What is Distributed Processing?
The “thinking” of any control system is performed by a processor (also known as a CPU or a microcontroller). The processor’s speed determines how many axes of motion it can calculate without jitter, delay, or loss of positional accuracy.
Traditional entertainment control systems typically use one console at a time, enabling a single operator to operate one aspect of the show. Navigator is different. Processing is distributed across multiple independent processors, known as Navigator nodes, permitting the system to grow by adding more nodes rather than thinly spreading the power that is available from a single central processor.
Why it Matters
Navigator’s distributed architecture makes it possible for a system to grow beyond controlling one axis of motion to hundreds without compromising real-time performance or safety.
Motion control is processor-intensive, so handling it via an appropriately sized processor in each machine’s local Navigator node enables real-time positional accuracy regardless of how many other axes are in the system. This distributed system design offers additional resilience in undesirable situations, such as damage or power loss, as control can pass to backup consoles without interrupting the show’s flow.
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