Automation is the novel name
of an ancient wisdom a wisdom dating back to many millennia
where arts and genius blend together. The science that ensued from it
has less than two centuries, the name, Automation, a few decades. Automation deals with the complex set of activities needed to take rational decisions in constantly evolving and partially
unknown world, relying on available and relevant information. …and of course is all about mathematics!! You start with a formal representation
of the system you want to control, you may want to linearize it,
you can analyze it by using its phase portrait, by computing the state trajectory,
or by looking at its input response, you can switch to the frequency domain by means of Laplace transform, compute the eigenvalues, obtain the transfer function,
and plot Nyquist and Bode diagram. Then you can design the control loop choosing a suitable control law among: state feedback with pole placement, proportional, integral and derivative actions
on the reference error, Lyapunov function or optimal control methods, and don’t forget to solve the differential Riccati equation!! Wait!! Let’s keep it simple! Basically Automation gives you the tools to make something accomplish a task automatically. Whatever it is the task
you’re dealing with, you need three fundamental ingredients:
the measurement, the control and the actuation. The measure tells you how
things are going the controller is the brain that given
the measurements decides which is the action to do the actuator is the one who
executes this action. Let’s try to better understand the roles
with a little experiment! Luigi has a very simple task:
brushing his teeth. Let’s have a look on what happens when all
this three ingredients are seamlessly integrated as you can see, Luigi manages to complete
his task without any problem. Bravo Luigi!! Now let’s see what happens
if one of these components is absent without measurement without actuation without control Ok Luigi! Thank you very much for
your help, you can go and don’t forget to pick up your brain
on the way out. In this experiment we have seen the role of each block and we clearly understand that all of them are crucial to complete the desired task,
but how can they interact with each other? how can they talk to each? what are they made of?
how does the controller decide what is the appropriate action to do? Well, Automation answers all of these
questions and many more!! Whether you have to brush your teeth,
make a coffee, heat a room, drive a car, control chemical
or nuclear reaction, launch a satellite, efficiently produce and
distribute electrical power from renewable sources, or visit another planet… Automation is exactly what you’re looking for!!

7 thoughts on “Automation”

  1. that's awesome. The basic idea is clear. But, seriously, is that a MUST to learn all of  control theory, PID, laplase transformations, root locus, nyquist stability etc… to bring automation in to action? 

  2. You work as an engineer automatic? I have all the things that you writed on the board in college [Poznan University of Technology – (I'm on the 4th semester)], tell me is it really useful in work? Because sometimes I lack motivation to learn this.

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