I agree with your point, Rich, that we are still in the beginning stages of multidisciplinary design--or at least making multidisciplinary design work effectively. From what I can gather, engineers still tend to gravitate to their respective corners and comfortable choice of tool sets and there is still a great number of hurdles to cross before software, hardware, electrical, and other types of engineers are collaborating as a highly integrated unit and at ease moving between disciplines.
I think some of the newer tools, that create bridges between these previously siloed areas, will definitely help, as will new university curriculum and training that focuses not only on the technical cross-domain engineering expertise, but also on the cultural and organizational challenges required to foster a multidisciplinary approach. The complexity of today's products demand this shift in practice so I think, it's not an if, but a when.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.