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A Design Philosophy for Man-Machine Control Systems

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2 Author(s)
H. P. Birmingham ; Naval Research Lab., Washington, D.C. ; F. V. Taylor

Empirical evidence suggests that, at least for short periods of activity, the simpler the tasks imposed upon the human operator of a control system, the more precise and less variable become his responses. This leads to the view that optimal man-machine control system performance can be obtained only when the mechanical components of the system are designed so that the human need act only as a simple amplifier. Ways and means are described for achieving such design through "unburdening" (relieving the operator of the task of acting as an integrator) and "quickening" (providing the operator with immediate knowledge of the effects of his own responses). Aided tracking is discussed in light of these two concepts and is related to various efforts to improve the stability of man-machine systems through the use of special equalization networks.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 12 )