June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Two Year College Division
24.1232.1 - 24.1232.10
The Internet of Things (IoT) will create the need for the Cyber-Physical System TechnicianDuring this decade and for the foreseeable future, we will witness the implementation of severallarge scale technically enabled innovations involving the world’s electrical power grid and ournation’s interstate highway system and many other smaller, discipline specific, intelligentinfrastructure systems that will enhance the efficiency, safety, and security of human endeavors.Many describe the process of adding intelligence and connectivity to these systems as thecreation of the “Internet of Things” or IoT. Already, academic and industry experts in varioustechnical fields have given catchy names to these proposed systems: Smart Grid, IntelliDrive,Smart Buildings, Smart Home, e-health care, are but a few names that have made it into thepopular press. IBM calls this the building of “a Smarter Planet” while Cisco uses the term“Smart+Connected Communities.” Recently, in engineering circles, these types of systems havebecome known as cyber-physical systems. These large scale and not so large scale applicationsare becoming possible due to the convergence of several key technologies. Essentially, throughthe use of networked embedded controllers (known as ambient intelligence) and complex sensorsand actuators (i.e. sensor networks) one is able to create intelligent infrastructure systems thathave the potential to change almost every aspect of mankind’s interaction with the environment.Presently, engineering technology education at the two-year college level does not producetechnicians with the skill sets needed to install, evaluate, maintain, and up-grade these systems asthey are envisioned. In fact, our present system of training IT workers and network techniciansand those that deal with the so called physical layer (i.e. electronics/electrical/mechatronicstechnicians) tends to promote segregation of their respective skill sets. Many in these fieldsperceive a conflict (i.e. inability to communicate effectively) between the IT field and thephysical layer people when it comes to applications involving computer controlled hardware. Infact, Cisco has built up their networking curriculum with the IT needs of the Enterprise as theonly driving force while ignoring other networking applications. The implementation of cyber-physical systems, by necessity, brings these two worlds together. The understanding of thetheory and operation of networks, embedded controllers and their interaction with sensors andactuators, data acquisition, and control software will be the required skills needed to deal withthese emerging technology applications. The cyber-physical systems technician will need a skillset that spans several fields of technology. That type of curriculum does not presently exist butneeds to be developed soon if the implementation of these systems occurs as predicted. Thispaper will lay out a possible path to achieve the goal of creating a cyber-physical systemstechnician.
Mullett, G. J. (2014, June), The Internet of Things (IoT) Will Create the Need for the Cyber-Physical System Technician Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23165
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