Control systems are used in various applications to manage and regulate a process or system. Examples include automatic doors, heating systems, taxi meters, elevators, washing machines, domestic robots, GPS systems, and traffic lights. The control systems ensure that the process is carried out smoothly, safely, and efficiently by monitoring sensors and using algorithms to manage the movement and actions of the system.
Outline the uses of microprocessors and sensor input in control systems
A control system uses sensors to measure physical variables, analog-to-digital converters to convert the analog signals into digital signals, microprocessors to perform calculations and decisions, and actuators to control the process or system. Together, these components form a closed-loop control system, where the microprocessor adjusts the control signals sent to the actuators based on continuous measurements and comparisons to a desired set-point, keeping the system operating within pre-set values. The control system works to regulate and manage a process or system in an automated and efficient manner.
Evaluate different input devices for the collection of data in specified situations
Control systems use input devices to gather information about the system being controlled. Common input devices include sensors, switches, keypads, microphones, cameras, and GPS receivers. Temperature sensors, pressure sensors, light sensors, proximity sensors, accelerometers, magnetic sensors, humidity sensors, and infrared sensors are all popular sensors used in control systems. These sensors measure various physical variables and are commonly used in HVAC systems, industrial control systems, automotive systems, security systems, and home automation systems. The specific input devices used in a control system depend on the application and the information that needs to be gathered.
Explain the relationship between a sensor, the processor and an output transducer
Control systems use sensors as input devices to gather information about the system being controlled, which is then sent to a microprocessor for processing. The microprocessor converts the analogue signals into digital form, compares it to the pre-set value, and sends output signals to the actuators or valves to make adjustments to the system. A DAC may be used to convert the digital signal back to analogue form. The system continuously monitors feedback to ensure it operates within pre-set values. The process of input, process, and output, along with feedback, is what enables control systems to manage a process or system automatically and efficiently.
Describe the role of feedback in a control system.
Control systems use feedback to continuously adjust and regulate their operation, ensuring that the system operates within desired parameters and achieves the desired output. Feedback involves measuring the system output, comparing it to the desired output or setpoint, calculating the error between the two, and adjusting the system's operation to bring it closer to the desired output. This feedback loop is repeated continuously, making small adjustments to the system's operation to keep it operating within the desired parameters. Feedback is a critical component of all control systems, ensuring that they remain stable and responsive to changes in the input or operating conditions.
Discuss the social impacts and ethical considerations associated with the use of embedded systems.
Embedded systems, including tagging prisoners, surveillance systems, smart home systems, and improved safety systems, can have significant social impacts and raise ethical considerations. Key ethical considerations include privacy, autonomy, bias, and accountability. To ensure that embedded systems are developed and used in a responsible and ethical manner, it is important to involve stakeholders in the development and implementation process and to design and implement the system in a way that is fair, transparent, and respects individual rights and freedoms.
DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS | FLIP CARDS
Compare a centrally controlled system with a distributed system
A centrally controlled system has a single entity or component responsible for controlling the system, while in a distributed system, control is spread across multiple entities or components. Distributed systems are used to manage and control complex industrial processes, where control functions are distributed among several specialized controllers connected by a communication network. The differences between these two approaches include communication, complexity, fault tolerance, scalability, and cost, and the choice between them depends on the specific needs and goals of the system.
Outline the role of autonomous agents acting within a larger system
In a distributed system, autonomous agents are software entities that act independently, make decisions, and interact with other agents or components. They can make decisions quickly and efficiently, adapt to changes in the environment, coordinate with other agents, scale up or down as needed, and improve the system's robustness and fault tolerance. Their role is to provide flexible, scalable, and adaptive functionality that can respond to changes in the environment and work together to achieve a common goal.