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ETEC 415 – Control Systems – Module 1

ETEC 415 – Control Systems – Module 1

Assignment 1:

In this assignment, you will select one of the following control systems:

  1. Toilet
  2. Closed-loop toaster (has a sensor and not just time-based)
  3. Aircraft pitch attitude hold
  4. Aircraft altitude hold
  5. Aircraft airspeed hold

Describe the system. Be specific on where the system is located (e.g. toaster model, aircraft model). What is the input to the system? What is the output of the system? What is being measured and how is it being measured? How are signals being transmitted (mechanical, electrical, pressure, etc.)? What is the correction process (e.g. throttle, heating element, control surface)?

Your case study should be at least 1 page with at least 2 references cited in current APA format.

Your paper will automatically be evaluated through Turnitin when you submit your assignment in this activity. Turnitin is a service that checks your work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against a database of web pages, student papers, and articles from academic books and publications. Ensure that your work is entirely your own and that you have not plagiarized any material!

Save your assignment using a naming convention that includes your first and last name and the activity number (or description). Do not add punctuation or special characters.


            More companies are looking into designing and testing self-driving cars. As computers and sensors get better, the possibility of these cars joining us on the road is becoming more likely. This discussion has two parts. For the first part, describe some of the systems that are necessary to make a self-driving car possible (how does it know where it is, how to follow the rules of the road, how to avoid objects, etc.).

The second part is more philosophical. How much control should a driver still have or should they have any? (This is somewhat of a similar question asked of aircraft pilots.) Part of this philosophical discussion should consider a variant of the “Trolley Problem” that might someday exist (found below).

Trolley Problem Variant

Say a self-driving car senses a group of people in the middle of the road. The car calculates that it will not be able to stop in time before hitting the group of people. Should the car be designed to hit the group of people and most likely kill them but the driver of the car will most likely be fine, or should the car swerve off the road missing the group of people but most likely cause serious harm or death to the driver?

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