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The Self Learning Edge Revolution

By Ken Sinclair

The Edge Revolution coupled with machine learning will do what the DDC Revolution with programmed logic did to pneumatic control. Completely replacing an industry while providing a quantum leap in capabilities, connection, control, and apparent simplification of everything.

Growing up in the DDC revolution was an exciting time. My role was to understand and guide how these new microprocessor DDC devices could functionally replace the industry's air controls (pneumatics). I quickly learned about and grasped the amazing power within the new way of doing.

The power I found in my youth in the DDC industry of turning what these systems were telling me into logic in a control language to provide amazing energy savings and comfort improvements is now giving way to a self-learning edge revolution.

The Edge Revolution sees new powerful mobile phones like edge devices purposely built for cloud communication with amazing computing power and low cost memory, redefining our DDC systems capabilities and architecture.

My old pneumatic mind is struggling to understand machine learning but I do get it! When combined with low cost power and memory on the edge, self learning is poised to fuel the next revolution while replacing my old pneumatic mind in the development of control logic.

These new edge devices will not come from our industry but will land on us as mass produced edge devices that the kids will re-purpose and reprogram for our industry's use. As in the early days of the DDC revolution expect chaos plus an incredible amount of DIY IoT solutions. In the future programing will become less significant or not at all and edge controllers will just simply learn what to do.

It is a new world and revolutionary way of doing, working with a low cost high memory edge devices and understanding "maker culture" but  we all need to bring our industry experience to the revolution.

These new low cost powerful edge boards are open architecture hardware that runs open source software plus they come with millennium maker culture and the tinker kids to make anything happen. These kids do not well understand our industry pain and that is a tremendous advantage because they will not approach our problems like we did. We could all learn a lot if we just talk to each other and get on with the new revolution.

Very pleased with these September articles that speak well to machine self learning.

When Will Machine Learning Reach Smart Buildings? There is a Mount Olympus-like battle over Machine Learning dominance happening among Tech Titans. Smart Buildings and the IoT exist in the weather created by that battle — Alper Üzmezler, BASSG LLC. & Therese Sullivan, Principal, BuildingContext Ltd.

Distributed Analysis and Optimization in Building Automation. Complete system optimization will require the full complexity of existing building systems, and will be best achieved by the BAS manufacturers themselves. We look forward to these exciting changes on the horizon — Mike Donlon, Director of Research and Development, Computrols.

Also this link to YouTube:

Mike Donlon, Director of Research & Development, speaking at the BOMA International Conference. Mike's presentation covers an introduction to machine learning and how it is being used in commercial HVAC control systems.

Also From Mike;

“On IoT ... If you think the infighting with standards for large commercial HVAC controllers was bad, can you imagine getting the entire planet to agree on a standard for every device in the home and office? I think we will live with many competing standards for a long time before it starts to consolidate. Meanwhile, there will be a lot of nice little pieces-parts coming out that we can leverage for BAS.”

Buildings as Dynamical Systems. Part One: Impact of Weather on a Building — Sophie Loire, Ph.D., Research and Technology Fellow, Ecorithm, Inc.

Our AutomatedBuildings.com theme for our 18th year of education sessions at AHRExpo Las Vegas this year reflects this thinking and will strive to engage the industry in the revolution:

The Future of Building Automation — "The Self Learning Edge Revolution"

The future of the building automation market is exceptional. Advanced automation will not be just some accommodation with building information technology, it will be a full embrace of IT. Systems will be smarter, innovative, and sophisticated. Systems will automatically configure and integrate new equipment where the system can optimize itself, self-manage, and self-heal.

Every device manufacturer and software cloud service provider is now looking at how they can use machine self learning from their collected big data to enhance their services and provide more value. The Edge Revolution coupled with machine learning will do what the DDC revolution with programed logic did to pneumatics.

Completely replacing an industry, while providing a quantum leap in capabilities, connection, control and apparent simplification of everything. The Edge Revolution uses new powerful mobile phone like edge devices purposely build for cloud communication with amazing computing power and low cost memory which is redefining our DDC systems capabilities and architecture.

We will expand on last year's session in Orlando. The possible is presently impossible without transformative change, but the map of the possible is leading rapidly to help define the change that is now required everywhere in our industry.

Indeed, we need to engage the new people that are the change. We need to attract self-learning assets to our industry with continuing self-learning growth. That is the goal we all wish to achieve in our people assets and our cultures because it is organic and natural. But most of all, it is sustainable.

As an industry, we could do better in this area. Our online presences often do not attract the desired autodidactic assets and possibly not our potential clients either.

We need to clearly and precisely depict our IoT play and our ease of learning so both people assets and clients want to join us and become part of our learning machine and culture.

We all need to be aware of the speed of the evolution and nearness of the "The Self Learning Edge Revolution."
Let’s all discuss and plan all the opportunities for our involvement in the revolution which is now upon us.

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.