According to Warped Air Sportz -
"So how does it work?
The TurboRev circuit board uses the <B>latest state-of-the-art microprocessor with artificial intelligence software.</B> Unlike the standard Viewloader circuitry, there is no startup delay on the first missing ball. The TurboRev board immediately activates the hopper's motor and starts feeding! As the balls fall, <B>the TurboRev's computer monitors the feed rate and adjusts the agitator motor's speed, torque, and spin duration to increase the feed rate to the maximum possible</B> given the design of the Revolution hopper!"
Now, I'm looking at this picture of the TurboRev Board. I see some capacitors, a diode, a switch, some other stuff, and a PIC 12C508A microcontroller. I'm still looking for the "latest state-of-the-art microprocessor with artificial intelligence software," that's supposed to be on there.
<B>What is the PIC 12C508A Microcontroller?</B>
It is a $4 8-pin, 8 bit CMOS microcontroller.
<A HREF="http://www.microchip.com/download/lit/pline/picmicro/families/12c5xx/40139e.pdf">Full PIC 12C508A Chip Spec.</A>
The 12C508A has 33 single word instructions, 512 words of program memory and 25 bytes of data RAM. Out of these 33 instructions, the ability to multiply or divide numbers is not present. If you want the chip to calculate 3x3=9, you can't without using repeated addition. Say you decided to use repeated addition (or subtraction if you wanted to divide), you would need some kind of repetition instruction - like 'loop.' Guess what? It's not built in, you have to make it using branching instructions.
Ok, so let's say you do this - you get to use their bit test instruction that either goes to the <B>next</B> instruction or <B>skips</B> it. Typically, the <B>next</B> instruction would be the unconditional GOTO instruction, you would want to <B>skip</B> this if you didn't want it to branch to some other part of the program. PITA PITA PITA!! Mind you, you are doing this with a severely limited number of registers - having to pass stuff around in memory is inevitable. It's kind of like having 30 people at a dinner table for 6 with 1 fork to share among them.
So basically... in order to multiply two arbitrary numbers together, I roughly estimate it to be maybe a conservative 30+ instruction process - based from my experience with other instruction sets. Lets say you wanted to simply multiply a list of numbers together - maybe 50+ instructions.
Remember, this chip only has room for 512 instructions. With this in mind - it makes you wonder where they put the <B>"artificial intelligence software."</B>
<B>"...the TurboRev's computer monitors the feed rate and adjusts the agitator motor's speed, torque, and spin duration to increase the feed rate to the maximum possible..."</B>
Now, these buzz words: speed, torque, spin duration, maximum possible - make me think of rotational kinematics, calculus, and statistical analysis. This also makes me think about what kind of numbers we're dealing with here - numbers with stuff following the decimal place. Guess what? The 12C508A does not deal with floating point numbers, only integers (whole numbers). Ok, let's say you were to give it the ability to process floating point numbers by using a scheme to represent them with integers.
Well, I actually wrote a program like this on the x86. It was a big pain. Nobody should ever have to do this unless they are being punished for lechery or given an exorbitant amount of money. Here's what such a program looks like:
<A HREF="../~Miscue/ieee.txt">IEEE addition</A>
(This isn't one of mine, I can't find it)
You think this is big for just adding two numbers? This was done with the powerful Intel x86 instruction set. It would be ridiculously HUGE... did I mention <B>HUGE?</B> using the 12C508A's instruction set.
Let's assume their hardware could actually do what they claim. They would need to have collected data to program formulas based from the data into the chip for max output. I don't see them showing any normal distribution curves, probability density function graphs, Poisson distributions... or anything. All they have is a <B>SINGLE</B> trial in which they mention average feed rates. Seems to me that they produced numbers <B>AFTER</B> the board was made, and did <B>NOTHING</B> before it was made.
Now, these are RANDOM, not CONSTANT averages. You can't make any conclusions until you've made a large number of trials and your RANDOM averages have stabilized.
And, averages can be very misleading - other data is necessary to get a picture of what's going on. For instance: Say we have Village A with average income of $7,000/year... Village B with $10,000/year. With this information, can you say that Village B is better off than Village A? What if ONE guy in Village B is making all the money while everyone else is making next to nothing? See the problem? You need an idea of what the individual case looks like.
In terms of feeding balls, the individual case... average time between individual balls (among other things) is much more interesting and revealing than the average feed rates they calculated.
Basically, how they have gone about it is NOT how you conduct a proper statistical analysis.
The chip was "state-of-the-art" some time last century, claiming it has "artificial intelligence software" is a farce, it cannot process anything as complicated as was suggested, and unless they are keeping it a secret - they lack a proper statistical analysis to even begin to calculate these things even if the hardware had the ability to do so. I think what's going on is that WAS is recklessly throwing around and misusing technical terminology.
I think that they can claim this: The TurboRev starts and stops at particular times for particular durations that helps to feed balls better. Does it work a little better than the standard revy? I wouldn't be surprised and do not doubt it. Does it work the way they say it does? <B>No.</B>
Here's another question: Since when does a revy need alien technology to put a round ball into a tube?
Rocket Scientists? Bah. How about BS Artists.
-Brian Workman (Miscue)