chapter  12
26 Pages

Fundamentals of Manual Control

For their work, for transportation or simply for entertainment, human beings are often involved

in the manual control of devices. Vehicles such as cars, bicycles, ships, and airplanes are some

examples, but also video games and many work situations involve manual control. Normally,

after learning the task, the human operator in such a control situation behaves like a well-designed

controller. In fact, in their paper on “Quasi-linear pilot models,” McRuer and Jex make the remark

that data of measured pilot behavior matches very well with the Primary Rule of Thumb for

Frequency Domain Synthesis, a design rule for automatic controllers. It is not surprising, therefore,

that many of the models used in modeling manual control situations are based on various control

system design techniques. Two of the most commonly applied are the frequency domain design

methods, which serve as the basis for the cross-over model (COM) and variants thereof, the

precision model and the simplified precision model (McRuer and Jex, 1967), and optimal

control theory, which lies at the basis of the optimal control model (OCM; Kleinman et al.,

1970b).