Fusion of Computer, Communication, and Control Technologies: Needs and Strategies
Computers have been an enabling tool for control engineers. They have been used as a tool for both design and implementation. Nowadays, it is standard practice to use a computer to implement control algorithms on any physical scale. At the same time, communication technologies have also been implemented in control systems in various forms. When the decision-making functions are spatially distributed in control systems, communications become essential. Computer, communication, and control (3C) technologies have naturally been fused to build modern intelligent engineering systems. This chapter discusses how such processes have occurred from the perspective of control. It presents some historical perspectives and discusses some research areas where computer and communication technologies have played a critical role in achieving the desired control objectives. This chapter also describes an effort lead by the US National Science Foundation to promote research that involves the fusion of 3C technologies.
The fusion of computer communication and control technologies has been occurring steadily. In mechanical engineering, robotics and mechatronics are two areas that have been strongly influenced by such fusion. Mechatronics refers to the synergistic integration of mechanical, ...