Although Arduino and compatible boards are used in many control situations, the strict structure of the sketch may not allow for all the possible actions that are required for the system under control, and it can also be difficult or cumbersome to multi-task some devices.
In this situation the concept of a "Finite State Machine" may be of interest - which can allow for concurrent control of devices, and can often allow for a more logical control of devices. This process has been demonstrated by Instructables member manu4371 who demonstrates three FSM examples of various complexity.
The systems can include LCD for data output, and many I2C port expanders to allow for a greater amount of input and output options.
This is an interesting introduction into the world of industrial control and also a different way of approaching Arduino sketches, so for more information visit the Instructable page. And for more, we're on facebook, Google+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you're looking to learn about Arduino development platform and how it interacts with external devices, you can't go past "Arduino Workshop - A Hands-On Introduction with 65 Projects” by John Boxall.
Arduino Workshop takes the reader from having zero knowledge about the Arduino platform, electronics and programming and leaves them with the know-how and instructions on everything from blinking an LED, to robotics, wireless data, cellular communications, motor control, sensors, Internet connected systems and more. For more information including a sample chapter and table of contents, visit the book page.