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Automation, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2023) – 8 articles

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13 pages, 1456 KiB  
Article
Semantic Communities from Graph-Inspired Visual Representations of Cityscapes
by Vasiliki Balaska, Eudokimos Theodoridis, Ioannis-Tsampikos Papapetros, Christoforos Tsompanoglou, Loukas Bampis and Antonios Gasteratos
Automation 2023, 4(1), 110-122; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010008 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1847
Abstract
The swift development of autonomous vehicles raises the necessity of semantically mapping the environment by producing distinguishable representations to recognise similar areas. To this end, in this article, we present an efficient technique to cut up a robot’s trajectory into semantically consistent communities [...] Read more.
The swift development of autonomous vehicles raises the necessity of semantically mapping the environment by producing distinguishable representations to recognise similar areas. To this end, in this article, we present an efficient technique to cut up a robot’s trajectory into semantically consistent communities based on graph-inspired descriptors. This allows an agent to localise itself in future tasks under different environmental circumstances in an urban area. The proposed semantic grouping technique utilizes the Leiden Community Detection Algorithm (LeCDA), which is a novel and efficient method of low computational complexity and exploits semantic and topometric information from the observed scenes. The presented experimentation was carried out on a novel dataset from the city of Xanthi, Greece (dubbed as Gryphonurban urban dataset), which was recorded by RGB-D, IMU and GNSS sensors mounted on a moving vehicle. Our results exhibit the formulation of a semantic map with visually coherent communities and the realisation of an effective localisation mechanism for autonomous vehicles in urban environments. Full article
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16 pages, 1567 KiB  
Article
A Semi-Automated Workflow for LULC Mapping via Sentinel-2 Data Cubes and Spectral Indices
by Michel E. D. Chaves, Anderson R. Soares, Guilherme A. V. Mataveli, Alber H. Sánchez and Ieda D. Sanches
Automation 2023, 4(1), 94-109; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010007 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2418
Abstract
Land use and land cover (LULC) mapping initiatives are essential to support decision making related to the implementation of different policies. There is a need for timely and accurate LULC maps. However, building them is challenging. LULC changes affect natural areas and local [...] Read more.
Land use and land cover (LULC) mapping initiatives are essential to support decision making related to the implementation of different policies. There is a need for timely and accurate LULC maps. However, building them is challenging. LULC changes affect natural areas and local biodiversity. When they cause landscape fragmentation, the mapping and monitoring of changes are affected. Due to this situation, improving the efforts for LULC mapping and monitoring in fragmented biomes and ecosystems is crucial, and the adequate separability of classes is a key factor in this process. We believe that combining multidimensional Earth observation (EO) data cubes and spectral vegetation indices (VIs) derived from the red edge, near-infrared, and shortwave infrared bands provided by the Sentinel-2/MultiSpectral Instrument (S2/MSI) mission reduces uncertainties in area estimation, leading toward more automated mappings. Here, we present a low-cost semi-automated classification scheme created to identify croplands, pasturelands, natural grasslands, and shrublands from EO data cubes and the Surface Reflectance to Vegetation Indexes (sr2vgi) tool to automate spectral index calculation, with both produced in the scope of the Brazil Data Cube (BDC) project. We used this combination of data and tools to improve LULC mapping in the Brazilian Cerrado biome during the 2018–2019 crop season. The overall accuracy (OA) of our results is 88%, indicating the potential of the proposed approach to provide timely and accurate LULC mapping from the detection of different vegetation patterns in time series. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anniversary Feature Papers-2022)
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16 pages, 6480 KiB  
Article
Automation of a PCB Reflow Oven for Industry 4.0
by Isaí Vilches, Félix Juárez Durán, Alfonso Gómez-Espinosa, Mary Carmen García Carrillo and Jesús Arturo Escobedo Cabello
Automation 2023, 4(1), 78-93; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010006 - 15 Feb 2023
Viewed by 3215
Abstract
With the rise of Industry 4.0, its pillars (which include Internet of Things, “Big Data”, data analytics, augmented reality, cybersecurity, etc.) have become unavoidable tendencies for the automated manufacturing industry. Equipment upgrade is required to match the new standards of digitally assisted automation. [...] Read more.
