Hello friends, I hope you all are happy, healthy, and content. Today we are going to discuss a very interesting and versatile topic, "Real Life Applications of embedded systems". Embedded systems are everywhere around us, they have countless applications from the medical field to electronic circuits and mechanical automotive parts. There is an endless list of their applications, we will only be discussing some of the mainstream applications today.
Applications of Embedded Systems in The Medical Field
Embedded systems are used widely in the medical field, from manufacturing an artificial robotic limb to large-scale imaging techniques that are non-invasive in nature, embedded systems cover everything!
Some of the imaging techniques involving embedded systems include MRI, PET scan, CT scan, SPECT scan, which are powered by industrial computers.
Modern embedded electronic stethoscopes are also being used by high-budgeted hospitals in the developed countries.
Embedded medical devices match the symptoms of patients with already existing files on the system to determine the disease, hence decreasing the workload of the physicians.
Vital sign monitors and insulin pumps used in hospitals also imply embedded systems.
Application of embedded systems in the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry has revolutionized itself by using embedded systems for introducing new concepts in the market.
Modern-day cars use cruise control, airbags, emission control system, and navigation systems among many other functions, all having an embedded system which works synchronously with each other.
Hybrid vehicles with higher efficiency and lesser pollution are a result of modern embedded systems otherwise the older versions were contributing to the world pollution on a large scale.
Embedded systems have led to better engine control, the concepts such as brake-by-wire and drive-by-wire are the products of embedded systems.
New safety systems such as Electronic Stability Control ESP, Traction control system TCS, Anti-lock Braking System ABS have been developed by using embedded systems.
Application of Embedded Systems in Telecommunications
Whenever Apple launches a new iPhone, the world goes crazy over it and they are sold out completely in weeks and days, have you ever thought why? All thanks to the sophisticated embedded systems they keep on improving every year, providing higher speed, efficiency, and sleek design to their customers.
Mobile embedded systems and network embedded systems are an ever-growing category of the embedded systems, all thanks to their sophisticated functionality and compact design manufacturing.
There are endless examples of embedded systems in the telecommunication sector, web cameras, networked security systems, modern-day air conditioners using Wi-Fi to function, and many other similar appliances that use embedded systems.
Applications of Embedded Systems in Motes
Let me ask you guys first, have you got any idea about motes? Here is a simple answer to this question, motes are also called sensor nodes, and can gather and process sensory information, communicating that sensory information to the other parts or nodes of a Wireless Sensor Network.
A Wireless Sensor Network is a dedicated system of sensors that detect and record changes in the environment, the data collected by these motes are sent to a central location via GPS.
These motes help in detecting the changes in air pollution, humidity, air pressure, noise pollution, and other environmental conditions using the embedded system.
Motes like many other embedded systems are battery operated and run on power-saving mode, their batteries can last for years before they are needed to be replaced by new ones.
A lot of real-time actions and decisions are based on the data collected by these motes!
Applications of Embedded Systems in Consumer Electronics
In our previous article about the types of embedded systems, we briefly discussed the example of washing machines and air conditioners being manufactured using the embedded systems and how they work.
There are countless examples like the one stated above such as printers, dishwashers, water dispensers, central cooling, and heating system, and whatnot! All of them are highly efficient and advanced, you only need to enter the instructions and the automated system takes care of the rest!
Look around and observe, can you identify any other? You can!
Home automation which is also known as Domotics, the process of building a smart home is carried out by embedded systems, all the automated devices and systems such as lighting, temperature control, and security systems are connected to a central hub which is controlled by the internet connectivity. This is indeed a costly pursuit, mainly used by elites in developed countries, you might have seen such a system in movies revolving around the drug cartel's owners and their lavish lifestyle.
Applications of Embedded Systems in Avionics
Embedded systems didn't spare avionics at all, modern-day airplanes use modern navigation devices such as the inertial navigation system INS, which helps in calculating the orientation and velocity of a moving object without any external reference.
Modern-day GPS systems have led to better air traffic and navigation control leading to greater security and satisfaction of the passengers. It has provided more safety and efficiency in flights, all thanks to embedded systems!
Applications of Embedded Systems in Safety-Critical Systems
Embedded systems have made their way to safety-critical systems as well, I have a question here, do you know, what a safety-critical system is? Let me tell you about safety-critical systems first, a safety-critical system can be defined as,
"A system whose failure can result in death or serious injury of the people involved, posing severe damage to the equipment and lastly it can result in an environmental hazard as well".
Following are some of the example of safety-critical systems,
Pacemaker, failure of a pacemaker can lead to the death of a person.
Space shuttle, a space shuttle launch failure can cost hefty amounts and can result in environmental hazards as well.
The nuclear power plant, we all know the sensitivity of the matter, a missile launch involves a lot of financial risks, along with that human lives and environment is also tied to it.
These systems involve the use of embedded systems for higher efficiency, sophisticated functionality, and security purposes.
Application of Embedded Systems in Smart Cards
Every other person who works today has a smart card, they are the new wallets and need of the hour as everyone cannot carry a hefty amount of cash in a wallet or a purse. A smart card is the ultimate source of convenience in many ways and has become the utmost necessity of everyone.
Smart cards have several types based on their purpose of use, but the manufacturing and design are relatively similar in all of them.
Smart cards are available in many forms nowadays and surprisingly they make use of embedded system technology as well.
Applications of Embedded Systems in Robotics
Robots have replaced humans in many aspects with the entry of Artificial intelligence in the field, which has served as the cherry on top.
Humans are slow and inefficient in some heavy tasks, but a robot has everything preset to perform a task such as time, manner, and pace, which has helped robots to take over many jobs which were previously done by humans.
Robotics involves embedded systems that are sophisticated enough to carry out complex tasks efficiently and precisely which cannot be carried out by humans in such a manner.
Applications of Embedded Systems in Banking
The banking sector has also reaped many benefits of the technology involving the embedded systems.
ATM, automated teller machine, security systems used in banks, online transaction systems have embedded systems as their core elements.
A detailed account of the working of an ATM has been explained in one of my previous articles on the real-life examples of the embedded systems.
Applications of Embedded systems in Security systems
From the most primitive times human beings have been most concerned with their security, as time passed, Intruders found new ways of theft and robbery, this problem was solved by security systems including cameras and alarms which involve embedded systems.
Security cameras and large-scale security systems are designed using embedded systems, they are commonly used these days for protecting offices, homes, and banks as well.
Nowadays, Embedded System Security is another growing field, which is involved in the protection of embedded systems from cyber-attacks.
Several technical parameters are followed to protect the system from any malicious behavior.
Techniques as SSL Secure Socket layer and SSH Secure Shell are used for encryption, but with modernization came modern problems, these protocols can be hijacked as well!
So, it was all about the applications of embedded systems, there are countless other applications as well, I have tried to cover the ones you must know! I hope you enjoyed reading the article, if you know any of the applications that have not been mentioned in the article you can tell us in the comment section below. Have a good day ahead!
I am Syed Zain Nasir, the founder of The Engineering Projects (TEP). I am a
programmer since 2009 before that I just search things, make small projects and now I am sharing my
knowledge through this platform. I also work as a freelancer and did many projects related to
programming and electrical circuitry. My Google Profile+Follow