Self-Aware Control Systems

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William K.
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Not really "self aware", rather "condition monitoring"
William K.   6/20/2014 4:57:10 PM
Self awareness is a lot different from self condition monitoring. Machines that can keep track of their own condition are usually a good choice, while a "self aware" machine would probably be a real source of grief. A lot of machine condition monitoring can be added all in code, with no new sensors or other hardware, if the writer of the control code adequately understands how the machine should be working. Monitoring the time for each motion is a good exmple, it just requires an additional timer and a bit more code, and some usable means of announcing when some system starts to suffer from slower performance. Vibration sensing is a more complex task, and that would usually need a sensor dedicated to vibration monitoring.

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Well within reach
naperlou   6/19/2014 11:07:35 AM
Al, this type of functionality is well within reach.  In the early 1980s I worked on an R&D project at a simulation maker to do something similar.  Implementing it was more challenging that it would be today.  We had a mircoprocessor controller that was microcodable, so I made up some new instructions to do the analysis more quickly.  Today there is so much computing power and memory available that this technology can be added to almost any industrial system.  Many powerful S0C microcontrollers cost in the range or $1 per unit in quantity.  In most systems I have seen the sensor, whcih is often very specialized, is the more expensive component.  This is changing as well.  So, bring on the self-aware functionality.  Of course, you will need more software engineers to do that.

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