With the rise of Industry 4.0, its pillars (which include Internet of Things, “Big Data”, data analytics, augmented reality, cybersecurity, etc.) have become unavoidable tendencies for the automated manufacturing industry. Equipment upgrade is required to match the new standards of digitally assisted automation. However, not all factories in the medium to small range (or independent manufacturers) can afford to upgrade their equipment. Therefore, the availability of affordable Industry 4.0 upgrades for now-outdated devices is necessary for manufacturers in the SME range (Small-Medium Enterprises) to stay relevant and profitable. More specifically, this work revolves around the automation of printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing, which is one of the most popular and profitable areas involved in this movement; and within it, the large majority of manufacturing defects can be traced to the soldering or “reflow” stage. Manufacturing research must, thus, aim towards improving reflow ovens and, more specifically, aim to improve their autonomous capabilities and affordability. This work presents the design and results of a controlling interface utilizing a Raspberry Pi 4 as a coupling interface between an MQTT Broker (which monitors the overall system) and the oven itself (which is, intentionally, a sub-prime model which lacks native IoT support), resulting in successful, remote, network-based controlling and monitoring of the oven. Additionally, it documents the design and implementation of the network adaptations necessary for it to be considered a cybersecure IIoT Module and connect safely to the Production Cell’s Subnet. All of this to address the inclusion of specific Industry 4.0 needs such as autonomous functioning, data collection and cybersecurity in outdated manufacturing devices and help enrich the processes of SME PCB manufacturers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anniversary Feature Papers-2022)
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21 pages, 660 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Regions of Attraction of Higher-Dimensional Hyperbolic Systems Using Extended Dynamic Mode Decomposition
by Camilo Garcia-Tenorio, Duvan Tellez-Castro, Eduardo Mojica-Nava and Alain Vande Wouwer
Automation 2023, 4(1), 57-77; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010005 - 04 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1634
Abstract
This paper provides the theoretical foundation for the approximation of the regions of attraction in hyperbolic and polynomial systems based on the eigenfunctions deduced from the data-driven approximation of the Koopman operator. In addition, it shows that the same method is suitable for [...] Read more.
This paper provides the theoretical foundation for the approximation of the regions of attraction in hyperbolic and polynomial systems based on the eigenfunctions deduced from the data-driven approximation of the Koopman operator. In addition, it shows that the same method is suitable for analyzing higher-dimensional systems in which the state space dimension is greater than three. The approximation of the Koopman operator is based on extended dynamic mode decomposition, and the method relies solely on this approximation to find and analyze the system’s fixed points. In other words, knowledge of the model differential equations or their linearization is not necessary for this analysis. The reliability of this approach is demonstrated through two examples of dynamical systems, e.g., a population model in which the theoretical boundary is known, and a higher-dimensional chemical reaction system constituting an original result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anniversary Feature Papers-2022)
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26 pages, 5075 KiB  
Article
Optimal Dynamic Control of Proxy War Arms Support
by Peter Lohmander
Automation 2023, 4(1), 31-56; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010004 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2739
Abstract
A proxy war between a coalition of countries, BLUE, and a country, RED, is considered. RED wants to increase the size of the RED territory. BLUE wants to involve more regions in trade and other types of cooperation. GREEN is a small and [...] Read more.
