Sustainable development ignites BIAS '98

The strategic role played by industrial automation in the sustainable development of industry was the key topic at a roundtable discussion on the first day of BIAS '98 here in November. Four speakers shared visions of how automation would impact the future. Prof. Marco Somalvico, professor of artificial intelligence in the information technology department of the Poly...

01/01/1999


The strategic role played by industrial automation in the sustainable development of industry was the key topic at a roundtable discussion on the first day of BIAS '98 here in November. Four speakers shared visions of how automation would impact the future. Prof. Marco Somalvico, professor of artificial intelligence in the information technology department of the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, spoke of "multi-agent" systems where sensors and distributed intelligence freely interact, and technology developed for industrial control would spread to other areas, such as intelligent houses and buildings, and even to restaurants, hospitals, and airports. He even forecasted sensors and actuators implanted inside the human body to help disabled people. Meanwhile, John Emmerson, ABB Instrumentation's business area president, said just as important was the decrease in power consumption, which is the real key to distributed field intelligence. In a workshop featuring representatives from Fieldbus Foundation, Interbus, Profibus, and WorldFIP, a standing-room-only audience was jolted by Prof. Paolo Pinceti, who said, "Fieldbus needs to be integrated with the Internet at the lowest level. The integration of fieldbus and Internet will finish the migration of intelligence from central control to the field."





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