The washing machine at Edward Nauman's house kept overflowing
and flooding the floor, so he designed a flood sensor to cut the power to the
washing machine if the water in the drain rose within 1.5 inches from the top.
The level sensor is mounted in a hole drilled in the drain pipe and the
electronics are mounted in a box on the wall next to the power outlet. The box
plugs into the wall and the washer plugs into the box. When the water rises to
the sensor, a switch in the box cuts the power.
Shutting off the machine at the first sign of overflow is one way to stop the symptom, but clearing the drrain would be an actual fix. See "the case of the refilling washing machine." The big problem in this tale is poor drain function, which will only get worse.
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.