Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Automation Related Publications

24 An Open Loop Distribution Module for Precise and Uniform Drip Fertigation in Soilless Culture

Authors: Giacomo Barbieri, Juan Ignacio Arango, Andres Diaz

Abstract:

In soilless culture, the definition of efficient fertigation strategies is fundamental for the growth of crops. Flexible test-benches able to independently manage groups of crops are key for investigating efficient fertigation practices through experimentation. These test-benches must be able to provide nutrient solution (NS) in a precise, uniform and repeatable way in order to effectively implement and compare different fertigation strategies. This article describes a distribution module for investigating fertigation practices able to control the fertigation dose and frequency. The proposed solution is characterized in terms of precision, uniformity and repeatability since these parameters are fundamental in the implementation of effective experiments for the investigation of fertigation practices. After a calibration process, the implemented system reaches a precision of 1mL, a uniformity of 98.5% at a total cost of 735USD.

Keywords: Automation, Flexibility, test-bench, fertigation strategy, Precision horticulture

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23 Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

Authors: Francesco Ruscio, Paolo Paoletti, Jens Thomas, Paul Myers, Sebastiano Fichera

Abstract:

This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Keywords: Automation, Internet of Things, Urban farming, Monitoring System, Hydroponics

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22 A Small-Scale Flexible Test Bench for the Investigation of Fertigation Strategies in Soilless Culture

Authors: Giacomo Barbieri

Abstract:

In soilless culture, the management of the nutrient solution is the most important aspect for crop growing. Fertigation dose, frequency and nutrient concentration must be planned with the objective of reaching an optimal crop growth by limiting the utilized resources and the associated costs. The definition of efficient fertigation strategies is a complex problem since fertigation requirements vary on the basis of different factors, and crops are sensitive to small variations on fertigation parameters. To the best of author knowledge, a small-scale test bench that is flexible for both nutrient solution preparation and precise irrigation is currently missing, limiting the investigations in standard practices for soilless culture. Starting from the analysis of the state of the art, this paper proposes a small-scale system that is potentially able to concurrently test different fertigation strategies. The system will be designed and implemented throughout a three year project started on August 2018. However, due to the importance of the topic within current challenges as food security and climate change, this work is spread considering that may inspire other universities and organizations.

Keywords: Automation, fertigation, Soilless Culture, small-scale, test bench

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21 Fuzzy Control of Thermally Isolated Greenhouse Building by Utilizing Underground Heat Exchanger and Outside Weather Conditions

Authors: Raghad Alhusari, Farag Omar, Moustafa Fadel

Abstract:

A traditional greenhouse is a metal frame agricultural building used for cultivation plants in a controlled environment isolated from external climatic changes. Using greenhouses in agriculture is an efficient way to reduce the water consumption, where agriculture field is considered the biggest water consumer world widely. Controlling greenhouse environment yields better productivity of plants but demands an increase of electric power. Although various control approaches have been used towards greenhouse automation, most of them are applied to traditional greenhouses with ventilation fans and/or evaporation cooling system. Such approaches are still demanding high energy and water consumption. The aim of this research is to develop a fuzzy control system that minimizes water and energy consumption by utilizing outside weather conditions and underground heat exchanger to maintain the optimum climate of the greenhouse. The proposed control system is implemented on an experimental model of thermally isolated greenhouse structure with dimensions of 6x5x2.8 meters. It uses fans for extracting heat from the ground heat exchanger system, motors for automatic open/close of the greenhouse windows and LED as lighting system. The controller is integrated also with environmental condition sensors. It was found that using the air-to-air horizontal ground heat exchanger with 90 mm diameter and 2 mm thickness placed 2.5 m below the ground surface results in decreasing the greenhouse temperature of 3.28 ˚C which saves around 3 kW of consumed energy. It also eliminated the water consumption needed in evaporation cooling systems which are traditionally used for cooling the greenhouse environment.

Keywords: Automation, Fuzzy Control, Sustainable Buildings, Greenhouse, earth-to-air heat exchangers

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20 Experimental Simulation Set-Up for Validating Out-Of-The-Loop Mitigation when Monitoring High Levels of Automation in Air Traffic Control

Authors: Oliver Ohneiser, Francesca De Crescenzio, Gianluca Di Flumeri, Jan Kraemer, Bruno Berberian, Sara Bagassi, Nicolina Sciaraffa, Pietro Aricò, Gianluca Borghini, Fabio Babiloni

Abstract:

An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.

