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  • CyberneticsOpen Day Presentation

    Dr Richard Mitchell

    Former Head of DepartmentDepartment of Cybernetics, The University of Reading, UK

  • Cybernetics Cybernetics is derived from the Greek word kybernetes meaning steersman, a person in control It arose from discussions between researchers from various disciplines who found they had much in common Cybernetics is the science of systems and, as such, it is as relevant to the study of mans effect on natural systems as it is to the design of complex technological systemsCybernetics encompasses related subjects such as Engineering, Computer Science, Information TechnologyIn fact Cybernetics pioneered Control, AI, Comp Sci...

  • Cybernetics - a Different PerspectiveFundamental principles, such as feedback, applicable to a great variety of diverse systems, technological, environmental, biological, or a mixture.

  • Standard and Cybernetic ApproachesThe Closed Loop view - has feedback. Irony: Cybernetics comes from a Greek Word!The Open Loop View.The (practical) Cybernetic viewStandard: Aristotelian (Greek) - Cause & Effect

  • Feedback Problems ?System more complicatedCan lead to run away disastersArms race is similarThough can be useful for quick changesCan also be advantageous - for instance for control

  • Feedback Advantages - for ControlCybernetics from Greek word for steersmanWithout control like having eyes closedWith control looking where you are going

  • Classical Feedback Control SystemHas many other applications - Drive in right direction / speedRobot gripper at right placeCentral Heating SystemMaintain body temperature / balanceEnvironment - Earths temperature controlled, etc.See what you have got, if not what you want, do something!

  • Learning - a feedback processYou learn by your mistakesUsed in machine learning: Neural NetworksIn Neural Network, have to set its weightsThis is done by finding actual output, comparing it with desired, and adjusting weights if there is a difference.Cybernetic's robots, like babies, learn by trial and error

  • Human Computer InteractionJust positioning a mouse is a feedback processUltimate HCI is Virtual RealityAlso, Augmented Reality - mixed real and virtual worldTeleoperation remote control where operator given input to suggest is at remote location. Needs force feedback.

  • Cybernetics at ReadingFirst taught in 1963 within Dept PhysicsDept Cybernetics formed in 1977Over previous ten years Department has expanded to 15 academic staff (with additional research, teaching and support staff)Degrees offered have expanded to include MEng LevelSubject area has broadened to allow specialization in Biomedical EngineeringStudent numbers have doubled, entry requirements raisedResearch has improved steadily

  • Degree Programmes M.Eng. Cybernetics*Computer Science and Cybernetics * Electronic Engineering and Cybernetics*BScCybernetics & Control Engineering* Biomedical Engineering & Cybernetics* Computer Science and Cybernetics* Artificial Intelligence and CyberneticsBEng Electronic Engineering and Cybernetics*Some (applied) courses have year in industry)*Courses accredited by professional institutions

  • Striving for ExcellenceCommitted to provide high quality teaching in an intellectually stimulating environmentCourses monitored and approved at many levelsUniversity (Subject Review, Spring 2002)Governmental (87.5% in TQA 1998)Accreditation by Professional Bodies IEE, InstMC, BCSResearch informs teaching and now recognised as internationally competitive level (RAE2001 grade 5)Engineering at Reading in general 6th best in the UK in terms of research output (Guardian)

  • Job ProspectsVery good Reading is well situatedCourses provide excellent backgroundFinal Year Projects rated very highCan help to give good impression at interviewGraduates do a variety of jobsComputing, electronics, comms, research, etc.In addition, Cybernetics houses the Universitys Teaching Company CentreProjects with University and Industry in which a graduate is employedMost successful centre in the UK

  • Robotics Research

  • Robot Head - Yorick

  • Prosthetic Hand

  • HAPTIC Research

  • VR Research

  • Implant - Cyborg experiment

  • Terahertz Technology

  • Research in Space

  • All happens in this modern building

  • On the picturesque campus

  • In Reading - heart of the Thames Valley, the centre of the UKs high tech industry

    25 minutes by rail to London; coach to HeathrowClose to M4 - thence via M25 / M5 / M1 to rest of UK