Earthrace is designed to highlight the benefits of renewable fuels, particularly biodiesel, during a 24,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation of the earth. The ship uses Xilinx FPGAs in its radar and night vision systems, employing the company's MicroBlaze processor to help the ship travel in any weather. Its unusual trimaran hull also helps meet that goal, letting Earthrace pierce through waves, even submerging at times. New Zealander Pete Bethune heads the international effort and skippers the craft, which is powered by two fuel-efficient Cummins Mercruiser QSC-540 engines.
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.