Keywords: Automation, Human Factors, Human Machine Interface, Electroencephalography, eeg, HMI, air traffic controller, MINIMA, OOTL, Out-Of-The-Loop

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19 RoboWeedSupport-Semi-Automated Unmanned Aerial System for Cost Efficient High Resolution in Sub-Millimeter Scale Acquisition of Weed Images

Authors: Mads Dyrmann, Simon L. Madsen, Morten S. Laursen, Rasmus N. Jørgensen

Abstract:

Recent advances in the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) safety and perception systems enable safe low altitude autonomous terrain following flights recently demonstrated by the consumer DJI Mavic PRO and Phamtom 4 Pro drones. This paper presents the first prototype system utilizing this functionality in form of semi-automated UAS based collection of crop/weed images where the embedded perception system ensures a significantly safer and faster gathering of weed images with sub-millimeter resolution. The system is to be used when the weeds are at cotyledon stage and prior to the harvest recognizing the grass weed species, which cannot be discriminated at the cotyledon stage.

Keywords: Automation, Integrated Weed Management, weed mapping, DJI SDK, cotyledon plants

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18 Towards a Complete Automation Feature Recognition System for Sheet Metal Manufacturing

Authors: Bahaa Eltahawy, Mikko Ylihärsilä, Reino Virrankoski, Esko Petäjä

Abstract:

Sheet metal processing is automated, but the step from product models to the production machine control still requires human intervention. This may cause time consuming bottlenecks in the production process and increase the risk of human errors. In this paper we present a system, which automatically recognizes features from the CAD-model of the sheet metal product. By using these features, the system produces a complete model of the particular sheet metal product. Then the model is used as an input for the sheet metal processing machine. Currently the system is implemented, capable to recognize more than 11 of the most common sheet metal structural features, and the procedure is fully automated. This provides remarkable savings in the production time, and protects against the human errors. This paper presents the developed system architecture, applied algorithms and system software implementation and testing.

Keywords: Automation, CAD, cam, feature recognition, sheet metal manufacturing

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17 Wireless Power Transfer Application in GSM Controlled Robot for Home Automation

Authors: Kaibalya Prasad Panda, Nirakar Behera, Kamal Lochan Biswal

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to combine the concept of wireless power transfer and GSM controlled robot for the application of home automation. The wireless power transfer concept can be well utilized to charge battery of the GSM controlled robot. When the robot has completed its task, it can come to the origin where it can charge itself. Robot can be charged wirelessly, when it is not performing any task. Combination of GSM controlled robot and wireless power transfer provides greater advantage such as; no wastage of charge stored in the battery when the robot is not doing any task. This provides greater reliability that at any instant, robot can do its work once it receives a message through GSM module. GSM module of the robot and user mobile phone must be interfaced properly, so that robot can do task when it receives message from same user mobile phone, not from any other phone. This paper approaches a robotic movement control through the smart phone and control of GSM robot is done by programming in Arduino environment. The commands used in controlling the robot movement are also explained.

Keywords: Automation, wireless power transfer, Arduino, GSM module, GSM controlled robot

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16 A Calibration Device for Force-Torque Sensors

Authors: Nicolay Zarutskiy, Roman Bulkin

Abstract:

The paper deals with the existing methods of force-torque sensor calibration with a number of components from one to six, analyzed their advantages and disadvantages, the necessity of introduction of a calibration method. Calibration method and its constructive realization are also described here. A calibration method allows performing automated force-torque sensor calibration both with selected components of the main vector of forces and moments and with complex loading. Thus, two main advantages of the proposed calibration method are achieved: the automation of the calibration process and universality.

Keywords: Automation, Calibration, calibration device, calibration method, force-torque sensors

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15 Performance Comparison between Conventional and Flexible Box Erecting Machines Using Dispatching Rules

Authors: Yoon Seok Chang, Min Kyu Kim, Eun Young Lee, Dong Woo Son

Abstract:

In this paper, we introduce a flexible box erecting machine (BEM) that swiftly and automatically transforms cardboard into a three dimensional box. Recently, the parcel service and home-shopping industries have grown rapidly, and there is an increasing need for various box types to ship various products. However, workers cannot fold thousands of boxes manually in a day. As such, automatic BEMs are garnering greater attention. This study takes equipment operation into consideration as well as mechanical improvements in order to design a BEM that is able to outperform its conventional counterparts. We analyzed six dispatching rules – First In First Out (FIFO), Shortest Processing Time (SPT), Earliest Due Date (EDD), Setup Avoidance, EDD + SPT, and EDD + Setup Avoidance – to determine which one was most suitable for BEM operation. Consequently, SPT and Setup Avoidance were found to be the most critical rules, followed by EDD + Setup Avoidance, EDD + SPT, EDD, and FIFO. This hierarchy was valid for both our conventional BEM and our new flexible BEM from the viewpoint of processing time. We believe that this research can contribute to flexible BEM management, which has the potential to increase productivity and convenience.

