Want to turn on your home's heating system before you arrive? Would you like to double check your home alarm from your car — or your car alarm from your home? Alvaro Mautone created a gadget that allows you to use your cell phone to control appliances and alarms from a distance up to 500m. Mautone uses the serial port in his cell phone to create SMS (short message service) messages to electronic devices to turn them on, turn them off or simply check their status. And he's able to create this handy device while spending less than $50 in components.
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.