Automatic control technology increases usability, reliability and productivity in manufacturing, transportation, and climate control. There are many additional areas of modern life that could benefit through automatic control; however, current automation components are too expensive or aren't sufficiently flexible. For example, the cost of current commercial motion control components precludes their use in an average home. This thesis describes an automatic control methodology that is low cost and is flexible enough for a wide variety of control applications. Typical applications could include:

- Home lighting, security and appliances

- Commercial building heating, ventilation and air conditioning

- Industrial machine tool and process control

This automation methodology eliminates several expensive and inflexible aspects of present-day industrial automation. This is accomplished by implementing application-specific control algorithms in software run on a generic computer rather than on purpose-built hardware. This computer calculates control values for each control application connected to it via real-time communication network. This technique is similar to that of a desktop PC. When using a peripheral device, such as a printer or scanner, the PC executes device driver software to calculate control values for the devices. These values are communicated to the device over a shared bus. The automation methodology described here seeks to emulate this software-based control paradigm. This methodology reduces cost and increases flexibility in two ways. First, it eliminates application-specific control hardware and replaces it with software. This reduces the cost by eliminating the need for unique, proprietary control hardware for each product or system. Second, the software approach increases flexibility. For example, one could download a new clothes washing machine cycle via the Internet. Software control provides considerable freedom in designing and implementing control systems by allowing the designer to change system functionality without having to replace or modify hardware or even be present at the location where the control system is used. This thesis describes the development of this new control methodology. To validate its performance a home automation system is implemented. This implementation included control of laundry appliances, lighting, TV and other common household devices.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





home, automation, control, system, automatic, residential, versatile, X10, profibus, centralized