@MAX: On the ANALOG COMPUTER. Some of the participants may call me crazy, but I ventuyre to say, that there is still a reason to use analog computers. Picture this scenario, where the engineer in charge of power generation research, is studying some fancy self-adaptive control system for a group of scatteredsychronous machines. The straight control solution today, no doubt will be digital. However, between sampling times of the A/D & D/A conversions, the synbc. generators are in "open loop" and therefore lprone to instability and/or deviation from the reference signals. In my master thesis, I used the digital computer to do all the fancy controls, but before I plugged it to the actual generation system, I plugged it to the analog computer where the actual process was simulated almost exactly how it is in real life. How would I have done it in this hybrid fashion, if not for the old nanalog Telefunken?
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.