The desire for tools or machines that can keep pace with the challenges of today’s world and work increasingly in simpler and smarter ways is evident. Automation and autonomy have enabled this by producing and delivering products and services that require the least amount of human intervention, making some jobs easier than ever before even when information is incomplete and uncertain. The emergence of new service robots and their constant evolution into new applications has facilitated the world of automation. Due to the dynamic nature of robotics, many application sectors are now using robots to perform predefined tasks and enhance human efforts in both physical and cognitive ways. Robots have fueled task efficiency, reliability, and quality, all of which were earlier, the product of painstaking procedure. Being a critical component of automation, robots are currently used in an increasing variety of fields, including manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, medical care, utilities, defense, utilities, operations and, more recently, information technology. According to reports, the Indian industrial robotics market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.3% between 2019-2024. With its growing industry applications and productivity benefits, the study of cybernetics is likely to be a vital component of the advancement of robotics.
What is cybernetics and what makes it different from artificial intelligence (AI)?
Cybernetics is a branch of science that focuses on creating technologies that behave or think like humans by researching how electrical devices or machines work and the function of the human brain to add value to the task to be done. Cybernetics, one of the best physical embodiments of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), predictive analysis and control, investigation of systems/infrastructures, capabilities, and limitations of complex mechanisms, including robotics, development of autonomous innovations that require reduction minimal human interaction. Artificial intelligence and cybernetics are two different perspectives of intelligent systems or systems that may act to achieve a purpose. Getting computers to simulate intelligent behavior using pre-stored representations of the world is the main goal of AI. In general, cybernetics is the study of how systems control themselves and can take actions independently based on environmental cues even when information is scant and subject to significant uncertainty or noise. These systems go far beyond simple arithmetic operations. They can also control biological (regulating body temperature), mechanical (regulating motor speed), social (managing a huge workforce), and economic (controlling the national economy).
How does cybernetics work?
The goal of every cybernetic system is to be set up so that its operations are interconnected in a variety of I/O system configurations which are usually driven by a reference control signal. This is achieved through the use of automatic, closed-loop, feedback-based control systems that can determine which behaviors to change, which actions to track, how actions are compared to reference, and how to adapt relevant behaviors in the most effective way. In natural electronic systems, this regulatory mechanism develops or regulates on its own via self-learning. On the other hand, artificial electronic systems interact or are affected by the automated control systems implemented by humans. The basic elements of cyber systems are sensors, control unit, actuators and the system to be controlled.
The cyber systems, both natural and artificial, are subject to the controller, which must have all the capabilities necessary for its functions to analyze and model static and dynamic characteristics so that they can be properly understood and categorized so that an appropriate controller can be developed. The system begins to operate in a goal-oriented manner as soon as the model and controller are coupled. The process can adapt to changing situations as the model and controller change to stay abreast of the changing system. A good example to consider is the autopilot of an aircraft whose weight changes due to blows being consumed on board which results in a change of plan behaviour. Additionally, the goal is to maintain all essential system properties in agreement with the reference input regardless of system disturbances which could be severe wind gusts or storms. The controller must be able to operate the system appropriately and change the relevant variables in order to maintain good and safe performance.
When the organizational structure of the system notices an abnormality in its behavior, it makes an effort to correct it by analyzing the differences between the desired goal and the actual behavior to change the system’s control inputs to compensate for the discrepancies. The process of finding and correcting errors is repeated as the purposeful system now begins to make progress towards its goal.
Cybernetics in robotics aims to use artificial intelligence and machine learning in the meaning-action plan model typically used in designing robots so that they can operate effectively in real-world scenarios. Getting a bot to understand and differentiate complex situations every day is extremely challenging, and getting to know the situation correctly is critical to ensuring that the reference control signal required for implementation can be identified. This can range from making sure that an industrial robot identifies and selects the correct ingredient for the next stage of the manufacturing process from a selection of parts to ensuring that a human being given a variety of drinks gets the right one. Properly calibrated sensors and sensor systems are essential to ensure proper and real-time situational awareness is achieved using AI-based models that can be learned and applied in different situations such as driverless cars, medical robots, automated manufacturing and home care robots.
According to MarketStudy October 2021 report, the industrial robots market is expected to grow to $87.79 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 10.35%. Similarly, the service and medical robotics sectors are expected to grow at rapid rates.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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