My wife recently purchased a Mazda CX9... a nice car. We had it for a week before finding a most frustrating design flaw. The hinged cover that covers the cup holders, retracts into its own cavity. It did not take long for the cover to begin digesting my wife's cell phone. I threw her phone and mine on the middle console and took off with my family for a weekend trip. My wife asked if I remembered to grab her phone. I told her it was right there.... it was not. After the normal wife/ husband discussion of "you must have forgot it" to "No I didn't", I finally called her phone to hear a distant ring tone. It still was nowhere to be found. We finally located the sound. It was eaten by the cup holder cover. It was now a monkey trap to end all traps. You could get your fingers around it, but to do that the cover had to be rotated in a way that would never release its prey... arrrrgh!
My wife is currently at the dealership asking for her phone back.
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.