Existing devices such as robots and machine tools rely on motion generators that have been developed almost entirely from existing technology, e.g. electric motors, hydraulic/pneumatic cylinders. Consequently, modern machines are attempting to perform increasingly complicated tasks by relying on ever more complex computer programs to compensate for the deficiencies of the device actually performing the task. In chemical plants, for example, sophisicated control software is still directing valves designed and built at the inception of the plant process. Similarly, today's factory automation systems are aiming to achieve more and more difficult tasks on the assumption that a suitable “intelligent” computer program will enable existing devices to perform these tasks efficiently.
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