Conventional Control Systems and Modern Control Systems

Conventional control systems and modern control systems represent different approaches to controlling dynamic systems. Here are examples of each.

Conventional Control System Examples

  1. Home Heating System:
    • Description: A basic household thermostat is a simple example of a conventional control system. It measures the temperature in a room and activates the heating or cooling system to maintain the desired temperature.
    • Control Method: On/Off control. When the temperature falls below the setpoint, the heating is turned on, and when it rises above the setpoint, the heating is turned off.
  2. Water Tank Level Control System:
    • Description: Controlling the water level in a tank using a float valve is another example. The float valve opens or closes based on the water level, allowing water to flow into the tank or stopping the flow to maintain a constant level.
    • Control Method: Proportional control based on the position of the float valve.
  1. Automotive Cruise Control:
  • Description: Traditional cruise control systems in automobiles are examples of conventional control systems. These systems maintain a constant vehicle speed set by the driver. They typically use simple feedback mechanisms, such as throttle control, to adjust the speed. While newer cars may incorporate more advanced control features, basic cruise control represents a conventional approach to speed regulation.
  • Control Method: Proportional control

Modern Control System Examples

    1. Aircraft Flight Control System:
      • Description: Modern aircraft use sophisticated control systems to maintain stability and control during flight. These systems often involve feedback control algorithms and sensors to adjust control surfaces like ailerons, elevators, and rudders.
      • Control Method: Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers and advanced control algorithms for stability augmentation.
    2. Robotics Control System:
      • Description: Industrial robots and robotic arms are controlled using modern control systems. These systems utilize sensors, feedback mechanisms, and advanced algorithms to control the movement and actions of the robot with precision.
      • Control Method: Model Predictive Control (MPC), adaptive control, and other advanced control strategies.
    3. Electric Power Grid Control System:
      • Description: The control system of an electric power grid is highly complex, involving real-time monitoring, feedback, and control to ensure stability and reliability. It includes advanced algorithms for load balancing and fault detection.
      • Control Method: Optimal control strategies, state-space control, and advanced monitoring techniques.
    4. Autonomous Vehicles:
      • Description: Self-driving cars use a combination of sensors, cameras, lidar, and advanced control algorithms to navigate and control the vehicle in real-time. These systems make decisions based on the environment and sensor inputs.
      • Control Method: Model-based control, reinforcement learning, and artificial intelligence for decision-making.

    Modern control systems often employ more sophisticated and flexible control algorithms, allowing for better performance, adaptability, and efficiency compared to conventional control systems.

Conventional Control Systems Vs Modern Control Systems

Let’s see difference between conventional control systems and modern control systems.


Conventional Control Systems

Modern Control Systems

Type of Components

Analog components (e.g., analog controllers, pneumatic or hydraulic actuators)

Digital components (e.g., microcontrollers, DSPs, sensors)

Signal Representation

Analog signals

Digital signals

Processing Technique

Analog processing (e.g., op-amps, amplifiers)

Digital processing (e.g., algorithms, software)


Limited flexibility, challenging to adapt to changes

High flexibility, easier adaptation to changes through software updates


Limited precision

High precision and accuracy



Complex, can handle intricate control algorithms

Ease of Design Changes


Relatively easy


Regular maintenance required due to wear and tear of analog components

Lower maintenance, less susceptibility to wear and tear


Generally lower upfront costs

Higher upfront costs, but potentially more cost-effective in the long run


Suitable for simple systems with less demanding requirements

Suitable for complex systems with high-performance requirements


Limited communication capabilities

Enhanced communication capabilities, often networked


Limited adaptability to changing conditions

Greater adaptability to dynamic and changing conditions

It’s important to note that these are general characteristics, and there may be exceptions or variations depending on specific implementations and technologies used within each category.

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