Department of Automatic Control, Lund Institute of Technology Automatic Control

Flexible Embedded Control Systems (FLEXCON)

Researchers: Dan Henriksson, Anders Blomdell, Anton Cervin, and Karl-Erik Årzén, in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science at Lund University, DAMEK at KTH, MRTC at Mälardalen University, and DRTS at University of Skövde

Duration: January 2003 – June 2006

Funding: SSF

Control and automation systems constitute an important subclass of embedded real-time systems. Control systems have traditionally been relatively static systems. However, technology advances and market demands are rapidly changing the situation. The increased connectivity implied by Internet and mobile device technology will have a major impact on control system architectures. Products are often based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components. The rapid development of component-based technologies and languages like Java and C# increases portability and safety, and makes heterogeneous distributed control-system platforms possible. The evolution from static systems towards dynamic systems makes flexibility a key design attribute for future systems.

The key challenge of FLEXCON is how to provide flexibility and reliability in embedded control systems implemented with COTS component-based computing and communications technology. Research will be performed on design and implementation techniques that support dynamic run-time flexibility with respect to, e.g., changes in workload and resource utilization patterns. The use of control-theoretical approaches for modeling, analysis, and design of embedded systems is a promising approach to control uncertainty and to provide flexibility, which will be investigated within FLEXCON. Other focal points are quality-of-service (QoS) issues in control systems, and testing-based verification and monitoring of flexible embedded control systems. The main application area is adaptive industrial automation systems. An industrial robotics-based demonstrator will serve as the carrier of the project results.

The project ended in June 2006. The last six months of the project were devoted to finishing the project and finalizing the software development that were done in the project.


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