Adding intelligence to projects is a fascinating pastime and worthwhile in every respect. Automatically turning lights on or off, unlocking doors that recognize you from a distance, controlling other aspects of your environment and allowing your house to "think" on its own are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to embedded control using microcontrollers.
This tiny device, weighing only a few grams has a greater capability to compute than the on board computer that took man to the moon in 1969. These devices can operate independently or in tandem with other devices of equal or greater capacity to compute. In fact, there is truly no limit aside from size to how intelligent you can make any device. The devices must be able to fit inside to allow true autonomous decision making.
A short 20 years ago, a small startup company named Microchip began selling a family of 8 bit microcontrollers for embedding into electronic design. This followed on from many years of computer chips that allowed smaller and smaller home computers to be designed that were affordable while still offering huge computing power. With the release of the 16C5x series, the world was offered a tiny powerful computer that could fit into small devices giving them unheard of power and intelligence. Prior to this, the embedded control function was reserved for high priced controllers with proprietary programming languages. Microchip kept the prices within range of the hobbies without sacrificing quality or capability. In rapid time, the controllers found themselves into thousands of products and projects. From Ham Radio to model rockets, these powerhouses made history and today they can be found in millions of products.
Our focus at Uncommon Sentience is to add intelligent to devices that can benefit both the human user and the device itself. At first, the focus will be limited but as we gain users and increase collaborations, the divices will indeed improve with the addition of Uncommon Sentience.