Perhaps you have a "Big Mouth Billy Bass," given to you circa 2001. If so, its limited repertoire has probably grown stale. As a Gadget Freak reader it probably crossed your mind to teach your "fish" to sing new songs, such as Monty Python's "Lumberjack Song." Well, you can give Big Mouth Billy Bass an ARM-powered brain transplant so it will play .wav files from an attached micro-SD card, and you can choreograph its movements to match.
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.