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RoboMine:  Robotics and Intelligent Systems in Mining

  Glossary Of Terms

Here, we have compiled a glossary of terms relevant to mining robotics and intelligent systems.  

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Electronic data interchange (EDI):

A standard for automated exchange of business documents that allows purchasers and suppliers to exchange digital paperwork, such as purchase orders, invoices and other business documents, and to perform electronic funds transfers.

Enterprise resources planning (ERP):

An extension of the manufacturing resources planning concept standardized by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS).

Expert system:

A computer program using knowledge and reasoning techniques to solve problems requiring the abilities of human experts.

Fault tolerance:

The ability of a system to execute tasks despite failure of strategic components.

Feedback control:

The process of bringing back information about the condition under control to compare it to a target value.

Feedforward control:

A control system in which a signal is fed forward into the system - generally into the set point.

Final control element:

The device used to vary the manipulated or control variable that is input into a process. The device receives its input from the system controller.

Flexible automation:

The ability to switch quickly from one product to another by shortening setup times.

Flexible machine centre (FMC):

An automated system comprising CNC machines with robots loading and unloading parts conveyed through the system.

Flexible manufacturing-FM:

A manufacturing process designed so that the production line may be reset to rapidly match output to changes in demand.

Forcing function:

A function used to run experiments on a control system. There are 4 main types of forcing functions: impulse, step, ramp, and sine wave but others exist such as square wave or saw tooth.


Prediction of the levels of weekly or monthly product activity over a time horizon, typically two years; statistical methods proven to make such predictions have been used by manufacturers and distributors since the advent of MRP II systems. Also available are more complex forms of forecasting that use neural processing to determine and predict the effect that cause or event-driven factors have on demand. Such factors may include consumer goods-related data such as pricing policies, promotions and competitors' pricing as well as macro-economic indicators such as gross domestic product or new housing starts within a given time period.

Frequency response:

An analysis of a system in which a sine wave is input as a series of different frequency tests. The amplitude ratio of the system and the phase lag are studied as a function of frequency.

Fuzzy Logic:

A method used to model linguistic expressions that have non-binary truth values. It can be used in place of conventional PID control algorithms, especially where relationships are nonlinear.

Fuzzy Set:

A function that describes the degree of belief in a concept as a variable changes over a Universe of Discourse.

Genetic Algorithm:

An algorithm to optimize a function based on Darwin's Survival of the Fittest evolution theory. Each solution is characterized as a chromosome and solutions are combined one generation at a time eventually converging to the best solution.


The process whereby competition has expanded geographically through the expansion in freer trade arrangements and improvements in transportation and communications.

Group technology:

An engineering and manufacturing philosophy that identifies "sameness" of parts, equipment or processes, provides for the rapid retrieval of existing designs and anticipates a cellular-type production equipment layout.


The physical components of a computer system, such as the circuit boards, video display, keyboard and chassis.

Human-Machine Interface (HMI):

Previously called MMI. The software interface that connects a human to a machine or computer generally with graphical I/O.

Holonic manufacturing systems:

An HMS is a way of organizing a manufacturing system. The entire range of manufacturing activities from ordering through to design, production, and marketing are integrated to realize an agile manufacturing enterprise. In an HMS, key elements such as machines, work centers, plants, parts, products, persons, departments, or divisions have autonomous and cooperative properties. These elements are called "holons". In the system, each holon's activities are determined through the cooperation with other holons, as opposed to being determined by a centralized mechanism.


In cycling from a minimum to a maximum level in a variable, hysteresis is the failure to follow the same path in the forward direction as in the backward direction.









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