADXL322 iMEMS accelerometers from Analog Devices, which complement the unit's GPS receiver. They provide accurate inclination measurements so the SkyScout knows what angle the device is pointing relative to the earth's surface. The camcorder-sized device won an adventure gear award from National Geographic last year.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.