Electronics technology is helping farmers and gardeners make more effective use of water by determining when it's time to turn on irrigation equipment. The Acclima Digital TDT Soil Moisture Sensor reads the absolute volumetric water content along with soil temperature and soil conductivity. The instrument converts its many digital inputs to analog output using an increasingly common technology, incorporating the converters onto a microcontroller. Texas Instruments' MSP430F155 holds two DACs that are integral to the digitizing function. That integration helps keep current draw under 15 µA, letting the sensors run for two years on standard alkaline cells.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
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.