A coin operated game may seem like a toy, well, it is, actually, but with so many tasks running at the same time it's the perfect socket for a multi-core processor. A coin operated game (think pinball)must process lamp effects, music, sound effects, solenoids, switches, run the game application and still fetch data from USB or other memory. We usually used an operating system to handle all of these tasks, but with the multicore propeller one core could handle the IO with one core, another core for the music, another for the sound effects, another for the lamp effects, memory, game, and even one just running debug functionality with video out. Sure, not every solution requires a multicore processor, but if you're using an operating system to juggle tasks, a multicore processor might be a good solution. Give the propeller a spin, too. Parallax has some great kid tools to get started and the processor is quite capable of handling some hefty processing.
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.