Keywords: Automation, box erecting machine, dispatching rule, setup time

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14 A New Intelligent, Dynamic and Real Time Management System of Sewerage

Authors: R. Tlili Yaakoubi, H. Nakouri, O. Blanpain, S. Lallahem

Abstract:

The current tools for real time management of sewer systems are based on two software tools: the software of weather forecast and the software of hydraulic simulation. The use of the first ones is an important cause of imprecision and uncertainty, the use of the second requires temporal important steps of decision because of their need in times of calculation. This way of proceeding fact that the obtained results are generally different from those waited. The major idea of this project is to change the basic paradigm by approaching the problem by the "automatic" face rather than by that "hydrology". The objective is to make possible the realization of a large number of simulations at very short times (a few seconds) allowing to take place weather forecasts by using directly the real time meditative pluviometric data. The aim is to reach a system where the decision-making is realized from reliable data and where the correction of the error is permanent. A first model of control laws was realized and tested with different return-period rainfalls. The gains obtained in rejecting volume vary from 19 to 100 %. The development of a new algorithm was then used to optimize calculation time and thus to overcome the subsequent combinatorial problem in our first approach. Finally, this new algorithm was tested with 16- year-rainfall series. The obtained gains are 40 % of total volume rejected to the natural environment and of 65 % in the number of discharges.

Keywords: Automation, Optimization, paradigm, RTC

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13 ConductHome: Gesture Interface Control of Home Automation Boxes

Authors: J. Branstett, V. Gagneux, A. Leleu, B. Levadoux, J. Pascale

Abstract:

This paper presents the interface ConductHome which controls home automation systems with a Leap Motion using “invariant gesture protocols”. This interface is meant to simplify the interaction of the user with its environment. A hardware part allows the Leap Motion to be carried around the house. A software part interacts with the home automation box and displays the useful information for the user. An objective of this work is the development of a natural/invariant/simple gesture control interface to help elder people/people with disabilities.

Keywords: Automation, Interoperability, Ergonomics, Gesture Recognition, leap motion, invariant

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12 Concept of Automation in Management of Electric Power Systems

Authors: Richard Joseph, Nerey Mvungi

Abstract:

An electric power system includes a generating, a transmission, a distribution, and consumers subsystems. An electrical power network in Tanzania keeps growing larger by the day and become more complex so that, most utilities have long wished for real-time monitoring and remote control of electrical power system elements such as substations, intelligent devices, power lines, capacitor banks, feeder switches, fault analyzers and other physical facilities. In this paper, the concept of automation of management of power systems from generation level to end user levels was determined by using Power System Simulator for Engineering (PSS/E) version 30.3.2.

Keywords: Automation, distribution subsystem, PSS/E, TANESCO, transmission subsystem, Generating subsystem

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11 Release Management with Continuous Delivery: A Case Study

Authors: A. Maruf Aytekin

Abstract:

We present our approach on using continuous delivery pattern for release management. One of the key practices of agile and lean teams is the continuous delivery of new features to stakeholders. The main benefits of this approach lie in the ability to release new applications rapidly which has real strategic impact on the competitive advantage of an organization. Organizations that successfully implement Continuous Delivery have the ability to evolve rapidly to support innovation, provide stable and reliable software in more efficient ways, decrease the amount of resources need for maintenance, and lower the software delivery time and costs. One of the objectives of this paper is to elaborate a case study where IT division of Central Securities Depository Institution (MKK) of Turkey apply Continuous Delivery pattern to improve release management process.

