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Automation: What It Means to Us Around the World

Chapter
Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)

Abstract

The meaning of the term automation is reviewed through its definition and related definitions, historical evolution, technological progress, benefits and risks, and domains and levels of applications. A survey of 331 people around the world adds insights to the current meaning of automation to people, with regard to: What is your definition of automation? Where did you encounter automation first in your life? and What is the most important contribution of automation to society? The survey respondents include 12 main aspects of the definition in their responses; 62 main types of first automation encounter; and 37 types of impacts, mostly benefits but also two benefit–risks combinations: replacing humans, and humansʼ inability to complete tasks by themselves. The most exciting contribution of automation found in the survey was to encourage/inspire creative work; inspire newer solutions. Minor variations were found in different regions of the world. Responses about the first automation encounter are somewhat related to the age of the respondent, e.g., pneumatic versus digital control, and to urban versus farming childhood environment. The chapter concludes with several emerging trends in bioinspired automation, collaborative control and automation, and risks to anticipate and eliminate.

Keywords

Automatic Control Industrial Revolution Industrial Automation Automation Platform Automation Flexibility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

ABB

Asea Brown Boveri

ACC

adaptive cruise control

ACC

automatic computer control

AI

artificial intelligence

ASME

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

BAC

before automatic control

BCC

before computer control

CCT

collaborative control theory

CIM

computer integrated manufacturing

CNC

computer numerical control

DA

data acquisition

DNC

direct numerical control

ERP

enterprise resource planning

FMS

field message specification

FMS

flexible manufacturing system

FMS

flight management system

GAMP

good automated manufacturing practice

HMI

human machine interface

IL

instruction list

ISA

instruction set architecture

LAN

local-area network

MIS

management information system

MIS

minimally invasive surgery

MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT

miles in-trail

MUX

multiplexor

NC

numerical control

PLC

programmable logic controller

SCADA

supervisory control and data acquisition

TV

television

UR

universal relay

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PRISM Center and School of Industrial EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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