Feedback Loop

Anyone who has ever heard a microphone squeal when the volume is turned up too high knows about feedback, too much feedback.

Whenever we take the output of a system, and connect it back to the input, we've created a feedback loop. Feedback is a wonderful thing because it enables a system to adjust for its own mistakes.

Line-following robots use feedback from light sensors to control wheel motors. The the "error", or amount the robot is off course, is feedback in such a way to get the robot back on course.

Control theory is the study of how much and what kind of feedback to use to make systems work well. (Answer: enough to cancel all but the last bit of error.)



Last edited March 11, 2006
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