Thanks for the comment TJ. I'm especially interested in what happens when we bring together different technologies in new and unexpected ways. Re power, that's a good question, although the whole thing is clearly designed to work on very little power: its predecessor design http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2010/09/12/eskin/ worked on 5V. I wonder how hard it would be to add energy-harvesting technology?
I suppose this was inevitable, although I'm surprised to see it so soon. As you point out, Ann, we've seen all kinds of human-like qualities in robots recently -- thought control, gesture recognition and even sense of humor.
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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.