Thought-provoking article. I've found that useability (and mis-use) is the area that also deserves special attention when designing certain types of devices. Identifying the appropriate use cases for products tends to be straight-forward. However, having the creativity to predict all of the mis-use cases that could possibly occur is challenging and takes an extra amount of time and mental imagination to really get it right up-front.
I think the statement, "Ironically, complexity is often added to a system to reduce common-mode failures" is true no matter what level of design you are at - from simple circuits to intricate systems - but at the system level the interactive nature of the subsystems can indeed cause some unexpected issues that are much more predictable in less complex designs. Interesting article with much food for thought...
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.