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A whirlwind tour including applications to robots and everyday life Cybernetics and Feedback Control Cybernetics and Feedback Control Possibly the central idea in engineering, including also chemical and biological systems

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cybernetics and feedback control
Cybernetics and Feedback Control
  • Possibly the central idea in engineering, including also chemical and biological systems
  • Thousands of years old, but lost to Western civilization (along with many other ideas) until rediscovered in 1600s
  • Crucial in AI & art robotics as well
what is feedback control
What is Feedback Control?
  • A self-regulating system where there is a goal state and a way of measuring the system’s current state. This generates an error signal which is used to guide the system toward the goal state.
chinese water clock
Chinese Water Clock
  • Large basin of water, with float valve to maintain constant volume
  • This created constant pressure on aperture, which caused constant water flow
  • Mechanical apparatus to measure flow
brief history of feedback systems
Brief History of Feedback Systems
  • B.C. … Chinese water clocks
  • mid 1600s … Hubbell’s ovens (chicken hatcheries)
  • late 1700s … James Watt’s steam engine governor
  • 1800s … automata
  • early 1900s … classical control theory (telephone signaling; warship control)
  • 1940s … Norbert Weiner (“cybernetics”) and WWII weaponry
  • 1950s … Macy conferences; W. Grey Walter’s turtles
  • 1960s … A.I.