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Androids by Thomas Talbot, Bryan Bergeron

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CHAPTER 3Homeostasis

Homeostasis—the maintenance of constant internal conditions—is the purpose of much of our physiology. Moreover, the physiology that enables us to stand rapidly from a seated position without passing out has direct parallels with the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller that enables a robot drone to maintain level flight despite windy conditions. Both rely on negative-feedback control-loop mechanisms.

In this chapter we explore homeostasis and basic control theory using temperature regulation as a focus. We chose temperature instead of, say, joint velocity, power, or pressure because of readily available sensors, universal firsthand experience, and perhaps most important, the rare chance to intentionally mix water ...

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