Keywords: Automation, deployment, Release Management, continuous delivery

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10 Automated Testing of Workshop Robot Behavior

Authors: Arne Hitzmann, Philipp Wentscher, Alexander Gabel, Reinhard Gerndt

Abstract:

Autonomous mobile robots can be found in a wide field of applications. Their types range from household robots over workshop robots to autonomous cars and many more. All of them undergo a number of testing steps during development, production and maintenance. This paper describes an approach to improve testing of robot behavior. It was inspired by the RoboCup @work competition that itself reflects a robotics benchmark for industrial robotics. There, scaled down versions of mobile industrial robots have to navigate through a workshop-like environment or operation area and have to perform tasks of manipulating and transporting work pieces. This paper will introduce an approach of automated vision-based testing of the behavior of the so called youBot robot, which is the most widely used robot platform in the RoboCup @work competition. The proposed system allows automated testing of multiple tries of the robot to perform a specific missions and it allows for the flexibility of the robot, e.g. selecting different paths between two tasks within a mission. The approach is based on a multi-camera setup using, off the shelf cameras and optical markers. It has been applied for test-driven development (TDD) and maintenance-like verification of the robot behavior and performance.

Keywords: Automation, Testing, supervisory control, markers, mono vision

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9 The Use of Ontology Framework for Automation Digital Forensics Investigation

Authors: Ahmad Luthfi

Abstract:

One of the main goals of a computer forensic analyst is to determine the cause and effect of the acquisition of a digital evidence in order to obtain relevant information on the case is being handled. In order to get fast and accurate results, this paper will discuss the approach known as Ontology Framework. This model uses a structured hierarchy of layers that create connectivity between the variant and searching investigation of activity that a computer forensic analysis activities can be carried out automatically. There are two main layers are used, namely Analysis Tools and Operating System. By using the concept of Ontology, the second layer is automatically designed to help investigator to perform the acquisition of digital evidence. The methodology of automation approach of this research is by utilizing Forward Chaining where the system will perform a search against investigative steps and atomically structured in accordance with the rules of the Ontology.

Keywords: Automation, Ontology, Forensics, framework

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8 Automation of the Maritime UAV Command, Control, Navigation Operations, Simulated in Real-Time Using Kinect Sensor: A Feasibility Study

Authors: Amir Anvar, Regius Asiimwe

Abstract:

This paper describes the process used in the automation of the Maritime UAV commands using the Kinect sensor. The AR Drone is a Quadrocopter manufactured by Parrot [1] to be controlled using the Apple operating systems such as iPhones and Ipads. However, this project uses the Microsoft Kinect SDK and Microsoft Visual Studio C# (C sharp) software, which are compatible with Windows Operating System for the automation of the navigation and control of the AR drone. The navigation and control software for the Quadrocopter runs on a windows 7 computer. The project is divided into two sections; the Quadrocopter control system and the Kinect sensor control system. The Kinect sensor is connected to the computer using a USB cable from which commands can be sent to and from the Kinect sensors. The AR drone has Wi-Fi capabilities from which it can be connected to the computer to enable transfer of commands to and from the Quadrocopter. The project was implemented in C#, a programming language that is commonly used in the automation systems. The language was chosen because there are more libraries already established in C# for both the AR drone and the Kinect sensor. The study will contribute toward research in automation of systems using the Quadrocopter and the Kinect sensor for navigation involving a human operator in the loop. The prototype created has numerous applications among which include the inspection of vessels such as ship, airplanes and areas that are not accessible by human operators.

Keywords: Automation, UAV, AR drone, Kinect Sensors, Real time, C sharp, Microsoft Kinect SDK

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7 Modeling and Implementation of an Oceanic- Robot Glider

Authors: C. Clements, M. Hasenohr, A. Anvar

Abstract:

A glider is in essence an unpowered vehicle and in this project we designed and built an oceanic glider, designed to operate underwater. This Glider was designed to collect ocean data such as temperature, pressure and (in future measures physical dimensions of the operating environment) and output this data to an external source. Development of the Oceanic Glider required research into various actuation systems that control buoyancy, pitch and yaw and the dynamics of these systems. It also involved the design and manufacture of the Glider and the design and implementation of a controller that enabled the Glider to navigate and move in an appropriate manner.

Keywords: Automation, Control, Navigation, Robot, Command, Ocean Glider

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6 Novel Mobile Climbing Robot Agent for Offshore Platforms

Authors: Omid Mirmotahari, Akbar F. Moghaddam, Magnus Lange, Mats Høvin

Abstract:

To improve HSE standards, oil and gas industries are interested in using remotely controlled and autonomous robots instead of human workers on offshore platforms. In addition to earlier reason this strategy would increase potential revenue, efficient usage of work experts and even would allow operations in more remote areas. This article is the presentation of a custom climbing robot, called Walloid, designed for offshore platform topside automation. This 4 arms climbing robot with grippers is an ongoing project at University of Oslo.

