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IEE Computing & Control Division: Chairman's address. The human body and its transducers: a real-time real-life computing and control system

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1 Author(s)
M. H. Westbrook ; Ford Motor Company Ltd., Research & Engineering Centre, Basildon, UK

The study of how the human body functions when considered as a real-time computing and control system is of considerable interest from many points of view including those of robotics, parallel signal-processing methods and adaptive learning control systems. In particular the methods of operation of the wide range of human sensors and actuators which the body uses are of specific interest and importance in giving control engineers guidance on the development of machines which can effectively provide intelligent control of manufacturing systems, industrial processes and perhaps eventually of robotic systems in the less controlled situation in the home and leisure environments. The paper describes the basic organisation of the brain, how it can be represented as an enormously complex real-time parallel computing and control system and how its operation relates to some of the latest concepts in computing and control technology. The human senses are then considered as control system input transducers, and their engineering equivalents and their limitations are described, in particular their relevance to developments in intelligent or `smart¿¿ sensors is discussed. Finally the paper describes the human output transducers as represented by the muscular system and its reflex controls.

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IEE Proceedings A - Physical Science, Measurement and Instrumentation, Management and Education - Reviews  (Volume:131 ,  Issue: 1 )