What a time to be alive! When I was young, a video camera weighed more than a single person could lift and video recorders were very heavy also. The past 50-60 years have been truely amazing. In the late 60s I predicted computers could be reduced to fit in a 19 inch rack instead of a large room. After taking a couple semesters of Microprocessor System Design, I thought; "Nice toys,but no future!" Now this is clip is too cool for a number of reasons. First, the camera, including the audio and video recorder weigh in at 15 grams (about half an ounce). Secondly the rocket is simply made of PVC, tape, and foam! Simple, but elegant. Thirdly the after the fact video processing was likely done on yet another computer. A job well done!
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.