Keywords: Automation, monitoring, Mobile Robots, Inspection, Climbing Robots, Offshore Platforms, Offshore Robotics

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5 Lightweight Robotic Material Handling in Photovoltaic Module Manufacturing-Silicon Wafer and Thin Film Technologies

Authors: N. Asadi, M. Jackson

Abstract:

Today, the central role of industrial robots in automation in general and in material handling in particular is crystal clear. Based on the current status of Photovoltaics and by focusing on lightweight material handling, PV industry has turned into a potential candidate for introducing a fresh “pick and place" robot technology. Thus, to examine the industry needs in this regard, firstly the best suited applications for such robotic automation,and then the essential prerequisites in PV industry should be identified. The objective of this paper is to present holistic views on the industry trends, general automation status and existing challenges facing lightweight robotic material handling in PV Silicon Wafer and Thin Film technologies. The results of this study show that currently no uniform pick and place solution prevails among PV Silicon Wafer manufacturers and the industry calls for a new robot solution to satisfy its needs in new directions.

Keywords: Automation, Robot, Photovoltaic, material handling

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4 Development and Optimization of Automated Dry-Wafer Separation

Authors: Tim Giesen, Christian Fischmann, Fabian Böttinger, Alexander Ehm, Alexander Verl

Abstract:

In a state-of-the-art industrial production line of photovoltaic products the handling and automation processes are of particular importance and implication. While processing a fully functional crystalline solar cell an as-cut photovoltaic wafer is subject to numerous repeated handling steps. With respect to stronger requirements in productivity and decreasing rejections due to defects the mechanical stress on the thin wafers has to be reduced to a minimum as the fragility increases by decreasing wafer thicknesses. In relation to the increasing wafer fragility, researches at the Fraunhofer Institutes IPA and CSP showed a negative correlation between multiple handling processes and the wafer integrity. Recent work therefore focused on the analysis and optimization of the dry wafer stack separation process with compressed air. The achievement of a wafer sensitive process capability and a high production throughput rate is the basic motivation in this research.

Keywords: Automation, material handling, Photovoltaic Manufacturing, Thin Wafer

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3 Computer Vision Applied to Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Processing

Authors: Luis Gracia, Carlos Perez-Vidal, Carlos Gracia

Abstract:

This paper presents the theoretical background and the real implementation of an automated computer system to introduce machine vision in flower, fruit and vegetable processing for recollection, cutting, packaging, classification, or fumigation tasks. The considerations and implementation issues presented in this work can be applied to a wide range of varieties of flowers, fruits and vegetables, although some of them are especially relevant due to the great amount of units that are manipulated and processed each year over the world. The computer vision algorithms developed in this work are shown in detail, and can be easily extended to other applications. A special attention is given to the electromagnetic compatibility in order to avoid noisy images. Furthermore, real experimentation has been carried out in order to validate the developed application. In particular, the tests show that the method has good robustness and high success percentage in the object characterization.

Keywords: Image Processing, Automation, vision system

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2 A Promising Approach to Supporting Knowledge-Intensive Business Processes: Business Case Management

Authors: Zeljko Panian

Abstract:

Through the course of this paper we define Business Case Management and its characteristics, and highlight its link to knowledge workers. Business Case Management combines knowledge and process effectively, supporting the ad hoc and unpredictable nature of cases, and coordinate a range of other technologies to appropriately support knowledge-intensive processes. We emphasize the growing importance of knowledge workers and the current poor support for knowledge work automation. We also discuss the challenges in supporting this kind of knowledge work and propose a novel approach to overcome these challenges.

Keywords: Automation, Knowledge Management, Business Process Management, knowledge workers, business case management

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1 Speech Activated Automation

Authors: Rui Antunes

Abstract:

This article presents a simple way to perform programmed voice commands for the interface with commercial Digital and Analogue Input/Output PCI cards, used in Robotics and Automation applications. Robots and Automation equipment can "listen" to voice commands and perform several different tasks, approaching to the human behavior, and improving the human- machine interfaces for the Automation Industry. Since most PCI Digital and Analogue Input/Output cards are sold with several DLLs included (for use with different programming languages), it is possible to add speech recognition capability, using a standard speech recognition engine, compatible with the programming languages used. It was created in this work a Visual Basic 6 (the world's most popular language) application, that listens to several voice commands, and is capable to communicate directly with several standard 128 Digital I/O PCI Cards, used to control complete Automation Systems, with up to (number of boards used) x 128 Sensors and/or Actuators.

Keywords: Robotics, Automation, Speech Recognition

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