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LinuxDevices.com: Tux gets his feathers dirty in the "real world"

Aug 15, 2001, 17:32 (0 Talkback[s])

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[ Thanks to Andrew for this link. ]

"The use of embedded Linux is growing in the industrial automation industry, making the control and monitoring of machinery no longer the exclusive domain of proprietary systems. Also driving this growth is the need to gather information, often on the fly, from an ever increasing number of Ethernet- and Internet-aware devices.

Like the proprietary systems traditionally used for industrial automation, Linux-based systems can monitor and control any activity that they can sense and respond to. The programming logic behind an application that monitors power usage and turns off unneeded loads is obvious, but the methods of sensing the current flow and throwing the cut-off switch are not.

The industrial automation industry developed the "I/O unit" to provide a method through which computers may acquire or issue electrical commands. These electrical responses may emanate from sensors (electronic devices that measure the physical world) and be driven to effectors (devices that drive changes in our physical world). In short, the I/O unit's role provides a conversion between the computer and the physical world."

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