Next big innovation in Human Machine Interface (HMI) could come from VIT
Recently, VIT & Schneider Electric India had jointly set up a Human-Machine Interface lab at our campus (Industrial Automation Lab- 202 Technology Tower). This lab was inaugurated by Mr. Tomoa ISHII, the Vice-President & Head of HMI line of Business, Schneider Electric, Hyogo, Japan
He spoke to S. Sudarshan during the side-lines of the inauguration, about the growing importance of Human-Machine Interface in academics, its benefit to the mankind and other thoughts related to HMI
Excerpts from the interview:
What is Human Machine Interface (HMI)? Tell us from the perspective of a common man?
Thank You for asking me this question. It is a very important one. In simple words, anything that is in-between Humans & Machines is termed as Human Machine Interface (HMI).
For example, the touch screen that we use in daily walk of life is the best example of HMI. Using touch screen, humans can see what the machines can offer. Therefore HMI is the entry point of the machine.
What impact does the HMI has made to the mankind? Is HMI restricted to manufacturing industry or is it used widely ?
As I mentioned earlier, HMI facilitates the human & machine interface. If you see all these smart phones, they use HMI’s. The Zoom in & Zoom out of the mobile camera are all HMI functionalities and it is used across industries. Specifically in Industrial environment, we at Schneider Electric work a lot on HMI technology that is very much environmentally robust
Tell us more about the recently inaugurated lab at School of Electrical Engineering (SELECT), VIT - Schneider Electric HMI lab? What are all the facilities that a student/researcher can expect from this lab?
The purpose or objective of having this lab is multi folded. Foremost, this will facilitate a hands-on learning about HMI for the students of VIT. Other than this, the students would help us (Schneider Electric) by innovating & coming up with new ideas. Finally, this helps us build a talent pipeline from the VIT so that we (Schneider Electric) could potentially recruit them in the future.
This lab will configure HMI & the students can experience HMI in order to ensure the productivity and efficiency is consistent.
How important is Human Machine Interface (HMI) from the academic perspective? Does studying HMI help the student become industry ready? Does this give an edge?
Today, HMI as an academia is inevitable in academics. It is one of the key elements of industry architecture. Industry architecture comprises of PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), Industry Drives & HMI.
However, HMI is the front face of any machine. The students can learn about how we present the status of the machine to the operator and this is a very important element in the Automation Industry.
Therefore studying HMI as a part of Automation Architecture gives a definite edge to the students.
Is this your maiden visit to VIT? Your thoughts about VIT
First of all, I am amazed by the size of the campus and the number of students studying at VIT. I find VIT to be World Class and we at Schneider Electric are privileged to be associated with VIT.
What message would you like to leave to our students?
Human Machine Interface (HMI) is evolving very fast. Today is the touch panel. Tomorrow it could be something else. I would like to see a lot of intellectual contribution from VIT towards HMI. In fact, the next big innovation from HMI can come from VIT.
At VIT, Human-Machine Interface is taught as a part of Automation Courses in the School of Electrical Engineering (SELECT).