A proxy war between a coalition of countries, BLUE, and a country, RED, is considered. RED wants to increase the size of the RED territory. BLUE wants to involve more regions in trade and other types of cooperation. GREEN is a small and independent nation that wants to become a member of BLUE. RED attacks GREEN and tries to invade. BLUE decides to give optimal arms support to GREEN. This support can help GREEN in the war against RED and simultaneously can reduce the military power of RED, which is valuable to BLUE also outside this proxy war, since RED may confront BLUE also in other regions. The optimal control problem of dynamic arms support, from the BLUE perspective, is defined in general form. From the BLUE perspective, there is an optimal position of the front. This position is a function of the weights in the objective function and all other parameters. Optimal control theory is used to determine the optimal dynamic BLUE strategy, conditional on a RED strategy, which is observed by BLUE military intelligence. The optimal arms support strategy for BLUE is to initially send a large volume of arms support to GREEN, to rapidly move the front to the optimal position. Then, the support should be almost constant during most of the war, keeping the war front location stationary. In the final part of the conflict, when RED will have almost no military resources left and tries to retire from the GREEN territory, BLUE should strongly increase the arms support and make sure that GREEN rapidly can regain the complete territory and end the war. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Networked Predictive Control for Complex Systems)
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2 pages, 191 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to the Reviewers of Automation in 2022
by Automation Editorial Office
Automation 2023, 4(1), 29-30; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010003 - 29 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
High-quality academic publishing is built on rigorous peer review [...] Full article
18 pages, 2920 KiB  
Article
Fuzzy Pressure Control: A Novel Approach to Optimizing Energy Efficiency in Series-Parallel Pumping Systems
by Thommas Kevin Sales Flores, Juan Moises Mauricio Villanueva and Heber Pimentel Gomes
Automation 2023, 4(1), 11-28; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010002 - 18 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1941
Abstract
Automation and control systems are constantly evolving, using artificial intelligence techniques to implement new forms of control, such as fuzzy control, with advantages over classic control strategies, especially in non-linear systems. Water supply networks are complex systems with different operating configurations, uninterrupted operation [...] Read more.
Automation and control systems are constantly evolving, using artificial intelligence techniques to implement new forms of control, such as fuzzy control, with advantages over classic control strategies, especially in non-linear systems. Water supply networks are complex systems with different operating configurations, uninterrupted operation requirements, equalization capacity and pressure control in the supply networks, and high reliability. In this sense, this work aims to develop a fuzzy pressure control system for a supply system with three possible operating configurations: a single motor pump, two motor pumps in series, or two motor pumps in parallel. For each configuration, an energy efficiency analysis was carried out according to the demand profile established in this case study. In order to validate the proposed methodology, an experimental water supply system was used, located in the Laboratory of Energy Efficiency and Hydraulics in Sanitation at the Federal University of Paraiba (LENHS/UFPB). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics and Intelligent Control of Complex and Switched Systems)
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10 pages, 56527 KiB  
Article
Feasibility Study on Automation of Zinc Ash Skimming Process in Batch Galvanising
by Jana Pöpperlová, Stephan Ottweiler, Andreas Vossberg and Ulrich Krupp
Automation 2023, 4(1), 1-10; https://doi.org/10.3390/automation4010001 - 28 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2018
Abstract
The aim of the presented feasibility study was to systematically investigate the automation of the skimming (i.e., removal) of zinc ash from the surface of the zinc bath in order to minimise the risks for workers due to mechanical hazards (risk of falling [...] Read more.
The aim of the presented feasibility study was to systematically investigate the automation of the skimming (i.e., removal) of zinc ash from the surface of the zinc bath in order to minimise the risks for workers due to mechanical hazards (risk of falling into the zinc kettle) and chemical hazards (inhalation exposure to zinc vapours) by eliminating this activity. As part of the feasibility study, automatic separation and skimming systems from various applications, such as removal systems of slags and metal foam, were identified. For this purpose, their technical feasibility and suitability were considered. Two automated techniques, a mechanical and a gas-based skimming system, were selected for the subsequent laboratory-based evaluation. In the scope of the practical feasibility study, the selected skimming techniques were designed, constructed, and evaluated based on near-process prototype tests on a laboratory scale. The focus was on the efficiency of the skimming systems, related to the removal of zinc ash from the free surface of the molten zinc (general efficiency), as well as to the zinc ash removal with a simulated attachment system of the samples to be galvanised (task-related efficiency). The desired complete removal of zinc ash from the zinc bath surface was demonstrated with two automated methods: a pulse wave method of the mechanical skimming system and a gas-based skimming system in general, operating independently from the attachment system. Additionally, as part of the process-related simulation of the complete batch galvanising process, a fully automated combination of the zinc ash skimming and extraction system was achieved on a laboratory scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Industrial Robotics)
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