Join Erin Colvin for an in-depth discussion in this video More ways to think about data, part of Programming Foundations: Fuzzy Logic.
- With this new theory out there, data systems could be populated or broadened to allow different types of data never thought of before and new systems could be created. Data no longer had to be precise or depend on a strict schedule. Just like how the human brain operates. The human brain allows exceptions as needed. These exceptions to rules are not allowed in computers. For example, how do you know when an apple is ripe? If we see an apple hanging in a tree that is half red and half green, we would know that it is not yet ripe.
But, what if it was 75% red or even 80% red? How would we program this in an apple picking robot? It wouldn't be able to tell partial coloring. If we used the normal computer logic, all apples would have to be ripe at the same time or not at the same time. But, we all know, that's not how apples ripen. Some people would consider a mostly red apple ripe while others would leave it with even the smallest amount of green and check back later.
So, how would we tell this to a computer? Digital fuzzy logic is the creation of sensors to help systems override these rules or conditions as needed. For example, let's say you have an automatic coffee maker that dispenses eight ounces of coffee at a time at the start of every hour. This could easily overflow if the previously filled cup was not removed before the new fill starts. If we add a sensor to the cup tray, we can say only dispense the eight ounces at the start of the hour and when the weight of the cup tray is less than eight ounces.
Another example of the use of digital fuzzy logic is being used in washing machines today. If you've ever wondered how your washing machine knows how fast to spin a single shirt thrown in during an emergency wash versus an entire load, it's using sensors programmed with fuzzy logic. These sensors are also being used to help run the water fill cycle as well. No longer do we have to worry about gallons of water being wasted if we need a pair of socks cleaned in a rush for your son's football game.
The washing machines of today are using fuzzy logic sensors that based on rules of weight and soil level can help determine exactly what to do. It's no longer a one size fits all decision.