Tutorials on Digital Electronics
In Electronics Theory Section
Here is a Snapshot of a Live iGoogle Page showing a Digital Preset counter Gadget in Canvas view.
Other Gadgets are Logic Gates Tutor and Digital Timer
When you look at the History of Operating Systems, you will see that that an OS that meant serious business was UNIX. It was the anvil for the creation of the C Language and AWK. Now we have Linux, the evolved Unix like OS, which is comfortable and versatile for Networking and Clustering.
Embedded Linux is not only Open Source, but can be adapted to any type of dedicated embedded system. It is more like a configurable firmware for Embedded Equipment. Its ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently makes it more friendly and stable, compared to any other OS.
Here is a Embedded Linux Wiki for the embedded product design community.
Gadgets and Appliances are become increasingly complex. More memory and CPU power for small devices are commonplace. Linux is one OS that can be muntzed to the smallest size. This helps developers make something like a super-firmware. Just what you need for that device, can be the OS.
Touchscreens for Home Appliances, wireless networking and web enabled consumer electronics make Linux an excellent escalation from “Firmware”. For tiny systems a firmware is the OS. For complex devices today, Linux is user configured firmware.
- High-performance Digital Media System on Chip
- ARM926EJ-S core
- Video Processing Subsystem (VPSS)
DM355 combines high performance MPEG4 HD (720p) codecs and JPEG codecs up to 50M pixels per second, high quality, and low power consumption at a very low price point.
Seamless interface to most additional external devices required for a complete digital camera implementation.
A closed loop controller is the heart of an Industrial Automation System. Right from an On-Off Hysteresis Controller to a Auto Tune PID Controller, we find solutions of different complexities. Each solution might suit a particular system; depending on the requirements of Ease-of-use, Cost and Process Type.
The Evolution of Temperature Control
- Bimetal Thermostat
- Analog Dial On-Off Controller.
- Analog Dial Proportional Controller.
- Digital Display – Analog Controller – On-Off.
- Digital Display – Analog Controller – Proportional.
- Digital Display – Analog Controller – PID.
- Microcontroller Based Process Controller. (On-Off, Prop., Universal TC, RTD, mA Input)
- Process Profile Controller (Microcontroller Based).
- Microcontroller Based Fuzzy or Auto-Tune PID Controller.
- Data Logger, Computer, PLC or SCADA based Solutions.
Even today, the controllers at every stage of evolution, from the thermostat to Auto-Tune, are used in many countries, for many different industrial applications. No solution above is obsolete! The developing Countries still use electro-mechanical or semi-automatic means for control in some areas.
A PC based multiplexed scanner controller with data-acquisition cards and I/O Cards can be solution for Laboratory or Research. This is used when real time control is not required or where the control failure will not lead to damage or loss.
A PLC or Microcontroller based controller should be used with a Analog Controller Protection or Over temperature Trip-Alarm.
Outputs could be Relay or SSR, Voltage and Current outputs like 0-10V and 4-20mA are needed sometimes to drive DC/AC Drives or to control Motorized Valves. Relays and SSR can be On-Off or Time proportional (PWM). The Cycle times can be 10-20 Secs for Electromagnetic Relay and around 1 Sec for SSR. This is because Mechanical Relays and contacters have limited number of operations. The zero crossing SSR has to be cycled slower than mains frequency.
In Curing rubber, which is one of the more complicated process, we need a profile based controller, which also triggers other timers or counters which need to be activated at different segments.
When a very big area is controlled, with materials or load placed un-symmetrically, Every corner or section has to have separate sensor and controller. These are then governed by a SCADA, Supervisory PLC or Master Controller.
Even a Big Die for Plastic Moulding with an Unsymmetrical Object or long object to be moulded; needs compensation for sides which will absorb more heat.
Robotics is the Magnum Opus of Engineering, It combines Electronics, Mechanical, Computing and also the toughest science know to mankind…. Wireless Networking!
Ethernet Networking itself is complex, A self healing, hack proof and plug-play Wireless Router has to be the first step to make safe robots.
Just imagine a Wireless Router or even a Internet Router as easy to tune as a FM radio, no entering numbers, no admin with browser. Just keep it in a room and all gadgets and computers form a fuzzy network, all by themselves. The very idea of technology is to make things simple, cost-effective and efficient.
The real need of robots now is to avoid Humans in Hazardous Environment. Right from Outer Space to working in a Plant with Toxic Chemical Gases, Even machinery and equipment that injures the limbs or damages the eyes.
Virtualization in Robotics –
If workers can wear a coat of sensors with force feedback actuators, they can control a semi-automatic robot in Real-Time. This enables a worker to navigate a robot into a hazardous environment, perform an upgrade or make repairs. An accident or mishap will damage the robot and it can be easily rebuilt or maintained.
The robot is automatic and will have reflexes defined by software. The wireless networking will connect the Robot mechanically to a human in a safe enclosure. This makes the Worker present virtually inside the Robot, because he is connected by optical, aural and mechanical-muscle feedback-sensors. This will create Virtual Anthropomorphic Robots for Industrial use and may help to finally develop Fuzzy Robots or Androids, which is still in the relm of science fiction.
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